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Account Tiering: The Basics

Account Tiering: the basics_inspir'em

Oh wow, is that the time already? 

It's almost February. 1/12th of the year gone in a flash and the need for quick wins is now upon us! 

Turn up the pipeline generation efforts! 


Jump to our Top Tips for Account Tiering


So much to do – How can Account Tiering Help?

On average, most enterprise sales reps have around 50 accounts. That is simply too many to cover in any depth during a single year. On average, most will end up serving just 10 of these 50.  

[Just to reiterate - we are talking about Enterprise deals of $100-250k]

So, how do we ensure our precious time in these next 11 months is focused in the right place?

‘Account Tiering’ is how and is an absolute must-have skill in the kit bag. 

The more focused we are on accounts and opportunities we can win, the bigger the yield.

The best sales reps want focus not breadth. They understand the yield at stake.

Breadth is spreading your bets. Or, for our American readers, peanut buttering!

You'll cover every account - perhaps - but not in any depth. You’ll never really understand the customers' challenges or have time to build meaningful relationships - the two things that ensure you get maximum ARR from your accounts.


"I once worked with a sales rep who had 5 accounts, each with a pipeline of $1m ARR. He quickly deduced one account could yield $30m on its own. By account tiering and focus, he gave back the 4 less interesting accounts and did $30m against a $1m quota.

Let's just say - the rest was history." Emma Maslen, inspir'em CEO.


Top Tips for Account Tiering 

Every company has its own best practice for tiering accounts based on their knowledge of existing customers. However, if you are looking for some inspiration here are our top tips:


1. Forget What You Think You Know

Too often an account tiering exercise by sales reps is completed based upon ‘feel’ or what they think they know of the account. 

Basing tiering on this risks missing key insights which could materially affect the optimum outcome.

Examples of misses by not conducting research and going only on feel:

  • Missing a recent merger by a company out of your territory
  • Missing that your customer has signed an early renewal. 

Both of these situations result in removing your competing event as leverage for new products.


2. Use a Criteria Scientifically

It’s important to not be lazy. Account tiering is a process to save you time in the long run. Don't waste your own time by not doing it properly up front. 

It's important to have criteria when employing Account Tiering. Write these down and check the logic. 

Example 1: Specific Criteria.

Accounts in financial services have a higher propensity to buy your product or they yield a higher ARR. 

Therefore, your criteria might be as simple as: 

‘The Account in is the financial services industry’.

This is very black and white and will certainly help to focus the mind. 

Example 2: Scoring Systems.

Sometimes criteria are a bit more numbers focused and you’re dealing with multiple criteria within certain ranges. In this case have a scoring system.

For example, one criteria might be: ‘Number of Employees’ 

Perhaps you have a sweet spot of 2,500-5,000 employees. Therefore, you create a scoring system:

  • Over 5k Employees: Score 1 
  • 2,500 -5,000 Employees: Score 3 
  • <2,500 employees: Score 1  

Creating an overall score from multiple examples like this (a ‘multiple-thing score’) can then help you prioritise a whole territory.


3. Check Your Homework. 

Account scoring should be scientific. It should be data based. 

However, sometimes you will need others' input or eyes to check your work to ensure you haven't missed anything. We would always encourage getting a peer and leader to check your tiering. 



Time is of the essence - the best salespeople focus on the biggest bang for the buck. 

Use account tiering and regular reviews to ensure you are focusing your efforts on those must-win and can-win opportunities and accounts. You'll thank yourself in the end.


Want to know more about Account Planning? Join us on Feb 7th for our one-day Strategic Account Planning Workshop


If you are interested in new ideas, inspir'em sales meeting exercises and lesson plans are available to continue the development of your teams.

Contact us today to boost your sales and see your revenue grow.

For more tips on applying MEDDIC in the real world, join our community at inspir'em today.