Strategic Account Planning: Don’t waste valuable selling time Googling for info on your target accountsFriday, June 7, 2013 15:34
Strategic account planning is a total waste of time if you have not properly done your homework and picked the right target accounts to pursue. According to a study recently published by CSO Insights, for many companies, choosing the right accounts to focus on is their biggest challenge. This comes down to “knowledge is power” and really understanding the companies that you and/or your company are targeting and why.
The CSO Insights study pointed out that companies are starting to track “trigger events” to find new sales opportunities. For example, things like C-level and VP-level management changes, new ERP initiatives, new data center openings, Big Data initiatives, etc. Watching sales trigger events related to your target accounts, industries, and territories will put you ahead of the competition by quickly reacting to opportunities at exactly the right time.
Another thing to take note of is not only how the company has done in the past, but also what are their future business & technology initiatives? Have their revenues, profits and capital expenditures continued to rise year after year? Are they spending budget on technology, marketing and training? Make sure you do your homework and know exactly why you’re targeting your named accounts. Don’t waste time on accounts that have no sales potential.
Finding this information is not always easy and can be extremely time consuming. Searching Google, Bing or Yahoo or using sales intelligence tools can save you a ton of time. Individual company websites can also be a great source of information for news and press releases. You can also follow companies on Twitter, read publications or executive blogs that report on specific named accounts and industries.
I’ve found that Fortune Magazine is a treasure chest if you’re targeting large enterprise accounts. They recently published the updated Fortune 500 list according to 2012 revenues. You can quickly see companies that are doing well and moving up the ranks, like Apple, who went from #17 last year to #5 this year. They also have the highest percentage of annual growth since 2002 out of any Fortune ranked company. This isn’t very surprising considering the increased sales of the iPad and the iPhone and the constant release of updated technology, encouraging consumers to always want the latest and greatest. If you’re targeting large enterprise accounts, check out Fortune.com to find out about other companies who made it on the list, who dropped off, and who has continued to lose (or grow) revenue year after year.
Strategic Account Planning takes a ton of time. Make sure the accounts you’re pursuing are the right ones. Do a little research, quickly find sales opportunities by receiving sales trigger event emails and use sales tools that help you with both the build target account lists and save time! Check out our free “orange paper” about building a strategic account plan, the do’s and don’ts and other helpful tips: http://www.salesquest.com/blog/strategic-account-plan/
trisha dot ellis at salesquest dot com