In my last post, we discussed the 10 questions you need to answer before visiting your key accounts. Now let’s discuss the 10 questions the key accounts will be asking you. Download these 10 questions here before you walk into your next meeting. If you were able to answer the 10 questions from my prior blog, then you’re well on your way to preparing for your big meetings.


We all talk about putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes and trying to determine what’s important to them. When we do this, we tend to get super tactical and think they want me to:


  • Hit the SLA’s
  • Provide quality product
  • Good service
  • On time delivery
  • Etc.


All of these items are important but what is the buyer really thinking about?


First, you should be talking to your customers more; surveying (not a customer service survey, but a buyer persona survey) them on a regular basis and most importantly conducting win/loss analysis every quarter. The most powerful data you can find often comes from a win/loss analysis. How often has your sale rep said it was a “no decision” or “it was the lowest price” (the CEB says 81% of deals are lost by actions the seller could have performed). You later find out the deal was lost by something completely different and it was avoidable. If you’re interested in having me conduct a win/loss analysis on one of your recent opportunities, I’m happy to demo the approach.


Second, he or she is thinking along the same lines as you are. Is this relationship making me look good? How can this relationship make me stand out against my peers? How is this relationship helping me hit my incentive based objectives?


We recently interviewed hundreds of Vice Presidents / Executive Director level managers and asked what were the three (3) most important items to them? The response; promotion, authority and income. This is different from their objectives; making the number (or performance metrics); more “A” players and relative performance verse my peers.


So the question for you is; how is your product or service contributing to your peer’s ability to get promoted, gain more authority or increase their personal income? If you know the answer to these questions then you truly are putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes and they will find value in your Key Account program. Download the 10 Preparation Questions from Key Account To You.


Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is a Revenue Growth Diagnostic tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:


  • Your revenue goal is realistic
  • You will earn your bonus
  • You will keep your job


Sales Revenue Growth

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John Staples

Leads teams of highly qualified experts, all relentless in their pursuit of helping you make your number.

John is the global leader of SBI’s account management business unit. As such, he and his team help clients across 19 verticals drive top line growth and operational efficiency in sales and marketing.


John’s marketing, sales and product expertise span a multichannel strategic approach. He has an unyielding focus on strategic and key account development, which enables strategic alignment between all functional team members in order to reduce acquisition cost and increase lifetime value.


His broad experience in sales, marketing, product and engineering allows him to bring a unique problem solving approach to his team and clients. As he has discovered through decades of experience, clients are often distracted by the symptoms of a larger problem and overlook the root cause of it.


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