How do you prioritize your accounts and keep track of the most important initiatives in a large sales territory?
This is a question we often hear from sales leaders, and it’s a topic that we could spend hours, days, or weeks examining in depth. In this brief article, we’ll look at two powerful resources that can keep sales teams (and sales leaders) on track: the KARE profiling system and the Pursuit Navigator tool – both of which were created by Sandler.
KARE profiling is a powerful strategy component in territory management that identifies each of your prospects and clients with one clear designation: Keep, Attain, Recapture, or Expand.
Note that this KARE acronym reminds you to tag each of your prospects and clients with a simple designation. It also challenges both sales leaders and sales professionals to identify some critical priorities. Instead of simply “going out to generate more business,” the members of the team have a clear idea of what kind of business they are looking to develop. So: What percentage of a team member’s agreed-upon quota should be coming from accounts we want to Keep? From new logos we want to Attain? From former clients/customers we want to Recapture? From current clients/customers whose investment in our solutions we want to Expand? We need to find out! If we fail to set those targets, we are much more likely to experience disconnects, false starts, and missed opportunities. A side note: it never ceases to amaze me how many sales teams treat all their accounts as identical in nature – and identical in strategic importance. They’re not! To learn more about Sandler’s KARE profiling system, check out this video.
The Pursuit Navigator tool was developed to address two problems often encountered by teams dealing with more complex accounts: assessing risks and creating a roadmap.
Here’s an example of what I mean. In a traditional sale with a short selling cycle, having only a single point of contact within an account might not be ideal, but it would not necessarily present a major competitive vulnerability. But in more complex accounts, the situation is very different. Having only one point of contact is a huge element of risk that calls into question whether the opportunity should even be pursued! In more complex accounts, there are many similar potential obstacles to consider. Pursuing a complex account that you have little chance of winning may mean losing major financial investments and time investments of multiple team members. We must also consider the lost opportunity cost of not pursuing other selling activities. The truth is, there are some accounts that, by definition, present potentially risky undertakings, and we must intelligently manage the risks. Some pursuits are so expensive, take so long, and can change so fast that we must make smart Go/No-Go decisions at many points in
the sales cycle. So, while in a traditional sale, we generally make one decision about whether or not to pursue the business, and then keep going until a decision is reached, we can’t do that with highly complex enterprise opportunities. The Sandler Pursuit Navigator tool is all about setting intelligent priorities and making smart Go/No-Go decisions. Using Pursuit Navigator is not so much a one-time event as it is a way of doing business. It’s based on a simple principle: early exit or early acceleration! To learn more about the tool and how it can help you set intelligent territory management priorities by identifying risks and mitigation strategies, watch this.
You can quickly and dramatically enhance your territory management by making intelligent assessments about the types of accounts you want to pursue, and by making strategically sound decisions about when, whether, and how to pursue the larger, more complex opportunities. The two resources I’ve shared with you here can help you to do just that. Good selling! Listen to this podcast to learn more about large territory account management.