6 Reasons Why, In Sales Management, Bigger Isn’t Always Better
You are up against a formidable goal and not hitting your sales quota. As you do the math, you conclude that it is not worth trying to land smaller sales; they simply will not move the needle enough to insure you beat your quota. So you lock your sites on large accounts.
I have seen lists of prospects that look more like a who’s who of high profile businesses than a sales pipeline. Sales managers often sail right past the pipeline review, as they take a cursory look and decide that the sales pipeline is brimming with “A” list talent. The result is often a heap of unrealized revenue and a dejected sales force with empty pockets. Yes, sales people are getting appointments and making proposals, but they haven’t closed anything substantial in a long time, right?
So what should we do about it?
First of all, to exceed your sales goals, stop hunting just for the big game. Strive instead to have a healthy mix of prospects with different potential revenue opportunities. Sure, the smaller accounts will not move the needle overnight, but there are many reasons why they can be a better play for the sales force. Here are a few of those reasons:
- Smaller accounts will teach you how to perfect the way you execute the sales process and, more importantly, understand your prospect’s buying cycle.
- Smaller accounts may have a shorter buying cycle due to the fact that there may be less layers of management.
- Sell enough smaller accounts and it will serve as an insulator against some of the peaks and valleys that are common in sales.
- Smaller accounts build confidence, momentum and draw a blueprint for targeting other accounts in that vertical marketplace.
- Consistently closing any type of account will provide you with job security; sales people converting new business do not get fired, period.
- Small accounts can become large accounts.
Now about big game. I certainly recommend keeping some large accounts in your sights. These accounts must be pursued using a skilled methodology. There are indeed advanced sales techniques for unlocking closed doors, but these skills are honed through amassing sales victories. Sales victories are a key to getting that “been there before” confidence that will guide your steps through the complex sale.
Questions for you:
- What is the ratio of large accounts to smaller accounts in your pipeline?
- Are you pursuing both with similar vigor?
- Can you share a story about lessons learned from closing smaller accounts?