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The #1 Action for Strategic Account Growth [Research]

Companies take lots of actions to grow accounts. Some work better than others.

However, none of them work very well if you don't take care of one important action up front.

We at RAIN Group studied more than 370 companies that engage in formal strategic account management, and published the results in the Benchmark Report on High Performance in Strategic Account Management.

We asked: What ACTIONS do you believe contribute most to your efforts to maximize revenue from accounts? We then split the results into 2 groups: high performers and below-average/average performers in SAM.

Here's what the high performers do to maximize revenue at their accounts:


It starts at the top. Without senior management support, you won't:

  • Get the resources you need to execute your strategic account plans. Sure, you can develop a plan—but if senior management won't invest in that plan and provide you with the resources you need, it's going to be hard to execute.

  • Assemble the team necessary to grow accounts. As we've shared before, there are 8 strategic account management roles that must be played in order to grow accounts. If management does not buy in to your account growth initiatives it will be hard to assemble the team you need and get resources to work with you.

  • Get the training your team needs. Without the right sales and relationship skills, it's tricky for account teams to lead the complex conversations necessary for account growth. Strategic account managers also need skills in driving growth at their accounts overall. High-performers invest in training so their teams will have the skills and knowledge necessary to drive account growth.

If you can get the leaders on board, you can do the rest. If not, your efforts will be all sound and fury, but they will signify nothing. Meanwhile, it's not difficult to get growth-oriented leaders on board once they know the difference that excellence in strategic account management yields.

High-performers are:


If you want to experience this type of growth, start at the top. Get the commitment you need first, then you can do everything else.

Additional Reading
[New Research] Benchmark Report on Top Performance in Strategic Account Management

When we studied strategic account management in 2012, 59% of sales leaders believed there was greater than 25% revenue growth potential in their existing accounts.

In a separate, more recent research initiative, we found that the #1 priority for sales leaders in the year ahead is to increase business with existing accounts. We also discovered that Top Performers are nearly 2x more likely to be effective at maximizing sales to their existing accounts.

5 Essentials for Managing Your Sales Organization’s Talent

Attracting and retaining top sales talent is a huge challenge for many companies.

If you want to take your sales results to the next level, your organization must have the right people in the right roles, performing at a high level day in and day out. You also need the right management team with an effective process in place to ensure this all happens.

How to Maximize Prices and Improve Margins

With increased product and service commoditization, sellers in almost every industry complain about price pressure and shrinking margins.

At the same time, there are some sellers and sales organizations who are consistently winning sales against lower-priced competitors and growing their margins.