In most businesses everyone knows who the top account is.
Or at least they think they know.
And people can usually make an educated guess at the second top account.
But after that? It’s a lot tougher.
Ask your colleagues to name the top accounts by won revenue. Or the top accounts by open opportunities. After the first one or two there’s likely to be a lot of disagreement.
Chances are, those accounts that consume the most time, or get talked about the most, are rated as the ‘top accounts’. But they’re not always the most valuable ones.
And once you get down to team, territory or individual level? Then there’s rarely a definitive list of the top accounts by pipeline or won revenue.
The benefits of knowing your top accounts
A dashboard table that lists the top 10 accounts by open opportunities is a powerful feature. It’s included as number 8 in our most popular blog post, 12 Charts that should be on your Salesforce Dashboard.
Definitively identifying your top accounts by open opportunities or won revenue has many benefits. It means you can:
- Prioritize sales and business development activities on the most important customers and prospects.
- Create structured business development plans for the top accounts.
- Focus scarce resources, such as board member or senior executive time, where it matters most.
- Work with other teams such as customer service to prioritize and enhance the revenue from these accounts.
- Identify the biggest risks to future revenue. It’s these top accounts that your competitors are most likely to be targeting.
- Determine which accounts are most likely to benefit from a long-term framework agreement.
Read our blog post How to do Strategic Account Planning in Salesforce to get started in creating business development plans for your top accounts. Or study Key Accounts: Two Must-Have Reports to Measure Proactivity to understand how to measure and track activity on top accounts.
Top Accounts by open opportunities
Here’s what the dashboard table showing the top 10 accounts by open opportunities looks like.
We can immediately see that Athena Home Products has twice as much open opportunity pipeline than any other account. It is currently our top account in terms of the overall pipeline. If we can get the chief executive to visit only one account, let’s make it that one.
In your business you probably already know the top account by open opportunities. But now we know definitely which customers and prospects fill the other nine spots. And we can start to marshal our resources and build account development plans accordingly.
Incidentally it’s easy to adjust the number of accounts listed on the dashboard table. Read the step by step instructions below.
Drill down to the underlying report to see all Accounts with open opportunities.
We’ve used conditional highlighting on the report to make easy to see the open opportunities. The report shows that the total pipeline on our top account, Athena, is made up of two opportunities (top row on the report). Other Accounts such as United Oil & Gas (third from bottom) have multiple opportunities over sequential months.
The report enables us to question our strategy. Are opportunities on the same account related? Are there different Opportunity Owners and are they collaborating? Can we push towards a single large deal or exclusive framework agreement?
Here’s the chart that’s embedded in the report and shows the top accounts by total pipeline size.
The chart immediately gives us a visual indicator of the relative importance of the contribution of each account to the pipeline.
In a large business you might want to filter this by sales team, territory and even individual. Reviewing the report and chart should be a key feature in sales team meetings and funnel reviews.
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Top accounts by won revenue
It’s also easy to identify the top accounts by closed won revenue.
The report chart clearly reveals the accounts that have contributed most to our revenue over the year.
We can use this information to review our strategy for existing customers. Are we going back to them to look for new opportunities? Are there accounts that soak up a lot of time yet have yielded little in terms of won revenue? Do a small number of accounts contribute a disproportionate amount of our revenue? And are any of them at risk?
So take away the guesswork in identifying your key accounts. Create the reports and dashboard charts. Then use the information to develop your sales, business development and customer retention strategy.
Remember the same approach can be used if you import orders into salesforce. Simply run an Accounts with Orders report to get visibility of the orders and revenue associated with each Account.
How to create a top accounts report and dashboard table
Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a report and dashboard table showing the top accounts in terms of open opportunities. Once you’ve built the open opportunities report it’s a simple step to create a similar report of top accounts by won revenue.
If you’d like a customized demonstration of how key account planning can work in your specific business then simply get in touch to arrange a short web demo.
To create the report used in this blog
- Create a basic Opportunities report. Click Reports, New Report and select an Opportunities Report. Click Create.
- In the report configuration module, set the Opportunity Status to Open. Set the Range to All Time
- At the top of the Preview pane, click on Tabular Format and select Matrix Report.
- Drag the Account Name from the field selection pane onto the left hand side (y-axis) of the report.
- Drag the Close Date onto the horizontal (x-axis) of the report.
- Set the Close Date to Group By, Calendar Month.
- Drag the Amount field onto the main body of the report, and check the Sum box.
- Click on the word ‘Show’ and deselect the Record Count. Do the same thing again and deselect Show Details.
- Click on Show a final time and select Conditional Highlighting. Select Opportunity Amount in the picklist. Leave the first box blank and enter 1 into the second box. Click on each of the first two colour pickers and select the no colour option (it’s the box in the bottom right on the colour picker with the red line through it).
- Click on Add Chart.
- Check that the horizontal bar chart is selected. Check that the y-axis is showing Opportunity Amount and the x-axis Account Name.
- Click on the chart Formatting tab.
- Check the Enable Hover checkbox and set the chart to run Below Report. Click OK.
- Run the Report and check that it looks like the first Open Opportunities by Account report in our post. Save the report to a folder other than My Personal Custom Reports.
To create the top accounts dashboard table:
- Click on Edit on the dashboard.
- Drag the Table component onto the dashboard.
- Click on the Data Sources tab.
- Find the report you just saved and drag it onto the dashboard table component.
- By default the table will list the Accounts in alphabetical order. So click on the spanner symbol on the table component.
- In the Sort Rows By picklist, select Value Descending.
- In the Maximum Values Displayed box enter 10 (or any other number of results that you want to display on the dashboard table). Click OK.
- Give your table a meaningful Header, for example, Accounts by Pipeline Size.
- In the table Title, enter Top 10 Accounts (or the number you chose in step 7).
- Close and Save the Dashboard.
You’re done. Now review our 5 Tip Guide to Creating High Impact Salesforce Reports.
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