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Lynn McInturf Associates Incorporated | Cincinnati, OH
 

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Brian Sullivan

It’s that time of year. The holidays loom, there is a chill in the air, and countless articles appear providing guidance to sales representatives about how to close the year strong. The five, ten or twenty best strategies are outlined in checklists to insure end-of-year success. “Contact every client” is an action often recommended, as is “Revisit prospects who have chosen another vendor.”

We’ve all heard the sobering statistics that winning a new major account costs far more than keeping one – depending on the study you read, perhaps twenty times as much. And we’ve all heard how even a small increase in a firm’s overall major client retention rate has an exponentially positive effect on revenues and profits. We also know, of course, that, on the flip side, decreases in retention rates produce similarly negative impacts, often devastating and long-lasting.

We all know the statistics. Most selling organizations derive 80% of their revenues from 20% of their clients. Winning a new major account costs up to 20 times more than keeping a current one. And even a small percentage increase in a firm’s major client retention rate can have an exponentially positive effect on revenues – while similar decreases can produce negative financial impacts, often devastating and long-lasting.

 

Selling to major accounts, also known as enterprise accounts, is radically different from selling in other spaces. For one thing, the major account selling cycle is a continuous process – continuous because there’s no end to the cycle of selling to and serving large accounts. And the streams of transactions over time between buying and selling organizations constitute a client journey with a distinctive itinerary along a clear roadmap, a roadmap that delivers value on an ongoing basis.

 

We know all about the importance of team selling, don’t we? It's that powerful strategy in which multiple team members from different functional areas of a selling organization work collaboratively to win deals. Especially in the enterprise world, team selling is widely implemented.

Read Time: 9 Minutes

In sales, we all bundle our accounts, clients and prospects, into logical groupings to add clarity and understanding to our efforts. We use vertical categories, assembling together our healthcare, consumer products, technology accounts, and others. We also differentiate by geography, adding efficiency in territory management by bundling accounts based on physical locations. 

Read Time: 10 Minutes

In selling to and serving major accounts, team selling is one of the most powerful, and underutilized, competitive advantages. Effectively mobilizing your organization’s most precious assets, its people, often makes the difference between success or failure in large deals. 

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Landing the right enterprise account is a big achievement, with new revenue and healthy margins being two obvious things to celebrate. But unlike smaller account wins, the real significance of the victory is the huge potential for growth over time.

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Of the many daunting challenges that sales teams face in selling into complex enterprise accounts, one of the most frustrating is that of long, drawn-out sales cycles. Months can pass, even years, while pursuing a major opportunity with an enterprise account, an opportunity that may or may not be won. As that precious time passes, the doubt, the uncertainties, the risks and the costs all increase. How can selling organizations overcome this challenge?

Sometimes, even the best product needs a little help from the team to become a legend.