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Sales Coaching

Target Accounts are Critical to Your Success

Sales leaders are always discussing how we can get more production from our teams. There are many different things we discuss. Prospecting, follow up, presentation, closing, and the list goes on. All these are a part of it, but I am convinced that one element is critical. It is the establishment of a proper prospective account target list.

Most reps say they want to grow their business, but my experience has been that not many have a written list of potential accounts that they plan to acquire, one that will ultimately produce the growth they desire.

Is it necessary to have this formalized list. Can’t we just keep the list in our head and go from there? The answer is an emphatic no!!!

Well why not, sir?

Glad you asked.

First, it is a long established fact that one must commit to writing any goal that is seriously desired. Something about committing the goal to writing and then reviewing it a few times a day, allows our subconscious minds to propel us toward achieving the goals. Putting these goals in writing makes them real, brings them alive, and creates a path toward their achievement. Acquiring new accounts is a type of goal, so this logic applies.

Second, we need to list the goals (account targets) and fill in details regarding how much revenue and profit they will yield. A smart sales person will be sure there is enough potential volume in their pipeline to provide the growth they need.

Third, we must estimate the number of qualified targets we will close and use that figure as the projection. No one sells 100% of their targets. We figure a 20% close rate on a qualified accounts but your mileage may vary.

Fourth, keep in mind that the target account must fit our ideal customer profile. They must be an account that we can provide solutions to their potential problems. If we don’t solve problems in their world then why would we pursue them?

So, if creating a target list is so important, why don’t salespeople create one? I think their are a couple reasons.

One, I don’t think their leaders have discussed the importance of it in a way that connects and creates action. Maybe the leader is not convinced.

Two, a physiological consideration is at play. It is the same consideration that is in play in all goal setting exercises. That is, people subconsciously do not want to set goals because of a fear they will fail to reach the goal. This failure to reach the goal might make them feel bad about themselves, and after all, who wants to feel bad about ourselves?

We must push past this road block by realizing that if we work the numbers correctly we can’t help but reach the goal. Failure to close some of the accounts is normal to the process. Failing to reach any goal is going to happen at times. However, we can’t allow our psyche to block our achievement by keeping us from even trying.

Take action today. Get started. Put some accounts down in a list and begin evaluating their potential. Ask your sales leader or some other business person for advice as you form the list. The main thing is to take action on this now!

About Louie Davis

Sales Leader and Coach Vice President of Sales at Central Paper Company Birmingham, Alabama President +Plus Sales Training and Coaching


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