How to Build A Strong Account Strategy

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 knowing how to leverage the mass markets.

Here’s how I suggest you build a strong account strategy:

Identify your Accounts

If you’re a 2-3 million dollar business there are two customer classifications. There's the “keep the lights on customers” and the "future of the business customers”. The former, are the accounts you maintain and set expectations for. They’re your key revenue sources. The latter is the strategic accounts you deliberately chase. Assigning these accounts to a senior sales rep at an intermediate rate ensures you over-invest in the customer, which majority of the time, has a long-term payoff. 

Maximize Revenue

Concentration revenue is a problem faced by many small companies who 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 is 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. That's why the strategy you adopt must have tactical components. By implementing your strategy as a function of the tactical strategy they already know, it doesn't add incremental actions to their daily activities.

Align Your Sales Team

Once your sales team accepts the strategy, define the execution tasks. Enforce these tasks with a cadence of accountability to ensure 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.