Interprofessional Group of Manufacturers for Marketing Study
24/05/2023 | Sell, market, distribute

The outcome of B2B prospecting with major accounts is difficult to predict. How to maximize your chances of success?

Attracting a large account into its nets is a complex mission. Without preparation and experience, time and means are not enough to trigger the sale. So how do you negotiate these contracts like no other?

Traditional prospecting and major B2B accounts
Prospecting techniques have evolved a great deal, and the lessons of this progression are partly applicable to all B2B sales targets. Let’s mention the advent of the IT tool, which has become the essential partner of all sales strategies. The digitalization of prospecting has lightened some of our constraints, but it has also sharpened the requirements of buyers.

All these major principles must accompany the prospection with major B2B accounts. Nevertheless, it must be recognized that these clients are not quite like others. Or, more precisely, the failures of your actions with these targets can have a significant impact on your operations.

Mastering its approach tactics and managing major accounts also means optimizing its budget and its workforce. It is neither a luxury nor a chance, if there are prospecting and customer relations services exclusively dedicated to major accounts.

Selling is a point of view, take that of the buyer!
Selling is the point of view of the person who has a product or service to offer. It’s not the buyer’s point of view. To sell well in B2B, you have to go through the mirror and think like a buyer. You also have to change your approach. Your goal is not to sell, but to “make buy”. This may sound like a simple subtlety of language without consequence, and yet this state of mind allows us to approach the problem from the best possible angle: that of the prospect.

Distill the taste for risk in your prospects in B2B
Getting a large account to buy your products and services means making them reconsider the relevance of their current solution. So, buying is also giving up. Risk and loss aversion makes it difficult to give up an existing product or service. Or at least makes it harder than refusing a tempting new offer.

So we have to redouble our efforts and ingenuity to get a large account to buy another version of what it already has. What methods should be used? Your sales force must identify the decisive arguments and not dwell on the elements that do not constitute a real break from the competition. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to take the time to carry out quality preparatory work.

Tailor your strategy to the key account target
On paper, the sale to major accounts checks all the boxes of an unprofitable transaction. Despite the enormous resources and efforts, the success rate is relatively low, but above all the outcome remains very uncertain.

Identify the levers at your disposal
Your goal is to make these processes reliable by mobilizing the levers at your disposal. Not all can be operated as part of a B2B sale to major accounts. For example, time is not a variable that you can change, or very little. A large account sale necessarily plays on the long time.

You will face a multiplicity of interlocutors and a complex organization chart. You will have to speak to those who make the decisions, but also to those who will use the solution or who will be directly or indirectly impacted by its implementation.

The parameters on which you can act are the targeting and development of the final proposal.

Carefully adjusted targeting

A well-targeted prospect corresponds to a persona within a group that meets the typical profile that you will have identified in terms of turnover, number of employees, number and location of the different sites… To draw this profile, always consider the relevance of your solutions given the business processes of prospects.

A Millimeter Contact…

List the key contacts, their roles and expectations. Talk to each of them to assess the potential for sales success. The target must have identified a brake on its activities. Your solution must be able to lift that brake. If the target is convinced of this, financial resources must be made available to solve this problem. Ideally, the target group has a specific budget and time target. In these conditions, you increase your chances of success. All that remains is to draft the proposal, in the light of the elements that you have gathered during your discussions.

…who sets the tone for future relationships


If the sale is successful, the link you have created with the various contacts is decisive for the quality of the customer relationship. Moreover, the prospect’s commitment in the phase preceding the offer is also a good indicator that can encourage you to persevere. Your interlocutor must also optimize his time management. If he gives you some without blinking, it is because the interest in your solution is real. In this case, you too should take the time to design a tailor-made offer that can form the solid foundation of a B2B relationship.