Large Deal Accounts. What is it? Why is it important for you to know as a sales professional? Read on to know how it can completely change your selling game.
It was the year 2015, around June. I remember having a mid-year review with my then manager. Until that month I had just achieved 10% of the yearly sales quota. I remember his clear words then. He said ” Prabodh if your sales numbers continue to remain the same HR will have to put you in PIP “
I ended that year with 200% of sales achievements, thanks to one of my Large Deal Accounts aka LDA. This LDA was a Housing Finance Company that helped me with almost 150% of my sales achievement that year.
Today’s Blog is therefore about Large Deal Accounts i.e LDAs and how they can help you as a salesperson.
For some of you, LDA might be a new term. But, if you have spent considerable time in B2B sales you definitely will be familiar with the application of this term. So let’s understand, What is a Large Deal Account? Why are Large Deal Accounts i.e LDAs important.
What is a Large Deal Account?
Large Deal Accounts are accounts that have the potential to generate requirements that can help salespeople to achieve close to 80 % of their sales quota. They are the customers who help salespeople make a lot of money. For B2B salesperson, LDAs quite basically ensure that he doesn’t get fired by his organisation.
We have entered an era where most of the products in B2B sales are consumed as service. Customers are easily acquired through product-led growth or extensive marketing.
If so, then why do organisations hire seasoned Salespeople and pay them hefty salaries?
One major reason organisations are willing to invest in seasoned and experienced sales teams is their ability to nurture and create Large Deal Accounts.
I had the privilege of working with 6 organisations in my 15 + years of career.
If you ask me, every year when I was able to overachieve my sales quota was due to my ability to nurture and create Large deal Accounts i.e LDAs
As a sales rep in B2B sales whenever I am assigned a new territory three things has my utmost focus. They are:
- What’s my sales quota for that year?
- Which LDAs can help me achieve my Quota?
- What activities should I perform which will influence LDAs to give business to me?
LDAs are like Bollywood superstars. If you make movies with them chances are you will make a lot of money.
Salman Khan’s movies may not have the best of scripts and direction. However, it still manages to make money for its producers and financiers. LDAs are the same. They are organisations that are going to buy products and services in a given year. As a sales rep if you manage to influence these organisations to do business with you over your competition in that year, then you have hit a home run.
Characteristics of Large deal Accounts i.e LDAs :
The characteristics of LDAs are:
- Return on sales efforts investment for LDAs are the highest.
- LDAs are not more than 1 to 4 in total for sales reps out of the total number of accounts they are handling.
- Nurturing and creating LDAs needs a lot of Business development initiatives.
- LDAs are generally assigned to seasoned, experienced and tenured salespeople within the organisation.
Identifying and nurturing LDAs is an organisational activity. It needs the collaboration of Salesperson, sales operations, sales leadership and marketing.
Sales operations give insights on past sales data which helps in the selection of LDAs. Marketing creates content and facilitates marketing activities that can keep LDAs engaged. Salesperson researches and executes sales and marketing strategies. Sales leadership sponsors these activities.
The amount of business that the LDAs give pay the salaries of their vendor companies. That is why these accounts need immense focus. They need high filtration criteria and a significant investment of time. Creating a new LDA requires time.
I have written a Blog on the framework of Business Development and LDA qualifies for all the activities mentioned in that blog.
The two kinds of LDAs:
The two kinds of LDAs are –
1. Your existing accounts: These are customers who give you business consistently. They prefer you over your competition. These LDAs need lesser sales efforts, vis a vis winning a competitive LDA. Many times organisations do a good job managing their existing LDAs.
2. Competitive LDAs: These are the second kind. These LDAs need serious work, they need out of the box thinking. An organisation needs strategy and discipline of execution. But, more than anything else, they need the patience to convert competitive LDAs to existing LDAs. Every one $ acquired from competitive LDA is equal two $ acquired from existing LDA.
Not all competitive accounts can qualify to be your LDA. That is why as a sales team you need to pick your battles wisely.
I use the below framework to qualify which competitive LDAs to go behind
- Accounts who have the potential to spend.
- Accounts where stakeholders are approachable and willing to listen to new ideas
- Accounts for whom my organization could uniquely solve a problem
LDAs are not easily created. It needs planning, strategizing and patience. Though the organisations’ focus is to increase their LDA base there are reasons why this strategy fails at times.
Reasons why LDA strategies fail:
- No discipline in measuring the effectiveness of BD activities in LDAs. If sales leaders or salespeople miss out on keeping a tab on the progress of BD activities chances are LDAs are not engaged. If they are not engaged they are not influenced.
- Due to organisational restructuring, sales reps move from one LDA to another LDA. I have seen this happening in large organisations. Many of them undergo structural restructuring frequently because of which they move out accounts from salespeople. Or it happens when salespeople leave the organisation and there is no proper handover to the new team which is taking over.
- No documented strategy for LDAs. This is also common across many organisations, especially small organisations where they lack a documented strategy.
How to acquire LDAs from the competition?
B2B sales reps get the most limelight, credit and acknowledgement when they manage to convert a competition LDA to an existing LDA.
Here are a few tips to convert a competition LDA to an existing LDA.
1. Always keep a track of the change of people in your competition LDAs. I have seen LDAs shifting from incumbent vendors to the competition when a new person has joined an organisation and he is ready to listen to the competition. Sales are driven by relationships and relationships are people dependent. So if people leave or change in the competitive LDAs this is a good opportunity to capitalise.
2. Consistent BD activities. Consistent BD activities helps you build credibility and faith in your ability. When you engage with your competitive LDAs, even when there is no sales opportunity, it demonstrates that you truly care for them and want to help them and not just sell your product.
3. Account mapping. Always continue to pursue building a relationship with stakeholders of competitive accounts
4. Keep them updated on your successful wins. If possible, keep your competitive LDAs aware of your organisation’s wins especially if the wins are within their peers. This builds confidence. It also makes you a good choice if their relationship with the existing vendors goes for a toss.
Wrapping it up!
You can make a successful career and earn a lot of money for yourself in B2B sales if you manage to create or Nurture LDAs who give you consistent revenue every year. If you don’t have LDAs in your list of accounts you might end up putting in a lot of effort but there will be very little reward for those efforts.
So the next time you plan to join a new company or new department just check with your hiring managers how many LDAs will be assigned to you. This might decide how well you do in that new organisation.
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