Business Transformation

Grow Your B2B Business by Expanding Sales to Existing Accounts

New isn’t always better. In the case of business growth, new accounts are good, but they’re not the easiest or most economical way to expand your enterprise technology company’s client roster. In fact, according to long-accepted marketing wisdom, acquiring one new customer is five times more costly than retaining an existing client. Additionally, success rates when selling to current customers are often as high as 70 percent, while the success rate for new prospects averages out somewhere between 5 percent and 20 percent.

Given this data, it’s easy to see how expanding the volume of sales your team makes to existing accounts can reduce your financial investment in new business generation as well as increase your lifetime earnings per client. However, to do so successfully and consistently, you’ll first need a strategy that is simple and repeatable.

Demonstrating the Value of Your Product and Partnership is Paramount

Never try to upsell an account until your contact has had enough time to experience the value of your enterprise solution in their real-world business environment. This illustrates that you’re not just interested in sales but are actually focused on the client’s success. Keep in mind that while helping them calculate the financial return on their investment can be useful in this goal, it isn’t the only way to prove the value of your partnership.

According to Emissary, a company that creates unconventional intelligence solutions to give their clients an advantage, consistently delivering on your promises is also essential. In their playbook entitled Expand Sales in Your Existing Accounts, they suggest that you should always deliver on time and within budget. Make a point of directing your client’s attention to every milestone met. And whenever possible, reduce their expected costs.

Don’t Ask for Introductions Until You’ve Established Trust

When you keep your promises as outlined above, you’re actively building trust with your decision-making contact at the account. As a result, this point of contact will likely be more comfortable with introducing you to the other leaders within the organization who are also connected to technology investments.

The more stakeholders who trust you, your team, and your enterprise product within a company, the more easily you’ll be able to expand that account. You’ll need to ask your current contact for insight into the organizational structure of the company, the other leaders’ pain points and needs, and for introductions to those who stand to benefit the most from the tech you can supply.

The experts at Emissary suggest that once you’ve secured those introductions, you consider connecting each new stakeholder with a similar subject-matter expert at your own organization. For example, your technology experts—including software architects and engineers—may be able to relate to leaders such as IT managers, IT directors, directors of technology, technical operations officers, and information management systems directors in ways your sales team can’t.

Building trust and asking for internal referrals can pay off substantially in business growth. In fact, data show that 92 percent of buyers trust referrals from people they know. Additionally, referral-based leads convert 30 percent better than other prospects.

Always Keep Your Original Point of Contact in the Loop

When decision makers at an established account refer your team and product to other leaders within the organization, they’re putting their own reputations on the line. As such, it’s doubly important that your team puts in the work to research the needs of these new departments and listen to the problems that need to be solved before asking for the sale.

If you follow your usual steps before trying to sell the prospect on your product, it’s likely any meeting should go well. However, if it doesn’t, your original point of contact doesn’t want to hear about this first from the chief marketing officer, chief financial officer, human resource director, or other executive to which you were connected.

Follow up with your original client after every meeting. Keep them in the loop on your progress. If connections don’t go as planned, ask your referrer for insight into where you went wrong. Depending on the strength of your relationship and trust you’ve previously established, he or she may be willing to advocate on your behalf for the opportunity to pitch again.

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Anna Papadopoulos
Anna Papadopoulos is a senior money, wealth, and asset management reporter at CEOWORLD magazine, covering consumer issues, investing and financial communities + author of the CEOWORLD magazine newsletter, writing about money with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. You can follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn for musings on money, wealth, asset management, millionaires, and billionaires. Email her at