It's easy for sales teams to focus on small businesses. There are plenty to pitch and they are much less intimidating to approach than large enterprises. Even experienced sales staffs can fall into this trap. What's more, team members are nervous about giving up their smaller clients and the revenue that these customers add to their book of business.

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They're hesitant to change the sales strategies that they have successfully used for so long.

However, if you really want your sales team to thrive, you need to give up these fears. Moving your B2B sales process upmarket and focusing on enterprise accounts has a variety of important advantages for your company.

1. Increased revenue

Think about the Pareto Principle. When applied to business, it states that 80 percent of your revenue comes from only 20 percent of your customers. Therefore, if you focus your efforts on your key accounts, you'll see how quickly your revenue will grow. Your average revenue per account will skyrocket, since it is not being brought down by high-energy, low-growth clients.

This revenue growth will occur for several reasons. Most enterprise clients provide a regular stream of revenue throughout the fiscal year, depending on your business model. If you make the time to focus on the larger accounts, though, you will have more success in upselling and finding key growth opportunities among those big customers. Because you'll be providing a higher level of service, you will be able to charge a premium and increase your margins.

2. Expanded networking opportunities

Larger accounts have more employees, meaning more contacts your sales team can connect with. This offers your team a great deal of stability. These accounts are no longer vulnerable to being lost simply because one person changes positions or leaves the company.

Another benefit of having a variety of potential contacts in an organization is that it makes them easier to prospect. If there is only a single key contact and that individual is not receptive to your sales pitch, your sales team will be dead in the water. With multiple contacts, however, your team will have a variety of ways to break into an account.

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3. Highly sought-after references

Referrals are one of the most important ways to drive revenue. A recent study found that 71 percent of companies surveyed that had implemented a referral program had relatively high conversion rates. Similar studies have shown that customer referrals are among the highest-quality leads a sales team can generate.

In moving your sales process upmarket, you'll find that you will be targeting far fewer accounts. And, to be successful with a more limited pool of customers, you must provide personal and customized service.

Coincidentally, that is the type of relationship you need to build with prospects and buyers if you want to drive referrals in the first place. As you shift your mindset and sales attitudes to accommodate enterprise customers, you will see a dramatic change in how well those same customers treat you. Consequently, they will reciprocate with referrals to other businesses they know, too.

4. Predictable sales growth

When you take the time to analyze your sales goals, it is much easier to create accurate revenue models with a handful of large accounts than with many smaller ones. Your sales team members will have a highly targeted pipeline and detailed plans for each one of their accounts. This will make it much simpler to forecast than when you are dealing with smaller clients that tend to have more sporadic buying patterns.

5. Full utilization of resources

Chasing small businesses is extremely difficult. There are 28 million of them in the United States alone. Considering how many of them won’t be in the market for your products or services and how many won’t be good fits, you will waste lots of time reaching out to leads that are not worth your time.

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Beyond that, going after so many leads does not give your sales and marketing teams the opportunity to optimize their efforts. Pursuing larger accounts, however, will allow your team to take the time to develop a targeted plan for each account. In the end, less time and money will have been wasted chasing and converting each customer.