Well, first of all, what the heck is a TOP Line Account™? A ‘TOP Line Account’ is your biggest and best prospect and/or current customer poised for expansion. Sometimes referred to as a ‘Million Dollar Deal’ (which might be 100K or 10m+ depending on your business); these top opportunities are complex in nature and require a strategic approach and framework. Barbara Weaver Smith, in her timeless book, ‘Whale Hunting’ says it this way, “The whales – are those customers whose potential deal is 10 to 20 times the size of your average deal.” TOP Line Accounts™ are essential to every organization that wants to grow and thrive.
Now that we’re clear on what it is, let’s delve into why TOP Line Accounts™ will change your business. TOP Line Accounts™ tend to be transformative for an organization in that they open up possibilities that didn’t exist before. They will force your company to the next level and allow you to invest in resources to do just that. If handled correctly, they will be your top reference and a banner customer. They will quickly account for a large percentage of your top line revenue and tend to grow year over year. They represent the crown jewel of your client base and must be treated accordingly to maintain and expand. We all need and want TOP Line Accounts™. The real question is, how do we get them?
Where do you start? Well, the long version is to invest in solid methodologies, tools, training, and coaching. However, for our purposes today, I’m going to serve up the ‘short stack’ or 3 easy steps to success. What can you do today to get started? Follow these 3 steps and you’ll be amazed how much progress you can make.
- Define what a TOP Line Account™ is for your business. Clearly outline who the ideal customer is for a TOP Line Account™. Describe the characteristics of a business who could become one of your TOP Line Accounts™. What are your criteria?
- Start your research process to identify companies and opportunities that meet your ideal client profile. Build a list of prospects. Decide how many to tackle based on bandwidth of the selling and support team.
- Set a clear and measurable goal for each opportunity. Assemble the team and start the strategy meetings. Track milestones and action items to keep the team focused and moving forward. Avoid allowing the team to become distracted by daily fire drills by scheduling a series of strategy meetings over time. Maintain focus on the big picture and the ROI will surely come.
Really, it’s that simple. Yes, and that complex too. However, if you start now, you’ll position yourself and your company to enjoy the numerous benefits associated with landing TOP Line Accounts™.