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The First Step in Account Planning for Growth

In a one of our SellingBrew Playbook tutorials entitled, “Developing Prescriptive Account Plans,” the author outlines a seven step process for creating account plans focused on specific growth opportunities.

And as a highly data-driven process, I can definitely see how this approach would be far superior to just relying on each salesperson’s innate ability to “sense” growth opportunities in their book of business.

But out of the seven steps outlined in the tutorial, I found myself reflecting on the critical importance of the very first step the author recommends…

Step 1: Getting beyond the biggest accounts.

Here at SellingBrew, we see that there are a lot of B2B companies who don’t develop account plans at all. And the ones that do? Well, they tend to develop plans for just those customers at the top of the list—the largest accounts that currently generate the most sales revenue.

In the tutorial, the author explains why taking this somewhat intuitive approach will likely cause you to overlook the bulk of your growth opportunities:

In all likelihood, your biggest customers are the biggest because you’ve already captured the bulk of the opportunity they represent for you. The truth of the matter is that most companies find that their largest opportunities for growth are with customers who aren’t yet giving all they can.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t focus on your largest customers? Of course not—retaining your largest accounts is crucial to your very survival.

But it does suggest that if you’re looking for significant growth, you should focus your attentions on customers further down the list, where you haven’t already captured the opportunity.

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