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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Busting the New Business Myth

account list analyticsI get it. I know it is important, but I’m sick and tired of hearing about new business. Truth be known, most sellers are sick and tired of hearing about new business… and their managers are sick and tired of talking about it!

Facts Behind the Myth

The majority of sales organizations are obsessed with new business because of one reason: they do a terrible job of keeping and growing existing business (AKA: customers).

Not all customers are created equal. World-class sales organizations segment them like this:

KEY Accounts

The top 25% of clients for a company or particular business unit. These high priority clients represent a large percent of overall revenue, often 70-80%. These are the “big accounts” and are naturally limited in number. The number of key accounts will vary by seller and are defined by a key account spending level. 


The other 75% of clients for a company or individual business unit, that fall below the key account spending level. As with key accounts, the number of secondary accounts is naturally limited. These low priority accounts should get limited attention, but those thought to have key potential can be designated and focused on accordingly to grow to key level. 

key and secondary accounts 

Become a Myth Buster! 

Taking care of existing customers—especially key accounts—is the best way to minimize the need for new business. I call it building a wall around key accounts. Here are some things to consider:

Define key account growth opportunities by analyzing:
  • Decision maker access: Are you talking to the decision maker? Perhaps a user influencer? Or perhaps the technical influencer? The farther away you are from the decision maker, the higher the risk of losing this revenue.
  • Growth potential: Do they have additional dollars or are they spending with the competition?
  • Open to solutions and ideas: Have they purchased ideas from you in the past?

Define key accounts at risk. 
  • Customers that “score” well in the areas listed above should be pursued as growth opportunities. Conversely, key accounts that don't “score” well represent at-risk customers.

Common sense tells us to aggressively pursue the key account growth opportunities and develop a plan to minimize the impact of the accounts at risk.

  • Conduct the analysis.
  • Develop a plan.
  • Work the plan.
  • Upsell the account!

Increasing revenue from existing customers will significantly reduce the need for new business. And reduce the need to talk about it and hear about it!

Account List Analytics

Too busy to conduct the key accounts analysis outlined in this post, but you would like to reduce your dependency on new business? We can help! Check out the CSS Account List Analytics program.

Grow Your Revenue with Account List Analytics

Topics: key account growth sales strategy sales performance Sales account list analytics account list management