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Share the Wealth

If you've got one superstar handling all your top accounts, it's time to redistribute the work--and the risk.

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This story appears in the November 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Would you knowingly endanger the viability of your business? Not likely, but many entrepreneurs inadvertently risk financial life and limb by placing all their top accounts with just one great seller. According to Susan Kearney, CEO and president of sales-effectiveness company SalesTraction, located in Falls Church, Virginia, putting all your customer eggs in just one rep's basket is sales suicide. Kearney elaborates, "It's dangerous for one rep to have several top accounts in any size business, and it can be suicide in a small company where a majority of the revenue and referrals flow from a small number of clients." Kearney goes on to say the misstep is a common one for entrepreneurs who "hire a few [salespeople] with great Rolodexes, turn the selling effort over to them, and focus on other [aspects of the business]."

To protect your company's accounts-and to ensure that having one top sales rep leave your company doesn't end up inflicting a mortal wound-follow these steps to avoid the dreaded "all your eggs in one basket" syndrome:

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