⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
In this edition, I’ll break down all of my deals as a strategic SaaS seller between 2018 – 2022, identify what made a Diamond Account (and the impact they had on increased commissions and time saved), and deliver a framework you can use to design your own ideal account identification system.
→ Read this in <7 minutes right now
→ Better understand the importance of good account identification
→ Develop your own ideal account identification system using my framework
The right accounts make a big difference – the discovery
About 18 months into my strategic selling role, something became very clear.
The size of the company I engaged with had a direct impact on the size of my deals and the time to close. For some of you, this may be a very straightforward insight. For others, it may be shedding light on something you’ve had a hunch about, but unsure if it was worth exploring further.
Regardless of which camp you fall into, my hope with this edition is to equip you with deeper insights and simple tools to become more intentional with a key component I see neglected by a lot of strategic sellers – quality Account Identification.
But first, let me break down all of my strategic deals over a 4 year period so we can look objectively at the numbers and gather key insights…
Bigger is not always better – the breakdown
Here’s a look at all of my deals won from 2018 – 2022 (unfortunately I cannot share account names due to contractual obligations).
Note: I am removing the opportunities highlighted in pink for the analysis below, as these opportunities were a part of a special initiative for Covid testing and not typical for the SaaS solutions I traditionally sold.
Fortune 1 – 100 Accounts:
- Total deals: 2
- TCV: $2.9M
- ARR: $1.1M
- Average sales cycle length: 26.5 months
Fortune 100 – 200
- Total deals: 4
- TCV: $10.3M
- ARR: $4.5M
- Average sales cycle length: 9.5 months
Fortune 200 – 300
- Total deals: 2
- TCV: $400K
- ARR: $400K
- Average sales cycle length: 8 months
Fortune 300 – 400
- Total deals: 2
- TCV: $7M
- ARR: $4.1M
- Average sales cycle length: 5 months
Fortune 400 – 500
- Total deals: 1
- TCV: $2.5M
- ARR: $2M
- Average sales cycle length: 7 months
→ Shortest sales cycle: >Fortune 300
→ Longest sales cycle: <Fortune 100
→ Largest TCV: Fortune 100 – 200
→ Most deals: Fortune 100 – 200
→ Most ARR: Fortune 100 – 200
Based on this data, the Fortune 100 – 200 accounts (or what I call my Diamond Accounts – because they are so precious) provided the best return on my TEA (time + energy + attention)!
Identifying the right accounts will increase your income and save you time – the math
We all remember Goldilocks and the 3 Bears from childhood. Goldilocks needed to try all 3 porridges before finding the perfect one.
We need to be like Goldilocks.
Because finding just the “right one” makes a big impact on your quota retirement, time to close, and ultimately your personal income.
When I look back after discovering this data, I started paying much closer attention to the accounts I pursued. Beyond the Diamond Hunter framework that I outline in Step 2 of 7 Steps to 7 Figures, I started to systemize my process around where I had the biggest chance of winning because it paid me more in less time.
In fact, a Diamond Account paid me $97,134 more on average and took me 2.2 less months to close. That’s significant in the high stakes game of strategic selling!
As a new logo hunter (where I could not hold onto accounts in perpetuity to turn them into 8 and 9 figure mega deals), I really needed to be thoughtful about not getting pulled into lengthy sales cycles. I had to make some really (tough) strategic decisions, such as letting go of accounts like Apple and Walmart – two of the world’s largest companies.
They simply didn’t fit into my system, because I knew pursuing accounts like those would pull me in a direction that could take me away from diving deeper with a Diamond Account where I could win quickly, close larger deals, and make a bigger impact for their company, ours, and my bank account.
We see this all the time in professional soccer – a club has a system, and certain players need to fit into that system. Many clubs, even if they have the funds, will skip out on pursuing certain players in the transfer market, regardless of how talented they are, because they won’t fit into the system.
I treated my account list the same way.
Identify your own ideal accounts – the framework
I understand there are multiple factors that can go into finding the ideal account wins (there are things such as culture, urgent business needs, leadership, and so much more). However, and ironically, in a data-driven world, too many sales teams are still making the wrong decisions from the wrong data.
Don’t let this be the case for you. Your pipeline is too precious and your life is too short not to make the most from your time as a seller.
Here’s a simple framework you can use to identify the ideal account wins:
Step 1: Find More Meaning in Future Accounts
→ Develop criteria that is personally meaningful to you
→ Generate a Venn diagram with those 4 – 5 factors
→ Plot your accounts across those criteria
→ Focus on the ones in the middle
If you haven’t already done this, unlock 7 Steps to 7 Figures and complete Step 2 where I provide a template.
Step 2: Deconstruct Your Past Account Wins
→ Capture all of your account wins in a spreadsheet
→ Analyze each account for trends (like annual revenue or where they sit on the Fortune 500 list)
→ Chunk accounts together that have similar trends
*Too new in your role? Work with your manager and build this model using the Strategic Account team’s wins over the past 24 months.
Step 3: Build Your Plan
→ Decide which accounts pay you the most in the less time
→ Layer in your personal criteria to weed out any accounts that don’t personally motivate you
→ Define which accounts you need to move off your list and transfer them to another team member (who might see those accounts as a Diamond)
→ Build your Category of One system and focus your TEA on the Diamond Accounts
SPECIAL WORKSHOP SESSION
On Monday November 7th, I will be hosting a special session for Make More Hustle Less Club members where I will complete a 60 minute workshop on this Ideal Account Identification system – just in time for the 2023 planning season!
MMHL is a monthly subscription, and once a month, we come together as a community to focus on developing one system that will improve your thinking, optimize how you operate, and elevate your strategic sales craft. It’s just $120 per year or $30 on a month-to-month membership…or just $10 per month if you bundle it with your 7 Steps to 7 Figures purchase.
Hope to see you there!
- The right accounts can make a big difference
- Bigger accounts don’t always translate to bigger deals
- Identify the ideal accounts to focus on so you can earn more in less time
- Join us for a special workshop to create your ideal account list for next year
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
1. Get the exact system I’ve used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (3,000+ students)
2. Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (300+ members)
3. Book a 1:1 coaching session to up-level your performance here. (Limited spots available)