A significant opportunity awaits

If you are seen as a key account by your suppliers, it's highly likely that they will already be undertaking detailed account planning in a structured and systematic way to manage how they do business with you. This presents an important opportunity for collaborative working. Imagine taking the lead in moving the supplier from a one-sided account planning approach to a joint business planning approach and the benefits that this will deliver. As well as a focal point for collaboration, our research and direct experience show that the act of joint business planning strengthens relation commitment and accelerates tangible value creation.

It starts with a 360 view of the relationship

A detailed 360-degree assessment means asking suppliers and customers to rate each other on critical aspects of their B2B relationship. This creates a baseline across a range of important dimensions of trust and control by looking at aspects such as commitment, mutuality, transparency, performance, governance and innovation. This deep dive into a given supplier relationship delivers insight into stakeholder perceptions across both organisations.

From insight to value creation

The output of a 360-degree relationship assessment is a relationship assessment report that sets the stage for joint business planning in a very practical way. It provides the backdrop for your internal stakeholders and suppliers to jointly develop meaningful goals that pass the 'so what' test for both organisations.

joint account plan

Joint business planning comes to life through a highly collaborative workshop that aims to address relationship challenges and build on strengths. If structured and managed correctly, it will deliver the following:

  • Prioritised actions: Based on the Relationship Assessment findings.
  • Joint vision statement: An aspirational description of the customer-supplier relationship, which reflects joint goals and operating principles.
  • Sources of mutual value: Identification of the potential value release initiatives to jointly pursue.
  • Value creation: By preparing a programme of work for value release initiatives.

Joint business planning is not a one-off activity. It represents a significant commitment by both parties to invest in the relationship and requires some underlying conditions for success. Behavioural skills such as trust building, facilitation and collaborative working are prerequisites. Understanding the sales approach to account planning is essential, along with qualifying the value potential to both parties – joint business planning works best where the customer and supplier are strategic to each other.

If you want to know more about getting joint business planning in place with your suppliers, we'd like to hear from you!