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ISSUE 4, MAJOR ACCOUNTS BULLETIN:

Major Account Selling in High-Technology Companies

Jack Carroll
by Jack Carroll

Contents of this newsletter:

  1. Selling styles in major account selling
  2. The Platinum Rule
  3. Hunters and farmers—killers and cookers
  4. Sales self-assessments
  5. Using the web in major account selling
  6. Just for fun

 

1. Selling styles in major account selling

What's the difference between major account selling and major account management? Is the distinction real or only different terminology for various facets of the same job? Or are they entirely different positions with different skill sets? In my view, under most circumstances, the words are more than skin deep. They represent two separate roles usually filled by two different people with entirely different but complimentary personalities and skill sets.

We've talked a great deal here about the importance of planning, strategy, and execution in successful major account selling. They are all key. And yet, you’ve heard the infamous expression, "Nothing happens until somebody sells something." That somebody is the major account salesperson who initiates the relationship and gets commitment to get it started.

So, major account selling has to do with opening up the relationship. It is practiced best by a crusading salesperson who opens doors and initiates new relationships with new people—or new relationships with familiar people (existing customers). The hallmark skills of major account selling are rapport building, persuasion, and the ability to get commitment.

Major account management, on the other hand, is about fulfilling the commitments of the relationship—keeping promises and making things work. These are the skills of a planner, thinker, and implementer who fulfills the role of the major account manager. The following descriptions from our first newsletter in this series are characteristic of new account salespeople vs. major account managers.

New Account Salespeople Major Accounts Managers
Spontaneous Planner
Impatient Patient
Actor Director
Persuasion oriented Detail oriented
Apolitical Political
Closing Accountable
Hunter Farmer
Killer Cooker
People Processes
Charismatic Effective
Right brain (intuitive) Left brain (logical)
Promises (conceptual) Results (actual)
Selling Managing

Both descriptions are of real major account salespeople. Both describe different functions of major account sales activity that occur during different stages. And, perhaps more graphically than any other example, they are evidence of why major account selling and management is a team sport, not an individual achievement by a star performing salesperson.

Do both skill sets ever come together in the same person? Yes, but it is not common. We live in the era of specialization and this is no exception. He or she who tries to be all things to all people usually winds up being nothing to anybody.

Don't send the wrong person out to do the wrong job or you'll either have a program with no customers or dissatisfied customers and a terrible mess on your hands.

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 amanda@saleslinks.com for more information.

2. The Platinum Rule

A book and self test on personality types by Tony Alessandra
This is one of those wonderful examples that could only happen on the web. Check it out. And guess which types are best suited for the two major account roles discussed in our lead article.
http://www.platinumrule.com/

 

3. Hunters and farmers—killers and cookers

A SalesLinks Bulletin article by Jack Carroll
http://www.saleslinks.com/sideline/may-aug98/060898.htm

 

4. Assess yourself online

Sales work styles self assessment from Acumen International
A self-assessment template designed for salespeople in complex selling environments where team selling plays an important role.
http://www.acumen.com/demo.html

 

5. Using the web in major account selling

Major Accounts Sales website by Novell Corporation
Here is how a major technology company communicates with its prospective and real major accounts on the web.
http://www.novell.com/corp/ma/index.html

 

6. Just for fun

A card trick on your mind
This has absolutely nothing to do with major account selling. And at the same time, come to think of it...
http://members.tripod.com/~andybauch/magic.html

 

MAJOR ACCOUNTS FEATURES

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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Jack Carroll's "Dirty Dozen"

Major accounts fitness test

Major account selling services

Jack Carroll's biography

Sales bibliography

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