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Central Scotland | amackie@sandler.com

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What system or model is your business currently using for categorising clients and prospects? From my observations, many businesses have no formal categorising in place. Salespeople within these organisations waste a vast amount of resources. There is no common understanding of what role does each account play in achieving the business goals. Provide clarity and the common language within the organisation by identifying these four account types.


Identify the accounts that are definitely worth keeping. It does not mean that these are the biggest or the most prestigious names. These will be the accounts that bring in a steady amount of business and are profitable. In some cases, keeping an account requires a bigger investment than they bring in. Reconsider if there’s a reason for keeping those.


Establish ideal accounts that match the target profile, those that you aspire to win. These accounts should fit the description “we do not work with them now but would like to”. Determine what are the attributes of the accounts that you are shooting for.


Look at previously active accounts that are worthy of the resources required to win them back. There are many reasons why accounts become inactive. Often, it has little to do with the performance of the business. These accounts fit the description “the issue that caused the account to go cold is no longer relevant and we would like to work with them again”.


Accounts in which there is a great potential for expansion. Expand accounts should fit the description “we see the potential and are willing to make a further investment”. Distinguishing the difference between keep and expand accounts is critical. An account has to be fit either keep or expand description, it can’t be both.

It might be that you are currently working with accounts that fit neither description. It means that the attributes and characteristics of this client do not fit with your business strategy and this will not be a profitable relationship in a long-term.

Identifying these four account types provides invaluable sales management benefit. It allows business leaders and their teams to create a targeted set of actions - specific to the unique needs of each account.

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