Account prioritization can be fundamental for a company, but not everybody understands its importance. Here are three compelling reasons why account prioritization is worth it.
Account prioritization is neither novel nor is it something that only world’s largest companies can afford to do. However, it is sometimes underestimated and regarded only as a time-consuming activity that won’t increase the company´s overall sales. In fact, this undervalued strategic tool has significant benefits. Make sure to give it sufficient attention because—when executed carefully—any salesperson can use account prioritization to build a robust pipeline.
It saves you time in the long run.
Benjamin Franklin once said time is money. Whenever you engage in account prioritization, you feel like you are wasting time you could be using on countless other tasks which may seem to have more direct results: calling potential customers, sending a few targeted emails, or browsing LinkedIn to find new leads. However, if salespeople effectively prioritize their accounts, they will understand which customers are more likely to have the greatest impact on the company´s bottom line.
To get a clearer idea, let’s first imagine that we are planning to visit a world-class city for four days. If you do not know which attractions are the most interesting, you’ll probably end up visiting some boring museums, eating in several second-rate restaurants, and you might discover some of the best places right at the end. After this holiday, you are likely to think that it was a huge waste of time and money. Instead, if you read your travel guidebook before starting to visit the city, you will know which attractions to spend your time on, where to go first and what to leave as last. Thus, even though you may not experience everything, you´ll certainly have a holiday to remember.
Time is limited—both on vacations and when working in sales. The amount of possible distractions is limitless. Thus, prioritization is essential in both cases. By planning how to approach different accounts and when, the sales team will be able to focus on the best leads right at the beginning, investing the right amount of time on the most promising customers while leaving the others to the end of the quarter (if there is enough time).
It transforms you into a trusted adviser—to those who most need one.
B2B sales are difficult because transactions often entail considerable amounts of money and, in general, they require trust and credibility. Therefore, your accounts contain companies who took a leap of faith and believed in your business and consequently purchased your products, at least once. The logic that follows is that if they bought from you once and were satisfied with the product, there is a good chance that they will buy from you again. That is why nurturing each relationship is of utmost importance.
However, when hitting targets is the only thing on their minds, salespeople often consider this soft skill less important. Account prioritization allows salespeople to understand how much attention each customer should get, how to schedule their sales calls and how to design an adequate strategy, and–most importantly–it shifts their focus to the long term.
When doing so, they will recognize to which customers they should dedicate time. At that point, if the salesperson has used this tool correctly throughout the year, they can identify the most prominent accounts and foster their relationships with the right individuals within those companies month after month. Making customers feel transactions, may even become their preferred provider.
Account prioritization allows you to track your performance.
Account prioritization provides the same benefits as every other planning activity, i.e., you understand what process you should follow and how you should allocate your treasured time and resources. When salespeople must decide which customers to prioritize, the choice comes from the calculation of different indices: for instance, the potential purchase index, based on the size of the investment, the probability that this purchase will happen, and the urgency of the transaction. We also recommend checking the customer satisfaction index because the more the customer is satisfied with a purchase, the more they will buy again.
In this way, salespeople can obtain an estimate of the potential value of their accounts and, if the sales numbers are disappointing, they can figure out strategies that can address new or current leads to enhance sales performance and reach their targets.
Account prioritization will prevent the sales team from encountering unpleasant surprises all while gaining valuable insights into their sales pipeline. The awareness gained will prove to be critical in the execution phase. In fact, by leveraging the information obtained in the process, account and pipeline management will be more efficient, which will inevitably pay off in the form of handsome dividends in overall sales productivity and your sales team’s quarterly numbers.
Knowing how to prioritize your accounts properly will boost your sales. Join the Inspirational Selling Program to learn how to Account Prioritization along with ten other essential sales skills. Get in touch with Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
“This article was written by Sara Lunardelli (LinkedIn). Sara is a Business Consultant at PDAgroup GmbH. Her main focus is on supporting the sales department by developing new strategies for the company´s growth, prospecting potential leads and identifying new business opportunities.“