Alignment: Keys to Strategic Vertical and Account Selling

March 19th, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

A few years ago I was preparing for a sales call at Encana; I was supporting a sales rep who was trying to increase the amount of contacts within the account.  The rep was dealing with a contact who was acting as a gate keeper; this was impeding our ability to introduce new products into the account.  A best practice I like to use when going into a meeting with a strategic account is researching information on the CEO of the company and looking for a quote from him or her that will support the sales call objective.  That day I found a quote from Gwyn Morgan, the CEO of Encana, in an article called, Aligning Universities for Success – Turning out Graduates Who Get Jobs. That quote is:

“Alignment is a condition where there is commonality of understanding, intent, action and accountability on several fronts: on vision, strategy, goals and objectives and on measures, roles and accountability”. 

When I read the article I replaced the word Universities with salespeople; the new title of the article would be Aligning Sales People for Success – Turning out Strategic Vertical and Account Salespeople.  The article went on to elaborate on four types of alignment; I have taken these definitions of alignment and changed them to relate to strategic vertical and account selling.  



Gwyn Morgan Definition

Strategic Vertical & Account Selling

Mission Alignment

An understanding of an organization’s vision and objectives.


The ability to understand the detailed vertical requirement and align the requirement with the sales organization’s objectives.

Functional Alignment

Organizational structures and process that enable people to be successful in achieving the clearly established goals they are accountable for delivering.

Leveraging products, services, sales tools, and process to set sales goals that are aligned with strategic vertical and account requirements.

Emotional Alignment

A belief our organization and its role in society are worthwhile and the organization’s values and behaviours make us proud to be there.


The in-depth understanding of a strategic vertical and accounts requirements allowing an organization to position solutions that evolves a company status from vendor to partner.

Recognition Alignment

When appreciation, advancement, and compensation are aligned with the behaviour expected behaviours and results.


Taking a long term strategic view of the accounts and rewarding salespeople for building market share in an account versus product selling. 


Topics: Business Intelligence