How to Expand Current Accounts

How to Expand Current Accounts
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The Truth about Sales Success
Most seasoned sales managers know that it’s easier to sell more to current accounts than it is to establish new ones. But do you realize just how effective cross- and up-selling existing customers can be? And how do you expand current accounts?

On average, research has shown that your chance of success selling to:

  • existing customers is almost 70%, and
  • new prospects is between 5 and 20%.

A pretty stark contrast and a persuasive reason to focus a good measure of your time on understanding, navigating, and expanding current accounts. The question is how best to go about it?

The Fallacy of Growth Through Satisfaction
First, you must not fall prey to a long-held business sales training misperception.  If you are among the almost 9 out of 10 salespeople who believe that client account growth is driven by great support and service, we’re glad you’re reading this.

Though you may have lots of company, you and your colleagues are mistaken!

According to Gartner, though superior service helps retain customers, it has no impact on account growth. Why?  Because every client expects it and, for the most part, every competitor does it satisfactorily enough. 

Here’s How to Change Your Mindset
If you want to expand your current accounts, it’s time to reset your thinking, your approach, and the way you spend your time. Here’s how:

  1. Rationalize Your Accounts
    By definition, not all accounts are of equal value and potential.  Define your ideal target client profile and objectively prioritize your accounts against your unique value proposition in terms of account performance and potential.

    Don’t forget to include how easy or difficult they are to serve or retain and how high their switching costs would be to move to another partner.
  2. Plan Your Time
    Every company needs to spend some time to fill the pipeline with new attractive prospects to have healthy growth.

    If you want to expand current accounts, follow Strategic Account Planning Training best practices by ensuring that you have the time, motivation, and competence to know what matters most to your top accounts, have strong trusted advisor relationships across multiple decision making levels, and exceed expectations at every moment of truth.
  3. Provide Real Value
    Focus on how you can directly help your current clients succeed. What could help them improve performance or reduce any threats to their business? Watch for trends in the marketplace that will affect them and look for ways that your offerings can add significant value.
  4. Become a Trusted Advisor
    Make sure you know what your customers’ priorities are ? both personal and professional. Then act as a partner in their success. What insight can you provide that will broaden their perspective and help them consider new ideas that will be of benefit?

    You will know you are on the right path when your key accounts reach out to you for advice, bring you into their inner circle, and involve you early in the strategy and planning processes.

The Bottom Line
With your customer at the center of your thinking and approach, you demonstrate your commitment to their success. Sure, you need to continue to provide excellent service. But that’s the ticket to play, not the guarantee that they’ll buy more.

To learn more about how to expand current accounts, download How to Identify and Meet the “Right” People in Your Strategic Accounts

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