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Target Accounts

Are Your Hunters, Hunting or Farming?

Brian Gardner No Comments

How can focused account profiling promote business growth?

Last week during a CRM roundtable webinar I hosted with MCAA, we discussed ways to use CRM data to make better business decisions. One of the hot topics was Account Profiling and how using a 4-dimensional approach can help grow your business volume with focus on where your sales team should spend their time. You may say, “We have a profiling system and we grade our accounts.” In my experience, the information is usually only 1-dimensional; basing it off current or the past years business volume and not growing volume. This is where the 4-dimensional approach becomes invaluable.

There are other variables you could use to determine Target Accounts, but I am a believer in keeping it simple so here are four areas you can consider in determining if an account should be a hunter account or farmer account. Profile the account and answer these questions.

  1. What is the Current $ Volume?
  2. What is the Potential $ Volume?
  3. What are the Current Product/Services the account buys?
  4. What are the Potential Product/Services the account might buy?

Let’s first start with the current and potential volume:

Current $ Volume:

Consider a grading scale of A, B, C, D for each account. Example: A = >$250,000 year, B = $150,000 to $249,000 year, etc.

Potential $ Volume:

Use a similar grading scale as Current $ Volume. As an example, ABC Chemical is currently buying $50,000 a year from us, but potentially could be buying $250,000 a year. That would put ABC Chemical into the CA matrix category. C for Current $ Volume and A for their Potential $ Volume.
Complete the exercise and you should have all the accounts profiled and organized by category groups.

Category Examples:

  • DA = Currently a D, but Potentially an A (High-Growth Target Account)
  • BB = Currently a B, but Potentially a B (Maintain Account)
  • CA = Currently a C, but Potentially an A (High-Growth Target Account with Leverage)
  • AA = Currently an A, but Potentially an A (Key Account)

(See the sample worksheet below)
(download the worksheet here)

This will give you laser focus based on if the account is an account positioned for a hunter (growth) or should it be handled by a farmer (maintain). So what are the first accounts you should focus on for growth? The CA accounts. These are currently doing some business with you and have the potential to be an A account. The CRM system can be set up to help you make sure you are staying focused on these growth accounts. So, if you have CA accounts with no new activity or touches within the last 30 days, this is a red flag and the sales team should be refocused.

Where does the 3rd and 4th dimension come into play? Start with your CA accounts and now dive a little deeper and list the current products/services you are selling them and then list the potential products/services. To start with take 1 potential product and create a “proactive” opportunity in your CRM to help you manage the process for winning this business.
While discussing this, the comment was made by a participant: “Another dimension to consider would be clones of existing customers. Shouldn’t we use those as prospects?” Absolutely, as they say, ‘Birds of a feather flock together’! One should also consider tracking accounts by industry and application. Taking past sales or service successes and carrying them into similar applications is a great way to promote growth in other accounts, and this matrix can be set up in the CRM.
Using this approach can create a structured process to make sure your team has the right people pursuing and maintaining the right accounts. Outside Sales can focus on growth accounts and allow Inside Sales to focus on maintain accounts by using the 4DAP (4 dimensional account profiling) system and taking ‘subjective’ out of the equation. In a nutshell, you want to make sure you don’t have hunters doing the farming!

Dust Off Those Binders: How CRM Can Translate Training Into Action

Brian Gardner No Comments

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get excited about sales concepts, and how hard it is to turn them into a reality? We’ve all been there. We send our sales teams to a one- or two-day class and they come home with a head full of ideas and a three-ring binder.

In Quote Management, All RFPs Are NOT Created Equal

Brian Gardner No Comments

I spoke last week at the Sales GPS Executive Workshop in Austin, hosted by MDM and Indian River Consulting Group. I talked with distribution leaders there about how many distribution companies proudly consider themselves to be quoting machines. 

Go Deeper with 4-Dimensional Account Profiling

Brian Gardner No Comments

One-dimensional account profiling, typically using A, B, C or D based on the current business from each customer, is a step in the right direction. But if you want to take a more proactive approach to uncover new opportunities with existing and potential customers, take your profiling a step further.

MDM Webcast, Nov. 9: 3 Strategies to Uncover & Convert Sales Opportunities

Brian Gardner No Comments

MDM.comIn the second webcast of the MDM-SalesProcess360 quarterly series, Brian Gardner, author of ROI from CRM: It’s About Sales Process, Not Just Technology, will home in on a critical part of that process: sales opportunity management.

Learn more about this webinar here or register now.

Free Webinar: Proactive Sales Opportunity Management – 3 Takeaways in 30 Minutes

Brian Gardner No Comments

Reed StithJoin Reed Stith, our newest addition to the SalesProcess360 team, for a quick 30-minute webinar on sales opportunity management on Oct. 28 at 11-11:30 ET.

In this webinar, Stith will provide three practical insights to guide your team as it shifts from a reactive to a proactive mindset when it comes to acting on sales opportunities in both existing and new accounts.

Did you miss this webinar? Register and watch it on-demand!

Profiling Is OK When It Comes to Target Accounts

Brian Gardner No Comments

Read the previous article in this series on developing a competitive advantage: Size Matters: What is Your Load Input Number?

What is your competitive advantage? No, really! What is your competitive edge? Sounds like a simple question, and when asked, most distributors, reps and manufacturers answer pretty quickly and predictably. If your goal is to excel in a competitive market, continuous attention to systems, methods, and processes that offer a competitive edge is essential. This series of articles focuses on areas proven to give companies a real competitive edge, yielding measurable results. These methods and processes must be things you and your team can focus on – and control – internally. Excuses related to external factors such as the economy and industry softness need not apply.

The topic in this article is target account management. If I were a betting man, I would bet your company is engaged in some form of target account management or you have at least talked about it. The question is whether your sales team is proactive or reactive with regard to target accounts.

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