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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Ways to Heat Up a Cold Start to the New Year

heat up your sales revenueJanuary is history, and some sellers are already singing the blues because their year is off to a cold start. That’s the bad news… here’s the good news; it is not too late to make some changes to accelerate revenue and improve sales performance.

Here’s a list of five things to get 2019 back on track and heat up sales revenue!

1. Admit & Commit

If 2018 and/or January were a bust, it’s time to make some changes. The first step is stop blaming other people (or a sluggish market, or national poaching your key accounts) and admit you have a problem. The next step is committing to making some changes.

More of the same = more of the same!

If you want the scoreboard to change, your behaviors have to change. The remainder of this post provides some areas of focus.

2. Dump Bogus New Business Target Accounts

Take a look at your account list (or the accounts lists of your sellers if you are a manager). Focus on target accounts and evaluate them using these criteria:

  • How long has this account been a target account?
  • When was the last time significant progress was made with this account?

 If 45 days is the answer to both questions, it is time to dump these targets (or at least move them to lead status) and select new targets.

3. Identify Quality New Business Target Accounts

Do this by evaluating the following target business profile filter:

  • Dollar Potential (can the account spend to key level?)
  • Access to Decision Maker and Decision Influencers
  • Fit (product or service, local focus, change in business or category, openness to new solutions, growth or trouble mode, seasonality, factors unique to your business)

After selecting new target accounts, it is time to connect (set an appointment), uncover some desired business results… and develop/sell solutions!

4. Grow Existing Key Accounts

Creating additional revenue form top spending customers is too often overlooked because sellers focus on “getting a renewal” as opposed to “looking for ways to upsell.”

Use the following scoring system to identify the best opportunities to upsell existing key accounts: 

Decision Maker Access: Score on a scale of 1-5.

  • 5 = Direct relationship with the business owner, president or principal + no agency involved.
  • 4 = Direct relationship with a decision influence at the client level (VP of marketing, marketing director, advertising director) + no agency involved.
  • 3 = Direct relationship with client + an agency is involved to place the business. The agency can be in-house or stand alone.
  • 2 = Agency relationship with a media buyer and someone at the agency beyond the buyer (media planner, agency account executive) + no client contact.
  • 1 = Relationship with media buyer only + no client contact.

Growth Potential: Score on a scale of 1-5.

  • 5 = The customer has additional spending potential equal to two times (or more) your key account level. These dollars are spent with competitors or other mediums or are not currently allocated.
  • 4 = The customer has additional spending potential equal to your key account level. These dollars are spent with competitors or other mediums or are not currently allocated.
  • 3 = The customer has additional spending potential equal to half your key account level. These dollars are spent with competitors or other mediums or are not currently allocated.
  • 2 = The customer has limited additional spending potential equal to less than half your key account level. These dollars are spent with competitors or other mediums or are not currently allocated.
  • 1 = The customer has zero additional spending potential. You are currently getting 100% of the buy.

Openness to Ideas & Solutions: Score on a scale of 1-5.

  • 5 = The client will look at additional ideas beyond a base buy and has purchased ideas multiple times in the past.
  • 4 = The client will look at additional ideas beyond a base buy and has purchased an idea once in the past.
  • 3 = The client will look at additional ideas beyond a base buy but has never purchased an idea in the past.
  • 2 = The client will think about giving you the opportunity to present ideas beyond a base buy; however, they never let you present a proposal.
  • 1 = The client will not let you present ideas beyond a base buy. 

Add the scores from each area. Key accounts that score in the 11-15 range represent “upsell” opportunities. Go for it! 

By the way, accounts scoring 1-5 are considered at risk accounts. You should have a plan to minimize key account attrition from these customers.

5. Convert Secondary Accounts with Upside

Usually about 30% of small spending secondary accounts have the potential to spend like key accounts. Do you know who fits this profile from your current customer base? If so, great… what are you waiting for? Go sell ‘em! 

If not, use the same scoring system outlined above to determine the secondary accounts worth pursuing and converting to key account customers.

Tick-Tock

The clock is ticking, and the decision is yours. Come in from the cold and heat up your sales activity and revenue! Tick-tock, tick-tock…

Grow Your Revenue with Account List Analytics

Topics: account list management key account growth