Targeting Account Management Sales Performance
A senior executive once told me that 1% of his book-of-business was worth about $50 million and, as a result, account retention was his top strategic priority. Do the math to estimate the operating income that one point represents to his company.
Your current book-of-business, just like that executive’s, is the key to ongoing revenue growth and business expansion. Lose some of your base customers and you are playing catch-up. If you are trying to fetch water and you have a leaky bucket, doesn’t it make sense to repair the leaks before refilling the bucket? The same goes for your business. If your current book-of-business is not generating year-to-year increases and/or is exhibiting higher churn, shouldn’t these holes be patched before increasing investments in new business development?
Analytics suggest that successfully expanding account share-of-wallet via upselling and cross-selling increases the probability of retaining that customer. Yet, according to a recent study by RAIN Group, “…62% of companies believe they are ineffective at maximizing sales in existing accounts…”.
You can enhance the team’s opportunity to win more business from current accounts by shoring up your team’s sales performance capabilities. A good starting point is identifying the skills and knowledge gaps of each of your team’s members. Experience has taught us that different process challenges and skills and knowledge gaps are resident in different parts of account management organizations. And we have yet to see a ‘one-size-fits-all’ program that provides full remedy.
Leadership teams need diagnostic results at a granular level to develop effective roadmaps that surgically target sales enablement initiatives and guide budgeting decisions to optimize return on investment. To accomplish this, the diagnostics necessary to identify, locate and size process, knowledge, and skills gaps should be administered, executed, and tracked at the individual level.
Targeting has long been a key strategy of many successful businesses. Account Management may improve customer retention and sales performance by borrowing a page from that playbook.