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Resources for Consultants: Account List Management

Here’s a sad but true fact about B2B sales training and consulting firms:
most forget they need to function like a sales organization in order to grow. That’s right, a sales organization!

In order to grow, a training and consulting firm needs to focus on the following:

  • Retention of current customers
  • Growth of current customers
  • Development of new customers

To add focus on these elements the most successful firms employ an Account List Management System (ALMS) based on the Pareto Principle built upon the theory that the majority of revenue comes from the minority of customers. Segmenting customers and prospects into categories and prioritizing both by spending level or spending potential provides the organization focus and direction.

Here’s an overview of basic ALMS categories used by successful B2B sales training and consulting firms:

  • Key Accounts: These high priority customers represent the top 25% of the customer count and 75% of the organization’s revenue. These customers are extremely important and should be treated accordingly. It is also important to remember one firm’s key accounts are another firm’s top new business prospects—treating these customers like royalty is a critical part of the firm’s success, growth and survival.
  • Target Prospects: The most successful firms have a short list of 5-10 new business prospects to pursue using a focused new business development approach. New business development time is limited so prospects—or target prospects—should be scrutinized and selected wisely using a filter that includes the following: 
    • Spending potential
    • Access to the decision maker
    • Product fit
  • Secondary Accounts: Low priority customers represent 75% of the customer count yet only 25% of the organization’s revenue. These small spending and often-needy customers can suck the life out of an organization because too much time spent here leads to neglect of key accounts and new business development. Simply put, the secondary account time suck is the silent killer of B2B sales training and consulting firms.
  • Extra Prospects: Think of these new business prospects as target prospects of the future! A list of 10-15 targets in waiting is a wise investment.

Simply put, a properly installed account list management system serves as the operating system for the organization. Operating a B2B consulting firm without an ALMS is like operating a computer without Windows.

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Topics: Partner Marketing