So what?  You can have the best processes with the wrong people and it will still fail.  The best way to ensure you have at least half the equation completed is to ensure you hire great sales talent and align that talent with your Top Accounts. The first step is defining what a top accounts looks like and structuring accordingly. 


Questions to ask to determine if a segment model would work for you?


Relationship Mapping


Benefits of Structure Segmentation:


1. Position Best Resources on Best Accounts – nothing drives results like giving your best people the best opportunities and accounts.  They will thrive in this scenario and exceed their quotas on a regular basis


2. Vision within Accounts – having dedicated account resources/teams allows you to gain intimate knowledge of what the future holds.  This improves forecasting accuracy, resource planning, and strategic alignment


3. Relationship Mapping – many direct resources struggle to reach the entire buying decision team.  By having dedicated resources focused on your top segment you are allowing resources to spread within accounts and form relationships to avoid becoming single threaded


Relationship Mapping


4. Resource Optimization – by aligning resources properly you overinvest on high potential accounts and lower your Customer Acquisition Cost on lower segments.  Some of the lower segments prefer to buy through indirect resources, inside sales, or e-commerce and you are actually burdening them with a direct resource that isn’t adding value


Seg Hunter Farmer Blog


The graphic above illustrates an example of using a hybrid structure model to both segment accounts and specialize by selling activity.  In this scenario, Customer Acquisition Cost, Customer Lifetime Value, and the customer’s preferred channel of procurement were the main criteria that led to this design.  I recommend determining the 3-5 key criteria that will feed into your future sales force structure decision now so you can begin to plan any changes that need to be rolled out prior to 2013.


Call to Action:
View the Sales Force Structure case study here for an example of an organization changing structure to over resource Key Accounts.


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Scott Gruher

Orchestrates and designs the perfect project strategy, one engagement at a time, to ensure that every SBI client makes their number.

Scott joined SBI in 2010 with years of hands-on experience in sales leadership and enterprise selling. Since his arrival, he has helped dozens of organizations dramatically accelerate growth, from Fortune 10 organizations like Phillips 66 to fast-growing cloud service organizations like InfusionSoft. Scott specializes in cross-functional alignment. He helps leaders align around the growth goal and design the right processes to bring the strategy to life. His unique combination of real world experience and a pragmatic approach to problem solving have made him one of SBI’s most demanded resources.

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