Most staffing firms understand the common principle that it’s easier and more cost-effective to focus on expanding current accounts rather than acquiring new ones.
We all know that established and repeat customers have an existing rapport, which builds highly valuable customer loyalty.
Having said that, few companies seem to take advantage of this. Account managers and sales teams often become overly preoccupied in managing their existing business relationships rather than using those relationships to penetrate deeper into the account.
Does this scenario sound uncomfortably familiar? We get it. If those existing accounts are enough to consistently meet quotas and sales goals, then it’s easy to settle into a comfort zone. The problem with this tactic is the inevitable shift from profitable comfort zone to barren rut. It a sure fire way to put your team on the fast track from stagnant sales growth to negative sales growth.
The good news is there’s a solution. Here’s just one way we’ve seen companies successfully expanding into large accounts.
Step 1: Run an Account Audit
We know, the word “audit” incites horror and rolled eyes. To be fair though, we never promised a “quick fix” solution. Yes, an account audit takes time, but the return is more than worth it.
The first step to expanding into large accounts is to perform an account review across the staffing firm at a high level. This includes running a SWOT analysis on all major accounts. List your account champions and influencers, identifying the key buyers and decision makers.
Explore why these accounts became clients in the first place; what’s your value proposition, and if your firm has a niche, how does that client fit into it? How long have they been a client, and how much revenue or profit have they contributed?
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Finally, determine how much potential revenue opportunity exists with each client – what is their IT staffing spend and how much competition is there in this account, and have there been any recent scoops indicating new projects and initiatives where your firm can provide talent or solutions? What is the gap between your piece of the pie and the total IT staffing spend?
If this seems like a lot of information, you’re right. We know this represents a large time commitment. But it is one of the clearest ways to determine a profitable direction with each client.
Step 2: Establish a 3-Year Plan
The most important data point from the preliminary account audit is the gap between current revenue and potential revenue of a client. The larger the gap, the more important it is to establish a strong three-year plan to acquiring a larger market share within the account.
The rest of the information you gleaned from the account audit will help you build out this plan in the most realistic and achievable path possible. Determine who should be working on the account and managing its growth, as well as which contacts within the client will be most impactful to that growth.
Establish and implement strong strategies for getting deeper into the account. Since you already have your foot in the door at these organizations, you can take cold calling to the next level. Make sure you know how you’re tracking this growth. What are your revenue goals and what other key performance indicators will signal success?
Step 3: Document a Highly Detailed Org Chart
You might be wondering why an org chart would matter if you’ve already done the time-consuming work of the account audit. Here’s why it matters: you can rarely guarantee that the salespeople who recorded that data in the first place penetrated the account deeply enough to gather the fullest picture possible.
And even if they did, that information isn’t static; it’s as alive as the people it describes. Career moves, department changes, mergers – these all affect an org chart, which means you either need to hire a team of researchers who can update this data on a regular basis, or you need access to a tool that can do this for you.
At ZoomInfo, we’ve all encountered these same challenges. That’s why we created a sales intelligence tool that leverages organizational datasets and tracks real time activity in correlation with detailed hierarchies that give you the big picture of your accounts.
Using a detailed org chart, you can identify individual opportunities you may have otherwise missed with your current contact data. Look for individuals who are well connected to each potential buyer and start building an internal referral network.
Step 4: Review and Revise Regularly
The technology field in particular is moving fast, meaning organizations that want to keep up are doing the same. That’s why IT staffing firms need to be agile and adaptive in their plans to expand into larger accounts.
Review your plans and growth goals on a quarterly basis and adjust as necessary according to performance as well as evolving IT sales intelligence.
At the end of the day, the key is to discourage salespeople from becoming complacent in their account management strategy. Armed with good data and a proactive, results-driven plan, expanding into larger accounts should be a piece of cake, motivating salespeople to higher standards of success.