It's hard to build something substantial on shifting soils or unstable structures. It can't be counted on and it probably won't last. Do you have a strong foundation in your firm for building a vibrant, yet stable revenue generation program that successfully supports your purpose of driving revenue and long-term sustainability for your firm?
Just as engineers and architects use proven structures, processes, and measurement for developing a predictable and executable set of project plans and specs, AEC business development, marketing, and client relations is advancing toward a similar foundation. This formalization of, often, "seat-of-the-pants" revenue generation is moving toward specific and proven structures, systems, and processes, identifiable metrics, and realistically anticipated projected outcomes that can improve your firm's probabilities for success.
So, what is the foundation for a successful revenue generation program? There are six components.
We're not talking about organizational structure of the people involved; we're talking about the structure and inter-relationships of business development, marketing, and client relations. Is your program structured? Does it incorporate proven strategies? Does everyone know and understand what the components of your program are meant to accomplish? Are those functions integrated?
With process, staff can clearly understand the strategies, activities, and behaviors that generate the best revenue results. Your structure and processes become the demonstration points, across the firm, for the manner in which the firm effectively pursues work. Do have clearly defined processes for planning, implementing, and measuring your revenue generation programs?
Without measurement, there is no gauge to know whether you're doing well or not. Golfers, retailers, runners, hospitals – all measure what they're doing in order to improve. More importantly, none of those professions waits until the end to measure their performance. They measure their performance by the phase rather than by a single and final metric of the entire process. Do you measure your firm's performance at multiple points in your revenue generation process?
Focus is one of the most powerful tools for an AEC firm. So often, firms chase transactions (Thx, TB!) and end up with work that is sometimes good or sometimes tough to complete while also being unprofitable. As we all know, focus allows you to align your firm with the markets you want to pursue. Taken a step further, focus allows you to target and pursue the best accounts (companies/agencies) that fit your firm's preferred client and project profiles while you build strong relationships and position your firm for long-term interactions with that company or agency. Do you carefully select the companies and agencies you want to work with in the long run whether they have a project right now or not? Or are you chasing transactions?
No need to over-beat this drum! We all understand the importance of value. Can you pinpoint your value? Can you put that value into words that differentiate you from your competitors? Is your value in your service, quality of product, ability to deliver, availability of boutique services or specialized technical services or elsewhere? Your firm's value should align with your firm's brand, so check it out and see how your firm looks from the "value" viewpoint of your audiences.
Over and over again, we hear, "it's all about relationships" and, yes, those relationships are important. A strong relationship will save a project that is going south. It will help you get in the door for the second, third or fourth project. It makes a project easier to complete and more enjoyable to celebrate at the end of the day. Do your seller-doers, BD'ers, technical staff, and marketers understand how to initiate and build relationships? Do they understand the importance of building trust and likeability so the prospect is willing to enter into a relationship?
Good questions to get thoughts rolling! Plan on joining us over the next six weeks as we delve into each of these components of a strong foundation for AEC revenue generation.
Friday Chow is posted weekly, or thereabouts, to provide you with insights and considerations for AEC sales and marketing. Good stuff to feed your revenue engine!
When you're ready to improve your business development, marketing, and client relations programs, contact Red Hound Studios at firstname.lastname@example.org