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What’s It Take To Be A Major Account Rep?

by David Brock on May 5th, 2009
The other day, a sales person I had coached a few years ago called me up. He was getting a big promotion to handle one of his company’s largest customers. He called to ask me what it took to be an outstanding major accounts rep. The guy was already a great customer focused sales person, so we didn’t spend much time on those areas.

I reeled a number of thoughts off the top of my head. I know I’ve missed some, it would be great to have your ideas. The non-prioritized thoughts were:

    1. The major account rep has to understand the customer’s business better than the customer does themselves. He has to understand the customer’s markets, their customer’s problem/issues, the customer’s competition, and other opportunities for the customer to grow and improve their business.
    2. The major account rep understands how the customer’s business works, including: the culture and value system of the customer, how they get things done, the formal and informal organizational structure, the strengths and weaknesses, how they measure and manage performance.
    3. The major account rep consistently brings the customer ideas and opportunities to improve their business, growing top and bottom lines, growing their share and presence in the market, and ways for them to achieve their top goals and priorities.
    4. The major account rep effectively brings together people within the account, serving as a bridge for people in the account to communicate with each other. Often the major account rep will know more about what’s happening than the people in the account.
    5. The major account rep will consistently seek to expand the breadth and depth of their relationships within the account. She will not only build relationships with executives, but also build relationships at all levels of the account.
    6. The major account rep will serve as an advocate for the customer within her own company. She will make certain any customer’s issues are well handled. She will make sure the account’s interests are represented as the company builds its strategies, policies and solutions/products.
    7. The major account rep will leverage the resources of his own company to help grow the relationships between the two companies. This includes developing peer relationships between executives in the two companies, and building relationships across all levels of the organization.
    8. The major account rep consistently brings her customer business justified solutions, not only to help the customer meet their goals, but to assure the rep achieves her goals for
      her own company in growing the business. These goals include revenue, satisfaction, margin, strategic projects/initiatives, etc.
    9. The major account rep is a business manager, helping both the account and his own company achieve mutually beneficial business goals.
    10. The major account rep does not waste her customer’s time, or the time of the people in her own company. She creates value in every interchange. The rep knows they have achieved this when the customer thinks of the rep as “one of them,” and the rep’s own company thinks of the rep as “one of them.”
    11. The major account rep leaps over tall buildings with a single bound (running starts are OK).

I know I have missed some important things, what would you add?

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