Will you touch the right accounts and how is your sales leader assigning the reps to the right accounts? What accounts get you bigger deal sizes? Account management and segmentation is one of the keys in enabling a solid sales strategy and ensuring you achieve your number. However, it’s a challenge that many continue to deal with in growing annual revenue figures.
In addition to working through workbook questions related to the accounts and your sales strategy, I’ll cover score and weighting. As you set your “key accounts” or “target” list for 2018, assess these areas of evaluation and scoring centered around the following:
- Ideal Customer Profile– Do you have this written down and do your executives and reps know it from heart? Make sure your leadership team defines the ideal customer, their buying persona, triggers, metrics, and wallet share for the year. We’re seeing some of our clients insert the ICP within their CRM workflow and have the opportunities scored and weighted against the profile. Ops that are not aligned and have higher risks associated with them should be placed lower on the account campaign management list as you start your year.
- Revenue and Margin Alignment– Why chase a new account or align one of your senior reps to an account that will not utilize your higher margin product/services or have minimal revenue associated with the account in 2018 or 2019? Analysis of your accounts and the likely product/services that would be in demand. Are your higher margin products likely in play? If not, score the account properly and identify risk mitigation plans. This should include strong value proposition statements to assist the sales reps in positioning the higher margin services/products.
- Decision Maker & Influencer(s) Identified– We have seen clients that spend or invest time in account research and little time researching triggers and insights into decision maker and influencer of the accounts that they are assigning to the team. Focus research on identifying the buyer personas involved in the account and their triggers. Leverage social media and tools to connect and see shared connections, their backgrounds and hobbies/interests. Factor this in tailoring unique personalized messages to the persona in your call/email campaigns. Again, factor this in your account scoring and segmentation exercises.
- Competition Identified– I’ve seen this first hand in my time working with C-level teams in financial services, where the time spent researching the competitor is minimal and too much time is spent on discussing internal capabilities. Teams are spending weeks and months in some cases, discussing accounts, their triggers, and our products/services but they miss out on going deep in who the account is utilizing today and what are the strengths/weakness of the competitor or incumbent? Assess and discuss as a team what the incumbent or competitor is doing right first. What pricing are they deploying and what relationships are in play? Additionally, understand the products/services the competition has deployed inside the account and what “opening” you may have?
In addition to the four areas above, other areas in your account planning should factor include:
- Trigger events most likely to make them act and the compelling reasons to buy from your team?
- Pain associated with inaction in 2018?
- Which accounts are engaged in active buying cycle?
- Products/services that provide you a competitive edge in 2018 with what accounts? Why?
- What accounts have defined budgets for your product/service?
- Finally, assess the expected time requirement for landing an opportunity with the account. Are you better utilizing that time on another account or several accounts to earn even more revenue or better margin?
Need assistance with planning your account strategy? Even more importantly, do you want to know what your chances are in achieving your quota for 2018? 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 top-line revenue goal is realistic.