Document your value

There is not a better prospect for your business than someone who has already bought from you. As I work with sales people to help them close out their year – I have found an alarming trend that I thought was a thing of the past. We take our current clients for granted and assume that they can monetize our partnership without our help. It is textbook and a hunter’s mentality. However it is incumbent upon us – especially selling to current customers in this economy – that we take the time to demonstrate our value.

The Complex Sale has a great account management strategy that starts by segmenting your base of accounts into three categories – Revenue, Reference-ability, and Relationship. On a scale of 1 – 4 take the base of accounts and rank each category in relation to the importance of your success. For example – if one company gave you half of your revenue last year – then they would be a 1 in revenue. If another company gave you all of your references – then they would be a 1 in reference-ability. If another company isn’t really profitable for you – puts you out to bid every year and avoids you at the association meetings – they get a 4 in every category.

We segment these accounts so that we can give unequal time to unequal clients. With the customers that you have selected as a 1 – we need to quantify our value in the form of ROI, TCO, meeting specific Key Performance Indicators or business objectives. Ask your sponsor to work with you to help document this value.  One trap that you will have to avoid is the better, faster, automated, cheaper response that you will inevitably get from your sponsor. Documenting value is hard work and something your sponsor may find difficult. However, once you have a quantified demonstration of your value – that is equivalent to a “golden hall pass” that will make your next opportunity much less competitive.

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