• Analyze each account for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
• Accompany your reps on key account sales calls – call on executives if possible
• Conduct customer satisfaction surveys and look for opportunities to improve service and to sell more
• Inspect contact records for each account and ensure key decision makers are being called on regularly
• Call each account, add new contacts to the sales database and set up meetings with selected new contacts
• Better understand your customers’ competition and help them devise ways to win more sales using your products and services
• See how much they’re buying from your competitors, then ask how you can earn all of their business
• Provide customers with on-site educational seminars to generate new leads within existing accounts
• Search customer websites and press releases for potential sales opportunities
• Analyze customer financial data (e.g. annual reports, 10Q and 10K reports) and devise ways your product or service can help improve their financial situation
• Check out detailed profiles for each customer account via an online service such as Hoovers
• For major accounts, develop strategic account capture plans

• Analyze the characteristics of your top customers and use them to identify and target new prospective customers
• Get letters of reference from satisfied clients and use them to gain new accounts
• Boost your website effectiveness via search engine optimization
• Ask companies you know well to add reciprocal website links
• Add a lead form to your website
• Develop “try and buy” programs to encourage prospects to try your products or services
• Challenge your marketing department to generate more high-quality leads
• Hold a seminar or mixer and invite new prospective customers to attend
• Hold a prospecting “Phone Day” in which sales teams compete for qualified prospects
• Determine which associations your prospects attend and send your salespeople to them
• Network with trade publication editors and reporters to generate fresh leads
• Upgrade programs that allow customers to finance their purchases
• Start a lead sharing group with vendors who sell non-competing products to your target customers
• Package low-cost, high-value “extras” with your product or service (e.g. extended warranty, 30 days of Level 2 support, product training classes) to increase the perceived value
• Offer an incentive to both customers and non-sales employees to provide leads and referrals

• Shop your competition and understand their strengths and weaknesses
• Pick a weak competitor and target their accounts with a special program or incentive
• Hire a salesperson from a key competitor and target their accounts
• Perform a strategic, major account plan for each account where competitor moves are anticipated and counter moves are planned and implemented

• Adopt the principle of “control the controllables” and pinpoint specific areas you can impact
• Be more available to your team members to provide support during tough times
• Begin and end meetings on a positive note with words of encouragement
• Ensure your compensation plan provides rich rewards for beating revenue goals
• Develop spiffs or other incentives to boost sales of high-value products and services
• Add a motivational component to team meetings (e.g. contests, guest speakers)
• Look for ways to leverage the effectiveness of your high performers such as providing them with administrative or telesales support
• Scrutinize your sales processes and reporting, then look for ways to streamline them
• Conduct loss reviews to see why you lost accounts and to prevent the same things from recurring
• Find ways to boost salesperson time spent in contact with customers and prospects

• Analyze close rates and revenues for each sales rep and help low performers approach the norm
• Develop responses to your salespeople’s 10 most common objections and rehearse them
• Review and then upgrade the questions your salespeople use to qualify prospects
• Review and upgrade your sales proposals
• Pinpoint key reasons for sales stalls, then devise programs to combat these sales delays
• Develop e-mail templates to boost the quality of written communications and to save time
• Ensure that your salespeople are quantifying the monetary benefits of your products and services in their sales calls and proposals
• Review and them improve the questions your salespeople are asking

Author's Bio: 

Craig Arnoff, Founder of The Sales Alliance Inc., has over 35 years of experience in the sales and sales management fields. Having worked with over 250 corporations and trained over 20,000 salespeople, Mr. Arnoff has authored 17 sales training courses.