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  1. Dave, great blog post on such an important topic!

    The question how to create a portfolio of new business ideas (you called it new opportunities) is, as you said, often the weakest part.

    I have seen two main reasons:
    The first one is exactly, what you pointed out, the narrow view on the current relationships, which is actually a narrow view on the entire account.
    That brings me to ne of my favorite questions: What is an account? Defining an account from the highest legal entity, not only assuming that the account is where I currently have my business with…was one of the key elements to change that. Underneath, all different business units, divisions etc. follow and within all these business units, all relevant budget centers have to be identified.
    That creates a healthy pressure on every relationship power map…
    And opens the door to create new business ideas, what we called account leads. Then, actions should be defined how to develop these account leads into opportunities…

    The second reason is in my experience, a lack of business acumen. I have often seen considerable challenges in account teams to derive valuable account leads based on the analysis of business challenges and problems and the analysis of individual relationships, people’s problems and challenges.

    Overall, it’s not so much about the plan, it’s much more about planning!

    • Tamara: You’re so right (as you usually are). It’s more about the process than the output. Thinking, analyzing, figuring out what the customer(s) want to achieve and how you can help them do so is the tough and most critical part.

      Unfortunately, too many think it’s about filling out the form.

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