You talk a lot about having a ‘strategic mindset’ and approach for TOP Line Accounts™, how is that different from a simple sales approach?
Most sellers recognize that there is a difference between a simple sale and a strategic sale. A strategic sale requires sellers to do all the basics of their normal sales process but overlay some additional strategically-oriented activities.
For example, a simple sale might be one or two calls, usually involving a single decision maker and straightforward buying criteria, and the perceived risk of the decision to the customer is low.
A strategic sale is longer (months or years), and usually the dollar value is high, with more people involved on both the buyer and seller sides. Additionally, the perceived risks to the customer may be higher, and the buying criteria is much more complex, etc.
It’s important to understand the type of sales situation. Otherwise, sellers might try to push too much, too soon, being unaware of the complexities or perceived risks, or that multiple decision makers or influencers are involved.
I’ve found that sellers know that landing really large deals or TOP Line Accounts™, whether an expansion with a current customer or a new business opportunity, takes more than their normal approach. Strategic elements have to be in place, such as: win themes™, goals and tactics, relationship maps, executive cultivation plans, and competitive assessments. This requires knowledge of exactly what to do and the leadership and discipline to do it. Sometimes sellers need a little help, whether it’s from their sales manager or from an experienced, outside strategic sales coach. However, once the commitment and methodology is in place, there’s no stopping the team to achieve great results.