Our recent research into account-based growth reveals that market leading companies do things a little differently from the rest of our survey respondents1. Here’s the top five differences we noticed:
Market leaders focus on existing customers
When looking at the structure of their top account programmes, market leaders are more likely to focus on existing customers and prioritise them into tiers, and twice as likely to have more than two tiers in their programme, reflecting the variations in scale across top customers.
Account selection is decided by sales and marketing
Market leaders tend to select accounts more collaboratively, with sales and marketing appearing to work together to make these selection decisions, also involving their strategy colleagues more than other companies. And while they focus on current revenue and growth potential as key selection criteria, they are twice as likely to consider their competitive position in the account and more likely to think about current levels of executive engagement with the customer.
Customers are included in their planning process
When building plans for top account growth, market leaders appear to be involving their customers more in the process. Their plans also integrate sales, marketing and customer success teams and activities more often, as well as articulating how to leverage the whole company’s relationships and resources for the benefit of these top customers.
Executive sponsors play a key role
Almost all market leaders have executive sponsors calling on top customers at least quarterly, and they believe that these sponsors help to achieve their ambition in the account. This is an emerging and powerful practice in its own right and a crucial part of your engagement approach for top customers.
They have a structure and culture in place to better serve their customers
Finally, market leaders appear to be slightly further ahead in building the structure and culture they need to serve their top customers. They are a lot more likely to have focused their incentives and reward systems on driving sustainable, profitable growth in these accounts.
For a free copy of our recent research findings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Market leaders identified by overall company performance and reputation, with analysis based on indications rather than statistically significant differences.