Have you maximized the profitability of your customer base? Do you have old customers that could use new products or services from you? It’s important that you set aside some time to think about how you might close new sales with existing customers.
For the sake of analogy, imagine that your customers are olives. You want to make sure that for every olive that you touch, you don’t just press it once to get the extra virgin olive oil. You press it again to get the next grade of oil, and then again to get the next grade of oil. Only after it’s been reduced to a dry pulp do you toss that olive in the compost heap (but don’t do this with your customers, of course!). The moral of the story? Too many salespeople in the efficiency business just go for the first press and then move on. It’s a tremendous waste of potential revenue.
How do you make sure that you're not doing what I just described? Well, you measure account performance quantitatively: perhaps the number of transactions or total revenues generated per customer over the last fiscal year.
Let’s make it personal. What were your average number of transactions and average revenues per customer in the past year?
If you work at a company with multiple salespeople, here’s a great agenda item for your next sales meeting: challenge each of your colleagues to research and calculate the highest number of transactions and the highest amount of revenues he or she has done with a single customer in the last 12 months. In a group of ten salespeople, you’ll likely see a range: “One sale.” “Seven sales.” “Three sales.” The spread on revenues per customer will likely be even more pronounced.
Once you hear the figures, you’ll find yourself asking, “Wait a second. What did you do to get seven sales out of the same customer in a single fiscal year?”
“Well, I did this and this….and oh, I did that as well.”
What’s the next sentence out of your mouth? If you’re the sales manager, it had better be:
“Mr. One Sale, your job is to take Mr. Seven Sales to lunch this week so he can explain to you what he does to nurture relationships through account development. And how about this: I’ll pick up the tab for your lunch, and you can pick up the tab for all of the incremental income tax you’re going to be paying this coming year once you start applying what Mr. Seven Sales is going to tell you he’s already doing to turbocharge his own commissions!”
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