Selling and Managing National, Global, and Major Accounts:
It's Probably Easier Than You Think!

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2002

Over the years, I've observed a couple of things about salespeople and managers charged with penetrating and managing Major Accounts.  They experience additional pressures, reflective of the higher sales quotas and dollar volumes expected of them.  They also mistakenly believe that distinct selling strategies are required to sell into key accounts.  All of the principles of High Probability® Selling are completely compatible with Major Accounts Selling.

These principles greatly improve the effectiveness of most salespeople at every level when selling to major accounts.  These same principles apply to sales managers when tracking, supervising, and coaching salespeople.  Here are some of the most relevant High Probability Selling principles:

Maximize market coverage, with fewer salespeople.

No organization is always ready to buy or change suppliers.  Maintain frequent telephone contact with all who influence the buying decision.  However, spend sales time and resources on them only when they are ready to specify or buy your type of products and services.

Major Account Selling is a Team Endeavor.

All sales team members utilize a uniform sales process.  The results of every prospect/customer contact are communicated to the entire team through a standardized communications system.  Everyone knows their role; everyone is committed to the team's objectives.  Sales managers oversee all sales activities, eliminating duplication of efforts and maximizing closing opportunities.

We sell to people - not to companies, corporations or organizations.

Business entities are groups of people who are out to satisfy their own needs in service to a common objective.  Appeal to their motivations on an emotional level while dealing with their logical reasons for buying.  Almost all people buy for emotional reasons and then justify their decisions with logic.

Many people may be ‘influencers’ in the final buying decision.

The decision to buy can be influenced by myriad people, at many different levels within the organization - both positively and negatively.  Meet each of them individually and develop strong relationships.  Gauge the probability of winning the business from every person involved.  Don't waste time with low probability prospects.

Wants are senior to needs.

Prospects buy based upon their priorities, not yours.  Make appointments only with people who want to solve problems that your products and services address - now.  They must be willing to commit the time and money necessary to solve those problems - now.

The most important buying decision factors are trust and respect.

Most people want to buy from someone they trust and respect.  HPS has developed a process to develop a relationship of mutual trust and respect at the first meeting with most prospects.

Closing is a commitment - the final commitment.

Closing sales is a process.  The closing process involves making a series of mutual commitments, beginning with an agreement established during your first contact with a new prospect.  Establish 20 to 40 more mutual commitments during the sales process.  “The Close” is the final commitment, wherein the prospects close themselves without pressure.

Penetrating national, global, and major accounts is easier than you think.  Remember that prospects and customers are just a group of people, who buy collectively in the same way that people buy individually.

Establish trust with each individual.  Work with your other sales team members to share information and maximize efforts.  Follow the linear, systematic High Probability Selling process with each person involved in the decision-making process as it progresses to the final buying decision.

When you learn and follow these principles, you will find that major account selling will become less stressful, more enjoyable - and more profitable!