Major Account Sales Teams face numerous and daunting trends in today’s highly connected, networked business world. They’re wrestling with major changes in their markets brought on by information-empowered buyers and the digitization within the sales channel. Growing competition, from established companies to tech savvy start-ups has placed even more pressure on sales margins and the effectiveness of sales teams to maintain clients or drive profitable net-new business growth.
With all of these combined forces at work, I encourage major account sales team to rethink parts of their sales process and operations around a new model, one which calls for new approaches to how they sell their solutions, positon or market themselves, take care of their current clients, grow new business as well as how their sales teams get organized.
This new sales team; let’s call it the nex gen sales force is better equipped than ever before to adapt to the rapidly changing market conditions, digital business models and their disruptive competitors. It is a sales force built, as always, around client insights and perspectives. However, what distinguishes this sales force is their ability to build their personal brands, socially surround their client’s by building a social fortress around them while integrating digital prospecting methods as they tap their client’s networks asking for help in growing their business.
IT IS ABOUT INFORMATION
Sales teams have an unparalleled amount of information available to them, to the point where information in itself is no longer a competitive advantage. The competitive advantage lies right in front of them and this is themselves. What gives a sales team an edge over the competition is the insight into how to use all of this information to help solve business problems and challenges.
Trust, value and relationships is the new sales currency inside major account sales team. It is how you sell it and how you offer it as this will become your teams’ competitive advantage.
Question becomes… What does a nex-gen major account sales program look like?
5 KEY INGREDIENTS OF A NEX-GEN MAJOR ACCOUNT PROGRAM
A nex-gen major account program consistently executes a strategic written business plan to:
BRING IN NET NEW BUSINESS
Can sales reps actually increase sales by focusing less on acquiring net new clients and more on their current clients? Call me crazy as this actually can work. Most sales teams fail to recognize the huge crowd of people which have already decided to become clients. They forget about their current clients.
To increase net new sales, nex-gen major account sales reps concern themselves with reducing the number of their current clients lost by providing them with an outstanding client experience. In turn and with mutual agreement, they get their clients to edify their work and introduce them into their networks which open them up to new relationships and potential sales opportunities.
New business growth fuels company profits!
GO WIDER AND DEEPER IN CURRENT ACCOUNTS
Often overlooked, one of the best sources of sales growth – retaining and growing the existing client base. It’s less expensive and more effective to retain current clients than it is to acquire new ones. Nex-gen major account reps build relationships with more than just the decision maker. They include key executives, operations, technology, human resources, facilities or safety/sustainable office; if applicable.
When sales reps have built genuine relationships with numerous individuals within an account, they are more loyal. The only way to guarantee a loyal client base is to create unbreakable bonds wider and deeper in these accounts.
Here are a few ideas:
- Set client expectations
- Become their expert
- Build trust through each one of the relationships
- Build the relationships online as well
- Listen – go above and beyond
PROTECT THE CURRENT ACCOUNT BASE
Protecting the base means strengthening the personal relationship as well as the social relationships with current clients. Major account reps must build a social fortress around their current clients.
Each individual contact inside the client base has different agendas, motivations, and preconceptions. Major account reps who fail to build strong ties to any one of these people could see important deals collapse, relationships lost and more important revenue loss.
Nex-gen major account reps make client obsession part of their personal culture. It is about building rock-solid relationships. Always look for blind spots within your current major accounts.
TARGET THE HIGHEST VALUE ACCOUNTS TO MAXIMIZE PROFIT
High-value prospects offer the potential to generate growing and consistent revenue within in your organization.
If you want to grow sales revenues and maximize profits, to get where you are going with GPS-like precision; you need to take the time to plan and update sales tactics. Nex-gen major account teams know this and work strategically to implement well targeted, buyer-centric account growth plans.
With proactive methodologies in place they target high-valued prospects. Not only are these accounts “big fish” they are attainable “big fish”. With these targets in mind they start to execute on their strategic sales business plan.
LEVERAGE SOCIAL SALES TOOLS
Nex-gen major account reps integrate social into their selling process. They realize their clients use it, their competitors use it and more importantly, Forbes recently shared a post with some data to back it up stating that 78% of sales people using social media outsell their peers.
The core elements of integrating social into the sales process can be accomplished by:
- Building a personal brand – establish credibility and help create visibility
- Listen an research – understand what clients and prospects are talking about and what is top of mind to them
- Engage in conversations – join and start conversations moving from online to offline with prospects as well as a way to stay top of mind with current clients.
Crushing it as nex-gen major account rep means integrating social sales tools into prospecting while building better relationships to enhance client relationships
What does this look like? Research, Follow, Connect, Nurture and Meet.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
In the book, To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink, he writes about how we’ve gone from a “buyer beware” culture to a “seller beware” culture. There’s so much information available to customers today via the internet that customers are often well versed in their options and interests before the salesperson even enters the scene.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon us as major account sales reps to really understand the client’s world to add value, not to just show up, throw up and educate them on a product or solution.
The implementation of a nex-gen major account program is far more than just a few tweaks to the same old processes. It is a systematic, strategic transformation which hinges on embracing change throughout the entire sales team. In today’s crazy busy networked business world, a nex gen sales approach within your sales team is crucial for competing and winning in the marketplace.
I understand where you all are coming from. I have walked and continue to walk a day in a life of your shoes.
I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social selling aspects into your current sales process to grow net-new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way.
“Larry is taking on a very difficult task of being transformative agent in support of a commoditized industry. This industry has tremendous upside for those who accept this transition and embrace it and truly execute new ideas and solutions. Larry see’s this opportunity and leads the way today and has an enormous effect on our team. We have ways to go but with Larry’s assistance we will certainly transform.”
James Wrbanek, SumnerOne
In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image
You can find more blog posts inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform, coach and inspire B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net new business by helping them tell their story and communicate on LinkedIn. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, as well as at the Social Sales Academy