If you want to be acquired, you need to be thinking strategically about how you want to position your business. Strategic business management is about building up the infrastructure so that it has value to WOW potential purchasers. It involves identifying strategic accounts, determining what key accounts will drive revenue and learning how to leverage the mass markets.
Here’s how I suggest you start organizing your strategic account strategy:
Identify your Accounts
If you’re a 2-3 million dollar business there are two customer classifications. The “keep the lights on customers” are the guys you’re going to define and set expectations for. They’re the resources so it’s important to maintain these accounts. The ”future of the business customers” are the strategic accounts that you need to deliberately chase. Assign these accounts to a senior sales rep at an intermediate rate to intentionally over invest in the customer.
Concentration revenue is a problem in small companies as many fail to maximize revenues from new logos. It costs a lot of money to bring a new account through the door, so you want to at least guarantee you make back your expenses. The magic number for me is 8%. Have 8% of customers own the vast majority of your business and don’t grow one customer until you grow the whole base.
Sell Strategically, not by the Masses
When making your sales strategy you need to establish your ideal customer mix, which I often recommend being 80% strategy, 20% mass. Establishing this early on helps your team buy into the actions required to make the strategic account strategy a success.
Create a Tactical Strategy
Often, the reality of the day-to-day overwhelms the ability to be strategic. To create a strategy that your team can execute, it has to have tactical components. This means creating a strategy that can be implemented as a function of the tactical strategy they already know without adding incremental actions to their daily activities.
Align Your Sales Team
Make sure your sales team is on board for the new strategy and once all questions have been answered and they’ve mutually agreed, define the activity and create a cadence of accountability to make sure everyone understands their responsibilities. The accountability cadence is used to measure that the team is upholding the commitments they agreed upon.
Once you have the strategy set in place, it becomes management’s responsibility to make sure the team continues to commit. If your alignment is good, implementing your strategy should be seamless.