from the  1990’s
Michael Marshall
‘The Business Doctor”


Number 1


‘Account Penetration’
‘Increasing Sales, Profits and Cost Savings’
Account penetration is fundamental to good business and increasing sales revenues

Even with this being stated, this fundamental is not being done affectively often enough by staff or by businesses

Processes and measurements are rarely developed and implemented to assure that this fundamental is accomplished

Common mistakes made by sales, marketing and customer service staff;

– not communicating with more than a few contacts in a customer or account

– not developing business relationships with more contacts in more departments and functions within all customers and accounts

– not developing contacts with all levels in all departments

– not probing enough to uncover both current needs and potential future needs in all customers and all departments or functions no matter of the sales dollar potential

– not understanding gate keeper, influencer, decision maker, inside promoter, inside intelligence contacts

– not understanding that no one contact has all of the information or influence that you need to be successful in working with the customer to its fullest potential

– not understanding that when your one or few contacts leave the customer that you will be left with no business relationships
Depending on the products and services being sold, the customer,
and their departments or functions, key contacts can range from 2 to 21 per customer

In example;

Let’s say that a particular customer has six departments or functions.
Some departments have two important contacts to have, some have 3 and others have four or five.

This can add up to possibly 12 to 21 important contacts and business relationships to develop and keep maintained.

This can only be accomplished and maintained with a combination of things

– A matrix per customer and account with such information on it; department or function, contact name with title and responsibilities

– Management uses this matrix for frequent account reviews and traveling out in the field with sales staff

– Customer service staff uses this to help maintain appropriate relationships and communications

– Utilizing an easy to use electronic database and keep all information current
Estimates of the cost for personal account visits range from $200. to $500. and are increasing

A business cannot afford non-productive account visits

A combination of telephone communications and personal visits are very affective in uncovering new sales opportunities, becoming important and valuable to customers, building business relationships and keeping customers

Some studies indicate:

60-70% of personal customer visits are done with customer contacts that have no influence or authority to purchase

45 – 50% of key contacts in accounts move on to other jobs in other companies every year

In the industrial market there is an average of 5 – 7 key contacts as influencers and decision makers for each purchase

Most sales growth come from being proactive with uncovering customers’ current and future needs

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