Landing a major enterprise account is a terrific achievement. And not just because of how complex the sales process is, but also because of how much opportunity enterprise accounts have for growth.
Scaling an enterprise account is one of the best ways for a sales team to smash quota – far beyond just the next quarter. For example, retaining and growing an existing customer is less expensive than finding a new one. Increasing customer retention rates by even a small percentage can turn into a much larger boost in your company’s profit.
Also, due to the sheer size of enterprise accounts, they offer more deals overall compared to smaller accounts (on average). Plus, they have a bigger average deal size to boot.
With huge potential comes more competition and challenges, though. If you want to mine and farm key accounts and grow your company’s share of wallet, you have to sell smarter with account-based selling. Plus, you’ll need the right tools to get it done.
The secret weapon that sales pros need but often don’t have is the ability to find and analyze the white space within a company and plan your attack strategically. There’s a tool that we’ll mention in a bit that you can use to scale up this approach. First, you need to understand the process and how to use this tool within an overall sales account plan.
Start From the Initial and Move From the Ideal
Think of the deal that landed you the enterprise account. How did it come about? What need or gap in the company’s abilities did it fill?
For every deal beyond the first, you’re using the same principle: identifying gaps in service. But – and this is key – you won’t find every gap with your first conversation. Or your second. Or your fifth, tenth, and so on.
It takes many conversations to fully explore what all a company can do with your help. Finding these gaps starts with the initial opportunity over a short period of time and moves toward the longer-term view – the ideal situation for the company.
Moving from initial to ideal is accomplished in steps. Each deal you explore will lead to other avenues of opportunity. Each of these avenues can lead to more, until you’ve branched out into every division, business unit, team, and service line.
Why is this important? Enterprise sales cycles vary even within an account. Knowing where you are now and where you would like to be at any given point down the road will keep you aligned with internal sales cycles. It also ensures that you’re not left out of the conversation.
A scalable sales process starts with a long-term objective that consists of your sales goals; without one, you won’t have a path your sales team can follow.
As you plug new contacts and new data into your Salesforce CRM, you’ll start to notice an interesting trend. At any level within a company – from one group to a business unit and the entire organization – you’ll encounter a special group that keeps popping up over and over again.
This leads to…
Find the Buying Center of Gravity
Per the Pareto principle, in any level of any account, about 80% of an account’s growth and new sales opportunities come from 20% of the people you talk to.
In other words, there exists a buying center of gravity. This center consists of those essential stakeholders that are either the initial source of your deals, or have some kind of influence over deals.
The buying center of gravity is important to find because it potentially offers a fertile source of supporters and champions. You find this key group by mapping out the stakeholder hierarchies and influence. You also draw connections between contacts based on conversations and data analysis.
A relationship mapping app is invaluable for sales teams when it comes to understanding often-complicated structures beyond a simple org chart. Sales account planning at the enterprise level involves a ton of moving parts. A relationship map helps you keep track of these moving parts so they don’t get away from you, especially if you can update it dynamically by just dragging and dropping Salesforce contacts.
(Here’s one app that lets you do exactly that.)
Once you have your sales account plan updated with your buying center of gravity, using a special tool to explore unclaimed territory is the next step in the scalable sales process.
Find Growth Opportunity with a White Space Report
In sales account planning, white space is the gap between what you deliver now and what you could deliver later.
Scaling up is all about filling in as much white space as possible and growing your share of wallet. But without a strategic way to uncover opportunities, your market share will stay the same (or shrink once your competitors get going).
A white space report, then, is a major part of the strategic account planning process. You are essentially outlining opportunities to grow market share based on what you’ve uncovered in your prospecting within the account.
In enterprise sales, opportunities often come from outside of the main division or business unit that houses your current deal. They come at different times, in different cycles, and from different individuals. The only way to keep track of these variables is to know your white space. However, doing this work manually can easily eat into resources.
Fortunately, Salesforce can help. Salesforce users can leverage the CRM’s tools as a foundation for gathering data about current enterprise customers and deals.
But, to get into account-based selling and scaling up white space exploration, you’ll need to expand the core capabilities of Salesforce with native platforms.
So, how can you turn Salesforce into a strategic account planning tool and pinpoint those prime opportunities for expansion? Well, one of our apps – CRUSH – has a white space report feature called CRUSH Cross-Sell that does just that. This gives you the capability of finding room for growth with just a few clicks.
Using a tool to automate sales account planning is the only way to grow your share of wallet at scale. And with a tool like CRUSH Cross-Sell, even an individual sales rep can gobble up market share in a major account.
The next time you’re looking for ways to power up your strategic account planning process, consider a system to dive deep into your account’s white space. Opportunities will emerge, almost like magic, but it’s not magic – it’s technology. And it works.