Today’s post is by David Mattson, a best-selling author, sales and management thought leader, keynote speaker, and leader for sales training seminars around the world. As CEO and president of Sandler Training, Mattson oversees the corporate direction and strategy for the company’s global operations, including sales, marketing, consulting, alliances, and support. Check out his book, The Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders: 49 Timeless Management Principles and How to Apply Them.
Salespeople (and their managers) often ask me to share a single tactic that is easy to understand, easy to implement, and can rapidly improve both team and individual performance. One great answer to this challenge is the KARE profiling system. This is a comparatively new Sandler tool that’s been generating a lot of positive responses from sales teams in many industries.
KARE profiling is a powerful strategy component in territory management. It tags each of your prospects and clients with one of four designations:
- “K” for current clients you want to keep.
- “A” for accounts you don’t have, but wish you could attain.
- “R” for customers you used to have and now would like to recapture.
- “E” for current accounts where you wish your “wallet share” could expand.
Simplicity is the key to the effectiveness of this system. The four categories can be complemented by any criteria relevant to the team and/or the market served. There are really only two additional principles to follow here:
- Every “live” opportunity with whom you actually want to work has to go somewhere on this KARE model.
- No opportunity can occupy two slots of the KARE quadrant. You have to pick one.
The four KARE designations allow sales teams to more effectively segment and prioritize their targets. They also provide a critical set of common terminologies about core selling objectives for both managers and salespeople. What’s more, they establish a much-needed base of understanding and clarity in team selling environments.
In addition, the KARE process serves as an invaluable sales management tool. Managers can work directly with individual team members to identify specific accounts that fit in each quadrant. They can then work with salespeople one on one, or in teams, to identify the strategies to be implemented in each of the quadrants.
If you wish, entire teams or territories can be structured using KARE as a base. One strategy might be to focus certain salespeople on particular profiles—for instance, with one group focused on A (Attain) accounts and another on E (Expand) accounts. Alternatively, the focus might be to blend – into each team or territory – a mix of all profiles in order to keep salespeople and teams nimble and capable of serving all profiles.
Regardless of such decisions about territory or team focus based on KARE, each member of the sales team should have a cookbook – a reliable, repeatable, written process – that lays out exactly how much time and what kind of activity should be spent in each quadrant he or she is responsible for developing. This ensures a well-rounded, focused, and balanced approach to territory management.
The key to making KARE a success is to make conscious choices. Following the path of least resistance – or investing time, effort, and energy in the activities and conversations that feel most familiar – is not in anyone’s best interest. The worst outcome would be for salespeople who are responsible for all four groups to focus 100 percent of their attention on, say, Keep – and nothing at all on Attain, Recapture, or Expand. Identify a target percentage of time to spend on each of the four KARE areas!
For more ideas on improving sales efficiency, see my book The Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders: 49 Timeless Management Principles and How to Apply Them.