Leveraging Account and Territory Growth Reviews to Ensure Sales Success

Every quarter, about one-third of sales leaders fall short of their goals, according to recent industry research. If you have ever found yourself in this situation, you know how uncomfortable your life becomes.

Luckily, there are several ways you can improve the likelihood of attaining your sales objectives.

First, look at your average sales cycle times and compare them against the opportunities in your pipeline. Identify the low-hanging fruit you can win in the near-term. Dedicate the right resources to close those opportunities. For example, if your typical sales cycle is 2-3 months for average-sized opportunities and 4-6 months or more for larger deals, you can easily determine if there’s enough in your pipeline to make up any missed production in the quarter.

If your pipeline is too light, you can expand your current quarter pipeline by:

Your First Focus

We recommend that you first focus on your existing accounts. Sales cycles in existing accounts are usually shorter. You should also have more visibility into customers’ needs and where you can add value. It may also be easier from a financial, legal, and procurement standpoint if contracts and service agreements are already in place.

For your high-potential accounts, coach your salespeople to look beyond obviously defined needs and identify undefined needs that can be addressed. This can be accomplished more easily through a simple exercise called white space analysis.  White space analysis enables you to clearly and quickly identify new high-value opportunities in accounts. Download our simplified White Space Analysis worksheet to get started.

This tool helps you find new sales opportunities by mapping your portfolio of solutions to a customer’s critical business issues and initiatives, thereby making a vital connection between your solution and its potential for solving an urgent problem.

Simplified White Space Analysis

simplified white space analysis

Developing Latent Business

Once you’ve exhausted the identification of opportunities in existing accounts, turn your focus to new accounts. Selling into new accounts is usually a longer and more difficult sale, especially if buyers don’t know you or your company well. Most of these opportunities will be latent in nature.

Latent opportunities are those where the buyer is either unaware of a business need that they should address. Or, they are aware but aren’t yet motivated to do anything about it. Your salespeople will need to move these buyers from a latent state to an admitted state and motivate them to take action. This approach is very proactive and creates a competitive advantage, by influencing the buyer’s vision of a solution to one that favors you and your capabilities.

Turning latent opportunities into active opportunities requires a segmentation strategy. A segmentation strategy can apply either at the account level in very large accounts, or within a territory or portfolio of accounts. We recommend creating an ideal account profile, then sorting accounts into three simple categories:

A’s, B’s, and C’s

Qualify Opportunities Rigorously

If your sales team is under pressure to achieve a difficult goal in a limited period of time, the temptation is to try and be everywhere and close everything. The savvy sales leader knows that the best performing sales teams qualify buyers against their compelling reason to act, and their willingness to share their problems (“pain”) and to collaborate to find optimum solutions. The best prospects collaborate and share their timeline and budget expectations. A good sales leader is always confirming that buyers are aligned with sellers and collaborative next steps are identified throughout the buying process.

If you are behind your number, we can help you develop a plan to get you back on track quickly. Please contact us for a confidential discussion.

How You Sell Is the Last Advantage