HARDISON’S TIPS – MARCH 24, 2021 – Sell More to Existing Accounts – 1
One of the biggest untapped opportunities to increasing sales and profit is growing your existing accounts. Consider:
- Retaining current customers is 6 to 7 times less costly than acquiring new ones (Source: Bain & Company)
- Repeat customers, on average, spend 67% more (Source: Bain & Company)
- 60% of companies believe they should be generating 25% or more revenue from strategic accounts
The question is not if you should be selling more to your accounts, it’s how should you do it.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Select the Right Accounts: Not all customers are created equal. Certain customers—whether they’re bigger, in a certain industry or location, a stronger relationship, or just more open to new ideas—have greater opportunity for growth. You can even ask customers if they would like to engage in a more strategic relationship with your company. In our experience, most buyers react positively when approached with this idea, and become more likely to entertain additional conversations with you.
The first step in your account growth process should include targeting those accounts with the greatest opportunity and then developing a specific plan for each customer. A spray and pray approach does not work for real account growth.
- Know Your Customer’s Business and Strategic Agenda: I’m not just talking about the part of the business you’re involved with, but their entire business. What are their corporate priorities for the year? What are the big hurdles they are trying to overcome? What are their goals? Who are the key players?
Sellers and account managers often say to us, “We know our accounts’ business very well.” But when pressed, they often have a long way to go when it comes to strategy. If you can uncover your customer’s priorities, you’ll have a much better understanding of where and how you can add value—and the areas in which they are willing to invest more. Simply by having conversations about the big picture, you’re likely to uncover opportunities where you can help.
- Strategize Internally: Growing accounts takes an investment of time and resources. You can’t expect to call an account, introduce a complementary product or service, and have them sign on the dotted line. Serious account growth requires a well thought-out plan that is customized for each account.
For large accounts—both existing and new—we implement a value discovery session. This is a session where we brainstorm ways that we can bring additional value to our accounts and develop a plan to do so. During this process we bring together a team of internal resources to cover each of the 8 roles required for account growth. Bringing together the thoughts and perspectives of your internal team can be tremendously valuable for your accounts.