I think it’s funny how we all talk about increasing sales to existing customers and building relationships — yet much of our marketing time and money still go toward converting prospects to customers and fishing for new prospects.

While I don’t normally advocate having more than 25% of your business come from a single account, chances are that you’re probably sitting on at least 5 customers who have multiple locations or buying centers, are purchasing a product or two from you already — and can be purchasing MORE . The problem is that you just haven’t taken the time to pull all that information together and look at it from a 30,000 foot level.

The Strategic Account Plan – Increase Sales by Focusing on a Segment of One

Enter the “Strategic Account Plan.” You may have also heard this referred to as a “Key Account Plan.” ?This is mostly a sales management tool. But I’ll bet that your sales and marketing resources (which might actually be YOU) are currently working closely together- so I’m going to feature this here.

A Strategic Account Plan is really nothing more than a marketing plan for a specific customer. And since a marketing plan is really nothing more than setting goals, strategies and tactics – you’re already well on your way to understanding how this works.

What sets a Strategic Account Plan apart from a marketing plan is that your’e looking for cross selling opportunities within a single customer. Strategic Account Plans are ideal when you have a rather large account that maybe has a couple of locations. Maybe several of these locations purchase from you already and you may even have a couple of sales reps servicing the same account. This is a sure formula for leaving real money and opportunity on the table.

The Strategic Account Plan offers you the ability to literally pull your information together for a single account, then take a high-level look for more opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. You’ll be able to see new opportunities for an easy cross sell. Not only that, you might even discover areas where you customer could save money because they are purchasing lower quantities across locations when they could be combining into a multi-year contract to save money.

Be a Hero to Your Company and to Your Customer

Taking the time to pull your team together to create a Strategic Account Plan for a couple of your key customers is time well spent and marketing resources well spent.

Remember — marketing isn’t just about finding new customers — it’s about having your ideal customer choose you every time regardless of price. Pick your ideal customer and make it easy for them to buy more.

I Made You a Template

Now if you use Salesforce.com or maybe another customer management system, you may have access to a Strategic Account Plan Template. But if you’re a DIYMarketer — chances are you aren’t spending money on that. This is why I’ve taken the time to pull together a quick and easy template that will get you started — it’s my gift to you.

Pass on this link and tell your friends to register and get their own template!