Double Sales From Existing Accounts

Double New Sales – From Your Existing Sales people
October 5, 2018
More Sales, Revenue and Profits – Less Time, Money, and Resources Doing it with Less Cost
November 23, 2018

Most companies don’t need more clients to grow sales and revenue – they need to learn how to generate more sales and revenue from existing clients.

Too many leaders are spending fortunes for new leads, salespeople to manage those leads as prospects in a sales pipeline, and then people to negotiate those contacts into new relationships. That’s great, however, it takes a lot of time, money, and resources to open cold accounts or generate brand-new clients. There’s a better, cheaper, and faster way to grow a business – generate more business from existing accounts. In many cases, this approach can be up to ten times easier and cheaper

Why is this important? This approach is important because adding new or trying to revitalize cold accounts uses or adds a lot of marketing, sales, and support costs – eating profits. That’s counter to our powerful profit-producing principle of “more from less.”

“Less than 1% of companies are anywhere close to achieving full account penetration and client optimization.”

Less than 1% of companies are anywhere close to achieving full account penetration and client optimization. Why is this number so low? It’s not because businesses don’t offer great products and services. Low account penetration is usually because of two things: first, not having a well designed and executed account plan; and second, not crafting the best client-account-growth model.

“Less than 1% of companies are anywhere close to achieving full account penetration and client optimization.” Let’s start with the latter – having the right account model. Even if you have a great plan, as we have proven by accelerating growth in hundreds of client accounts, a flawed model will always fail to optimize your client-growth efforts. In most cases, the client-acquisition model that was used to first open and activate the new account is changed.

Here are examples of what many leaders do that doesn’t lead to account optimization. Once the account is opened, they:

  1. Change out the salesperson and turn it over to someone else, e.g. someone who is sometimes called a “farmer” who might have many accounts to manage and may not have the aggressive sales skills and competencies to maximize the account’s potential;
  2. Send the salesperson off to other “new pursuits” and just start servicing the account with operations, delivery, or support personnel – great employees, but they rarely do they have the required complex sales competencies;
  3. Put in place an account manager who is in charge of servicing the account and also expected to be in charge of selling the account more business. There is nothing wrong with that except when an account manager has to compete against a competitive sales team with complex sales skills, the account manager won’t have a chance;
  4. Keep the original salesperson, and expect them to continue to be responsible for growing the account. However, the reward system or size of future opportunities in an existing account usually doesn’t have the incentives to optimize the account. The salesperson will sell what they can, but they know the big money is in new accounts which is where they will concentrate their time.

To help our clients achieve fast and explosive growth, here are some things I recommend be tracked and measured:

  1. Breadth: How many of your offerings (products and services) have been sold in the account?
  2. Depth: How much has been sold in the account to achieve total purchasing potential?
  3. Coverage: Are all divisions of the account fully penetrated with all products and services?

Why are account penetration and account optimization so critical to your business success?

  • You don’t have to start or go through a new client relationship curve – set up, communications, billing, and discovering mutual quirks, etc. That can take weeks to months.
  • Growing existing clients is the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to grow sales, revenue, and profits.
  • More from less – more sales, revenue and profits from the same number of accounts, and fewer client headaches and less administration and infrastructure to manage them.
  • Reduce wasted sales and marketing costs that might never produce new accounts.
  • Complete account optimization can make it more difficult for your competition to get a foothold in the account.
  • Grow revenue more quickly – many times, the sale can be 2-3 times faster since the relationship is warm.

What’s the right client-relationship model to optimize accounts? There are dozens of different methods and models to achieve total account maximization. Please don’t fall into the trap believing the model you are using is the best approach. An effective account model design and execution depends on many variables. These include the size of your company, resources available, account potential, size of contracts, length and complexity of the sale, difficulty in the sales process, and ability to bring in new offerings.

Some of the philosophical decisions that you have to make include making decisions such as whether your existing salesperson stays with the account or someone else takes over. There are advantages and disadvantages to maintaining or switching. Each tactical decision will affect a dozen parts of your strategic account-growth model.

Here are a just a few principles that are critical to success when designing the right strategy- and account-relationship structure:

  1. Set account penetration and coverage (all offerings) as SMART goals and metrics.
  2. Make an individual (not a team) accountable (not just responsible).
  3. Explicitly capture the details of the account-optimization role and responsibility in this person’s job description.
  4. Design your reward system to recognize and pay for achieving and maintaining optimization.
  5. Celebrate account optimization wins – especially the first one, and then all of them, and be sure to include mentioning everyone who manages the account.

If you want to scale your sales and revenue growth faster and use fewer resources, let us build the best model, plan, and strategy to optimize your accounts.

Kent Billingsley
Kent Billingsley
Kent Billingsley is the Founder and President of The Revenue Growth Company® (TRGC), LLC. He started The Revenue Growth Company over 15 years ago to solve the most difficult challenge CEOs and business owners face. Billingsley has over 40 years of experience, delivering over 10,000 hours of CEO workshops and speeches in 36 countries. He has successfully built, tested and validated, the most powerful, scalable, and repeatable way, every business can follow to generate more revenue and profit – while using the fewest resources.

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