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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

How to Look For Competitive Advantages In Your Strategic/Global Key Accounts

Posted by Jamie Shanks on Apr 29, 2019 5:00:00 PM



We were recently working with a customer who had assigned global, strategic accounts to their sales team. This customer doesn’t need to re-select accounts, or use high social proximity and relationship strengthening to find new accounts. They already knew who they wanted to target. Their challenge was that they wanted to reprioritize those accounts to look for competitive advantages that would help them increase results.

They needed to identify: 

• Which accounts were green flags, or have a symmetrical advantage?
• Which accounts were yellow flags, meaning they were neutral? These accounts mean you have no more strength than your competitors.
•Which accounts were red flags, meaning you have symmetrical competitive disadvantages?

To look for competitive advantages, you need to cross-reference the accounts you want to win with the accounts you’ve already won. 

Here’s how.

Step 1. Build a list of all your active customers in a specific market. These are the accounts you’ve been trying to win, or you’ve been targeting over the last 24 months.

Step 2. Plug these names into LinkedIn under “Past Company.” This allows you to look for people who no longer work at those companies.

Step 3. Build a company list of those accounts you want to win, and place them into the “Current Company” box in LinkedIn, and hit Search. This will do a cross-reference, and take a look at anyone who has left your customer base, and who has moved to positions within the account you want to win.

If the data set is too large, you can narrow your search by plugging in the titles of key decision makers, geographic region, and frequency of when they may have joined the organization. You’ll start to understand which accounts are highly green-flagged, and may be surprised to learn that some of the people who used to work at your customers now work at companies you can leverage. On the flipside, you’ll also learn which accounts you don’t have relationship strength with and can deprioritize.

Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks

About the Author

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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