Contents: 1) Follow their buying process instead of your selling process, 2) Are you a partner or a vendor? SalesLinks HomeMentor Associates sales training and consulting services recommend this sitefaqdedicationsite map
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Major Account Selling in High-Technology Companies

Jack Carroll
by Jack Carroll

Contents of this newsletter:

  1. Follow their buying process instead of your selling process
  2. Gateway 2000's national accounts program
  3. Are you a partner or a vendor?
  4. Satisfying different buying influences


1. Follow their buying process instead of your selling process

The book that taught me more than any other about the nuts and bolts of major account selling was Neil Rackham's "Major Account Sales Strategy." While Rackham is better known as the author of the very popular "Spin Selling," this book on major account selling has so much good information between its covers that it might almost be considered to be the tactical primer on the subject in the sales profession.

There are many valuable concepts in the book. The core idea states that buyers have a process that they follow in making a decision on a major account purchase. From a seller's perspective it is important to get in step with this process rather than trying to manipulate buyers into following their own selling (pipeline) process.

The five major consecutive phases of their buying process and a summary of major events in each phase are:

Do we have a problem?
How big or important is it?
Does it justify action?
1. Recognition of needs
What decision criteria should we use?
What vendor best meets the criteria?
What are the pluses and minuses of different options?
2. Evaluation of options
What are the risks in moving forward?
What can go wrong?
Can we rely on the vendor of choice?
3. Resolution of concerns

Does everyone buy off on moving forward?
Will we get value from this decision?
How quickly will we see results?
4. Decision and implementation
How can we improve?
Where do we go from here?
5. Changes over time

So, the next time you find yourself wondering how you can get the customer to do what you want them to in your sales process, try to understand what they are going through. And get in stride with their buying process. It makes for a more harmonious relationship and consistently more successful sales outcomes.

Try a collaborative selling approach using this "buyer's pipeline" or "funnel." It's a compelling major account sales strategy that has worked for me over and over again.

May we help you with major account selling?

Can we help you with any aspect of a major accounts keynote speech, strategy, or training in your company? Ask us for our recommendations or a needs analysis—no cost or obligation. Contact Amanda Hooper of Mentor Associates at 888-773-9712 or for more information.

2. How Gateway 2000 handles national accounts

A feature article from Selling Power Magazine
Find out how a good national account strategy opened the door to big company opportunities at Gateway 2000. There are excellent supplementary links with this article.


3. Are you a partner or a vendor?

A column by Sean Carton at
A long time give-and-take between two parties in order to create a mutually beneficial result—that's what works in major account selling.


4. Satisfying different buying influences

A column by Aaron Goldberg in Marketing Computers
Staying "customer focused" when your customers have multiple personalities and a complex buying process. Goldberg is one of the brightest and most precocious people writing about high-technology sales and marketing issues.


Major Accounts Bulletin archives:

  1. Welcome and overview
  2. Follow their buying process
  3. Geoffrey Moore's Chasm Models
  4. Selling styles in major account selling
  5. CRM and major account selling—what's the buzz?
  6. The five most important elements in major account success
  7. Incredibly valuable tools and resources

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