Q2 – Kick into Gear
The second quarter is here, along with the often frenetic countdown toward meeting those quarterly quotas. The sales leadership team 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 to identify a few elephant sized accounts, instructions have been issued to each seller to develop a target list of possible ‘suspect accounts’ who could support a deal worth at least 5X the average contract size. (I.e. A TOP Line Account™)
Does this Happen at your Company?
Account strategy meetings 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 action items discussed and then an agreement to re-group is discussed. Motivation levels seem high initially, and the goals within reach, but then….. NOTHING. A second strategy session 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 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 truly large, game-winning contract
- The lead on the account isn’t strong enough to keep the team together, focused, and accountable
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 mindset, then now is a great time to start. 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. Just pick one opportunity.
Commit. Schedule account strategy sessions on a three-month rolling schedule until the deal is closed.
Accountability Czar. 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.
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.