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The 4 Account Types Every Sales Team Needs to Identify


Most selling organizations have many accounts they track in one form or another. All of those clients and prospects typically have designations of some type applied to them in territory and account planning. They are differentiated by size, vertical market, geographic location, commercial vs. public sector, etc.

But what do those labels really tell you about the traits and tendencies of the accounts? What does knowing those designations really do to help you understand the relative importance of the accounts to your strategy and mission?

The Duck Test

We all know the duck test. If it quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and waddles like a duck, it's likely a duck. But before we can make that determination, we need to know that a duck quacks, waddles and swims. Once we know that, we've gained the ability to differentiate a duck from a giraffe. Understanding the attributes of those species earns you the right to identify them and, as a result, to treat them differently.

Based on your input in building the attributes that are customized to your business model, Sandler Enterprise Selling's KARE tool provides four meaningful profiles into which you slot all of your accounts: Keep, Attain, Recapture and Expand.

The 4 KARE Account Profiles


Accounts we definitely want to retain. These aren't necessarily the largest or most prestigious "rain-makers," but they are core accounts that are consistent and relatively easy to manage.


Our ideal accounts that match our target profile, those that we aspire to win. They fit the description of, "We do not work with them now but we would like to."


Previously active accounts that are worthy of the time and resources needed to woo them back. There are many reasons accounts go cold, which are not always tied to performance, but we would like to work with them again.


Accounts in which we see great potential for expansion and those in which we are willing, and often eager, to invest in.

That difference between Keep and Expand accounts is critical and having such meaningful designations earns you the right to take targeted actions, based on the specific needs of accounts in the profiles.

Additionally, the four profiles create a common language within your organization, a language that provides clarity about these treasured assets – your clients and prospects!