How to drive Instant and Easy Organic Sales Growth

Arrow textI get really angry and frustrated sometimes when I consult with sales managers who say they are desperate to increase sales and then tell me that their solution is to make more sales calls and increase the activity levels of the sales team.

If your sales guys are making more than 50 contacts a day then they are NOT sales people they are order takers.  If you have a team of order takers and especially if your average order value is so low that the decision to buy can be instant then you could get most of your current sales via e-commerce, a good email campaign or at least a much lower paid customer service team.

If you are going to hire real sales people you need them to sell so that your business can grow. You need to have deeper conversations with fewer and more highly targeted buyers and crucially invest more time in your existing clients that have with the potential to drive organic growth.

In this Blog I am going to concentrate on Account Management as less than half of the businesses I meet that NEED an Account Management approach have one and most of those that say that they Account Manage usually don’t have a clue as to what Account Management really means.

So what is Account Management?

Well it is not ‘just being a bit nicer to your best accounts’ which sums up the answer I get from most people. It is consultative selling turbo charged and mixed with a strategic approach to selling to your most valuable accounts.  By strategic approach I mean you actually have to have a strategic plan, set objectives, goals, strategies and measures for each key account.

OK here is the sales bit – Account Management is a strategic process for maximising the revenue and profit opportunities within your top accounts – and its not that complicated!

Take a look at your client base – 80% of your revenue comes from your top 20% of clients.  Don’t believe me get the spreadsheets out and do the math, in any mature professional sales business this 80/20 rule applies and it’s called – Pareto’s Law.

Now ask your self the question – Which of your clients do your competitors want?  Yup that’s right whilst your team are cold calling 100 people a day who don’t want to speak to you your competitors are calling your best clients and (because they can’t sell either) offering them a discount to move their business away from you.

If you don’t engage your most important clients on a deeper level then you are vulnerable to cost cutting but here is the good news

  • It is 50% easier to increase your sales to existing clients than it is to find new ones of the same value
  • Pricing can be 10-20% higher on a well managed account over time!
  • If you target fast growing companies and then Account Manage them your sales will grow organically and you won’t have to win more business to increase your turnover.
  • Account Management vastly reduces customer churn

So should your business adopt a Strategic Account Management approach?

Intelligise – Account Management Questionnaire (5 mins)

Answer the following questions of your company YES or No and then count the YES answers to find out:

  1. If you need to adopt a Strategic Account Management approach
  2. If Account Management is right for you what level of sales and price increase should you expect to generate after one year.


  1. Do you sell mainly on a lower price than the competition?
  2. Do you have transactional relationships rather than close relationships with your larger customers?
  3. Are you in a position to give knowledgeable advice so that clients could make smarter purchases and use your products more effectively if only they would listen?
  4. If your customers used your products more effectively would there be additional revenues to be had for your company?
  5. Are your clients unaware of that you could do for them?
  6. Are your larger clients loyal only till someone offers them a better price?
  7. Do your clients often have offices in other locations / divisions / subsidiaries that you could also service but don’t?
  8. Do your clients have multiple budget holders and dispersed decision making?
  9. Do your sales decrease rapidly when your competitors chase your business with discounts?
  10. Do your sales efforts focus mostly on chasing new business and do you feel that in this economy that is getting harder?
  11. Would your clients find it hard to say that you were always on time and gave fantastic customer service?
  12. Do you spend more time fire-fighting customer problems than selling and driving the business forward?

Results: Number of “Yes” Statements

0 – 4 = Low requirement but you may get some benefit from handling your top two or three accounts this way

5 – 8 = Account Management approach required for your top 20% of accounts size wise as they should be generating 80% + of your total turnover. Adopting a successful Account Management strategy could result in turnover increasing by between 10 and 20%, and price by between 5 and 10%.

9 – 12 = You need to adopt a consultative selling and strategic account management approach – tout de suite – your business is vulnerable to competitor action and could decline rapidly. Adopting a successful Account Management strategy could result in turnover increasing by between 15 and 25%, and price by between 10 and 20%.

Note: If you have a large number of clients (50+), Scored between 9 and 12 on the test and currently do not adopt an Account Management approach you need to restructure your approach ASAP. If you are based in the UK get in touch today and I will see if I can help you

Everyone else watch this space for more helpful tips on Account Management soon

Gordon Intelligise – Be Brilliant


5 Responses to “How to drive Instant and Easy Organic Sales Growth”

  1. 1 Alex Gutman September 8, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Very good article.
    Trivial knowledge-yet very few companies think this way.

  2. 2 thenewgoldenrules September 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Alex

    Thanks for taking time to comment – Trivial if like me you cut your teeth account managing for Procter and Gamble but Vital if like most people who start their own businesses you don’t have a sales background!

    As you say very few people think this way including a lot of so called expert sales managers on big bucks salaries.

    Intelligise – Be Brilliant

  3. 3 Stephen Smith September 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    It’s easy to get locked at the coalface in the current economic situation. Advice like this is much appreciated.

    • 4 Richard McKay October 3, 2009 at 3:52 pm

      Some excellent advice in this post. Will be looking into Pareto’s Law for our business.

      • 5 thenewgoldenrules October 4, 2009 at 11:04 pm

        Hi Richard

        Thanks for the comment

        I write this bog to help people have a think about how to engage clients on a deeper level and the seminar room you have in you Glasgow showroom demonstrates that you are already thinking that way.

        If you ever want to pick my brains on client engagement sales and marketing just pick up the phone.

        Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp
        Intelligise Be Brilliant

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