Major accounts are not just big little accounts; they are quantitatively different. So top performers selling to major accounts cannot just do faster and better what they did when selling to smaller accounts.. Successful major account salespeople sell differently – starting with crafting sales strategy.
Major account salespeople must be business-savvy sales consultants who have developed superior sales skills, have a comprehensive knowledge of their customer’s business and the knowledge and political acumen to leverage and orchestrate internal company resources – to both close new business and grow existing business.
Fifteen tips are:
Sales Strategy Formulation
- Get the right information from the right people at the right time during the sales cycle.
- Move from just “filling out forms” to analyzing information gathered.
- Focus on a few pivotal goals - then delineate what needs to be done and how to do it.
- Recognize that the future doesn’t necessarily look like the past - changes driven by global marketplaces make the past a bad predictor of the future – from buyer requirements to competitive advantages.
Sales Strategy Execution
- Network - know who is playing which role, the relationship between the players, and what they think about you and your competition.
- Leverage institutional resources - major account selling is a team sport.
- Develop and rehearse internal champions – so they can tell the seller’s story since most of the time the major account salesperson isn’t on site.
- Document good news since it doesn’t document itself - make sure everyone in the buying process knows the good news story. Bad news will document itself!
- Deal with passive competition - when the buying process stalls and customer does nothing, by crafting strategies to overcome the no-decision momentum.
- Be proactive - complacency in Public Enemy #1.
- Manage the completion by staying focused on the customer’s needs, challenges, and concerns - top performers focus on the customer and manage the competition.
- Broaden the definition of competition - competitors include everyone competing for the same budget dollars – not just direct competitors.
- Differentiate by adding value - since the product or service being sold may not vary much from one company to the next, profiling the value of all of the other services and assistance extended to the customer (often called the value adds) is critical.
- Sell to the c-suite - the probability of capturing the business is significantly reduced if major account salespeople cannot successful sell at the senior level.
- Make the business case - it’s unlikely a major account sale will be closed without making a strong business case to prove the business need to invest in the solution – and the measurable benefits.
To dive deeper into these best pratices deployed by successful, major account salespeople you can download the white paper – Getting Sales Strategy Right in Major Accounts.
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