The second half is fast approaching, along with the often frenetic countdown toward meeting those sales quotas. Your sales leadership has decided that in order to achieve the very aggressive and always-looming revenue goals, bringing in at least one ‘big score’ this year is a strategic necessity. In preparation for this blitz, instructions are issued to each seller to develop a target list of possible ‘suspects’ who could support a deal worth at least 5X your average contract size. (i.e. A TOP Line Account™)
Account strategy sessions are scheduled, and the first get-together appears to be a huge success, with sales resources coming out of the woodwork to attend and contribute. Lots of great ideas are generated, and there’s plenty of energy and enthusiasm driving the whole process forward. A general agreement is reached to tackle a few of the items discussed and then re-group as soon as possible. Motivation levels seem high initially, and the goals within reach, but then….. NOTHING. A second strategy meeting doesn’t even come into play, and most of the action items never make it square one. Why?
Immediate priorities trumped planning for a longer-term contract opportunity
The lead on the project isn’t strong enough to keep the team together, focused, and accountable
The only person with real experience in landing a big deal is the senior sales leader, and he/she is stretched too thin to focus on just one account
The team manages to get a few sales, masking the need for a single, game-winning contract
The leadership staff becomes distracted with other projects (otherwise known as SOS or shiny object syndrome)
Sound familiar? Do any of these less-than-optimal scenarios play out in your organization, maybe time and time again? Do your past efforts to focus on strategic, longer-term gains within much higher-value opportunities prove to be a complete waste of time, effort, and resources? If you want to transform the fundamental attitudes that support this unproductive mind-set, then now is a great time to start. If you don’t commit now, you’ll hate yourself later. Here are a couple of proven ideas that can put the wheels of change into forward motion, and help sustain the momentum for the duration of the project.
- Start small and Commit. Just pick one opportunity. Schedule out strategy war room sessions on a three-month rolling schedule until the deal is closed. Assign someone to track action items to completion. Celebrate small wins along the way leading to the ultimate contract win!
- Hire an expert. Even large companies with lots of experience and tons of resources (such as global account programs) know the value of bringing in an outside person who can offer a fresh perspective and keep heat and light on the project at hand. Learn more at toplinesales.com
Whichever path you may choose, the rewards at the end are substantial. In most circumstances, a solid commitment and first step can easily turn out to be the only spark needed to really ignite your TOP Line Account™ sales culture’s engine. From there you can shift the high-end account acquisition process into high gear, without all the usual roadblocks in the way to slow it down, or bring it to a dead stop before it even gets rolling.
Lisa Magnuson is an expert in corporate strategic sales and TOP Line Account™ revenue building. As a respected sales consultant and author, Lisa works with clients to build successful strategic sales programs that drive revenue from large new accounts and enable growth from existing high value customers. Contact us at www.toplinesales.com to assist in putting your TOP Line Account™ focus in place today.