Build New Key Accounts by growing them over the fence

As we’ve discussed before, there are two – and only two – sources of growth in the media business.

First and foremost is the preservation of the Key Accounts. Nothing matters more.

Second is the creation of New Key Accounts, which are the result of a rational, proactive, Target Account effort.

Today, we want to share with you the simplest and most effective Target Account effort we have ever been involved in.

All you need is a fence.

Here’s the game: How many accounts can you and your team grow over the fence between now and the end of the year?

Now, the height of the fence is determined by a revenue number. You need to set a minimum revenue number that you can use as a goal that you want all your Target Accounts to accomplish.

How to Set a Rational Target Account Goal

It is important to remember that the whole point of a Target Account effort is to create New Key Accounts. The challenge is that you won’t know which accounts ended up in the top 25% of your active clients until you sort the lists at the end of the current year.

So, you need to set a goal that is high enough that the accounts that reach it have a good chance of ending up as New Key Accounts.

Fortunately, this is a question we have researched extensively. Here are the steps you should follow to set your Target Account Goal.

Identify Your Key Account Cutoff

Pull an un-duplicated list of all your billing accounts for last year and rank them from largest to smallest by spending.

The accounts in the top 25% of the list are your Key Accounts. (For example, if you had 400 billing accounts last year, the top 100 are your Key Accounts for this year.)

Your Key Account Cutoff is the revenue spent by your smallest Key Account. So, if you ended last year with 100 Key Accounts, take note of the revenue spent by account number 100. You are going to use that amount as the basis for your Target Account Goal.

Calculate the Target Account Goal

Our research shows that adding 30% to your Key Account Cutoff will give you a goal that will all but guarantee that the accounts that reach it will become New Key Accounts.

For example, if your Key Account Cutoff was $100,000, your Target Account Goal should be at least $130,000.

Your new Target Account Goal is the top of the fence. Now, you need to help your team grow accounts over that fence regardless of what they spent last year.

If they spent zero, grow it over the fence.

If they spent half the goal, grow it over then fence.

If they were almost at the goal, grow it over the fence.

Find a Simple Way to Keep Track

A simple spreadsheet is all you need to keep track of the number of Target Accounts each team member has grown over the fence.

Why is that important?

Celebrate Every Win

You want to create a sense of cause around your Target Account effort. Get people excited about growing accounts over the fence by celebrating their wins every week, month and quarter.

Keep It Simple

We know from experience that you are going to feel the temptation to make the game more complicated by adding hoops for people to jump through. Don’t do it. Keep it really simple.

Remember, if you want to grow your business from year to year, preserve your Key Accounts and create New Key Accounts with a simple, rational, Target Account effort.

And that is our best advice.

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