Sales Best Practice #30 – Systematically analyzes key accounts in order to identify opportunities for growth.
Mediocre sales people are content to react to the requests of their customers, and focus on maintaining the relationships in order to solidify the business they enjoy.
The best sales people understand that, while some of the above is necessary, they proactively seek to discover additional opportunities for growth in their key accounts and strategically build relationships with people who can open doors for them.
The difference is greater than just one of degree. The best sales people work from a mindset that understands they need to continually seek for additional opportunities. This mindset colors everything they do, and dictates the practices and disciplines they build into their routines.
One such discipline is that of systematically analyzing key accounts in order to identify opportunities for growth. They work like this:
Periodically, every quarter or so, they methodically consider each of their key accounts one at a time (for a discussion of key accounts, see my book, 10 Secrets of Time Management for Salespeople).
They may start with a matrix of all the categories of products they sell, and then methodically collect information as to how much of each of these each account currently purchases. For example, it may be that your company sells four categories of product: Widgets, gidgets, fridgets and pidgets.
For each account, they may have a matrix that looks like this:
|Annual Purchases (Total)||Annual Purchases (From Us)||Opportunities|
Notice that before they can analyze and prioritize the opportunities, they must first collect the information regarding the account’s annual purchasing volume. Just that practice alone will separate the best sales people from the pack.
But, once they have that information, they routinely consider it and make decisions about which opportunities offer the closest and easiest way to improve their business.
This discipline keeps them constantly focused on the best opportunities in their key accounts. And that means that they are always working in the most effective way. No wonder they are the best sales people.
Copyright MMX by Dave Kahle
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