Written by: Lisa Rose
According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to existing accounts who are happy is up to 14x higher than the probability of selling to a new customer. Selling to existing customers is much easier than finding new customers, but many salespeople don’t have the skills to do it well.
As a sales manager, you can help your sales team tap into the revenue potential of their existing customer base by coaching them on these essential skills.
Tip 1. Prioritize Accounts
Some accounts provide more opportunity than others. Help your salespeople identify where to focus their time and attention based on factors such as size, industry, fit, and strength of relationship.
Accounts that are open to new ideas and that welcome a more strategic relationship are usually better targets for growth. Likewise, when a company is growing aggressively, it may be more likely to provide growth opportunities for you as well.
Have each salesperson maintain a target list of priority accounts, and spend time every week developing them.
Tip 2. Go Deeper
The key to selling more to existing accounts is deeper client relationships that instill customer loyalty and customer retention. (Remember, a loyal customer not only buys more, but offers word-of-mouth marketing and referral opportunities.)
Coach your salespeople to dedicate time to connecting with key clients, building a relationship, and focusing on customer service. It can be helpful to develop a more personal connection with activities such as sending holiday cards, asking about family, and discussing common interests.
Even more important is building trust and credibility around business strategy. Teach your salespeople to demonstrate their business acumen whenever possible, as well as fulfilling commitments, and taking an active interest in their clients’ success.
Going deep also means selling deeper into the organization. Coach sales reps to map out the decision-making unit to better understand the purchasing dynamics of the organization, discover new business opportunities, and sell higher up.
Tip 3. Be Proactive
If your salespeople aren’t on top of their accounts, their competitors will be.
Help your team develop strategies for growing customer loyalty even when they’re not actively buying. Check in regularly to find out how they’re performing against their strategy, and ask them questions like these:
- What are your priorities this year? How are you doing against those priorities so far?
- What challenges are you facing right now in your market? Have they changed since the last time we talked?
- How are you performing against your competitors right now? Why is that? Has it changed since the last time we talked?
- How are our services/products working for you? Are you getting the results you expected? Why or why not? How can we help you get better results?
Asking these questions not only ensures customer satisfaction, it will clue your sales reps into new business opportunities that may exist.
Tip 4. Be Consultative
The most effective way to uncover new business opportunities is to become a trusted advisor to your clients.
Teach your salespeople to approach every sales conversation as a consultation focused on the customer’s strategic goals.
This means they must do their homework, understand the customer’s business, and dig deep in their conversations to uncover needs the customer is aware of, and those that they’re not.
When salespeople help customers develop strategies for solving their problems, they become trusted partners and improve customer satisfaction. This strengthened customer relationship will increase your reps’ ability to sell more services and products in the future.
Tip 5. Know All Your Services
To fully tap into the business opportunities of your key accounts, salespeople must be experts in your product line.
Invest in product training for your salespeople, so they can easily identify opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.
They should understand not only what products or services your company offers, but also how they might complement other products or services you sell. Having an in-depth knowledge of your offerings will help your reps confidently introduce new solutions the moment a need is uncovered.
Tip 6. Implement a Process
Working with existing accounts can provide ample low-hanging fruit for a sales team to grab.
When you put a process in place to repeat that success, grabbing that fruit becomes automatic, which improves efficiency and productivity.
Make sure your salespeople know which products and services are a natural “next buy” based on what customers are currently using, and other factors inside their organizations.
Establish a process that includes any tasks and activities unique to your organization, industry, and customers, and place the process inside your CRM software to make it easy for your reps to execute.
Tip 7. Invest in Training
Many sales teams leave enormous opportunities laying on the table while competitors swoop in to take them, simply because of a lack of training.
Effective account management training will help your salespeople master the art of organizing, managing, and growing their most profitable business accounts.
Go to our website: www.ncmalliance.com