Selling into Key Accounts
Selling to big companies requires great patience and a good understanding of that business, with awareness of the corporate issues and challenges that are affecting them specifically.
Understanding these specific issues is the key to dealing with big company accounts. But, it is hugely risky to start investigations with the ultimate decision maker. The person who has most visibility of how you as a supplier may be able to help his company (the primary decision maker), will probably not delight in playing the role of information provider.
Your initial pitch to an ultimate decision maker will be significantly strengthened if research has already taken place lower down the organisation. The ideal is someone who has visibility of how you can deliver value to the business based on first or second hand knowledge of issues that you as a prospective supplier are able to positively address, without necessarily being directly involved in any relevant future purchasing decision.
So if you are in the business of selling IT solutions you may well want to start with a sales person or a database person. Why? Because if you can understand what sales people say are the reasons preventing them from being as effective as they could or should be, you will be able to specifically relate your initial sales proposition to that business. It may be that the sales people feel the leads that marketing are supplying them are poorly targeted or qualified, and that their hit rates are suffering as a consequence. But, the proposition is much more powerful when you gather specific intelligence to take to the primary decision maker. This information must be well presented and credible. It is the difference between a weak generic proposition and a specific one - it is the difference between speaking to a key authority and saying, ‘we’ve helped other companies like you….’ And being able to say, ‘we can probably help you solve a key business issue that your organisation is experiencing at the moment, and so-and-so says this is how your business performance is being affected as a result of this issue.’
Strategic Planning & Execution
This degree of strategic planning and execution required to maximise your impact when you speak to primary decision makers and make it easy for them to justify spending time with you is significant.
You have to build a business case which needs to be delivered at the right time to the right person or persons. Some care is required to evaluate who is the decision maker as this information is not always apparent. You often only have one chance of success with your decision maker, so research is so important from the onset.
When we work with a client we evaluate their sales policies and how well their sales techniques actually work. We have personal experience in selling into key accounts and gaining large accounts and are keen to share this with you. Our experience can make a difference to your sales and we will show you new and successful ways of landing those big accounts!
We hope you found this information useful. We would like to remind you that this subject is best served, and more effective as part of a complete marketing plan or strategy, rather than in isolation. For further expert advice please contact us to discuss your requirements or post a question in our blog.
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