Account managers should strengthen relations to B2B accounts!

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Top B2B commercial executives: “Grow your business by increasing sales to existing B2B accounts - account managers should strengthen relations with key decision makers in order to understand their customer's business'”

(Source: Sales Guard’s B2B Commercial Executive Survey)

“Upselling to existing B2B accounts is more important than finding new customers..”
According to the majority of commercial executives at large Scandinavian corporations, upselling to existing B2B accounts is given higher priority than the hunt for new customers. This is true for both exporters and domestic suppliers – in fact it is hard to find domestic suppliers who state that finding new customers is more important than upselling.

Chart 1: What is your first priority – upselling to existing accounts or winning new customers?

“..because the business potential among existing accounts is significant..”
The fact that selling more to existing accounts is more profitable than trying to penetrate new potential customers is old news. However, this is only true if there is more business to be won from existing customers. The vast majority of commercial executives say this actually is the case. Moreover, according to this vast majority , the business potential is significant. Emphasizing the importance of upsell activities in order to increase sales accordingly.

Chart 2: In your opinion, is the unrealized upsell potential among existing account more than 20% or less?

“..however, upselling isn’t account managers’ primary focus…”
Even though there is more business to be won from existing accounts, commercial executives say that account managers often spend most of their time trying to maintain existing business at their old, loyal accounts. This means reselling the same products and services as used up until now and working within areas in which account managers have competence and feel safe. As a consequence, less attention is given to analyzing upsell opportunities and planning how to win more business from existing customers.

Chart 3: What is typically the reason for not realizing a potential upsell at an existing account?

Note: The sum of percentages may exceed 100 as it is possible to give more than one answer to the question.

Commercial executives on why a sales potential is not realized:

“..therefore, account managers must spend more time strengthening relations to key decision makers at existing B2B accounts in order to fully understand these customers’ business.”
When asked about the most effective upselling measures, commercial executives say that closer personal relations with key decision makers, as well as continuous dialogue, is a prerequisite for increasing business with existing accounts. In this way the account manager gains an in-depth understanding of the customer’s business processes and challenges - and is able to communicate the value propositions more clearly.

Chart 4: In your experience - what is the most efficient measure in order to create upsell at an existing account?

Note: The sum of percentages may exceed 100 as it is possible to give more than one answer to the question.

Commercial executives on most effective upsell measures:

About the survey
Sales Guard’s B2B Commercial Executives Survey uncovers best practice within the area of B2B upsell strategies, sales management and customer relationship management among the biggest Scandinavian corporations.
The survey was conducted in the period of July–December among 249 commercial Executives in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Interviews in local languages were done by telephone from Aalund Research Center in Aarhus, Denmark.
Main conclusions are published in a series of newsletters on in the period of January–July.

Survey sample