In your AEC firm, are all contacts, companies, agencies, and pursuits treated equally? Do they all receive the same type of information and number of brochures, email announcements, and invitations to events? Are all proposals coming in the door treated equally? Is your team scattered as they try to cover all the bases because they don't know exactly what is most important? The fact is: Not all markets (or contacts) are created equal!
I've sat in hundreds of BD/marketing meetings and, quite often, a disproportionate amount of the meeting is spent on the smaller or "one-off" pursuits that have the least opportunity for creating revenue or firm growth. There seems to be a huge desire by the group to solve the perceived problem of "How are we going to win this client and project?" when the question on the table should be, "Do we really want this client?
Knowing where to spend your resources is easily defined by prioritizing your target markets and accounts you are pursuing and having a "preferred client profile." This definition should be a group conversation during your annual planning session so all participants understand that some pursuits take priority and others may be moved down the food chain when the team is trying to cover too much ground.
Prioritize Your Target Markets & Accounts (companies/agencies)
The most attention by BD, seller-doers, and marketing should be directed to the markets and accounts that either already provide or have the potential to provide the greatest amount of revenue and/or build the firm for the future. To pour the same number of dollars and efforts into a market that will provide 5% of your firm's revenues as those poured into a market that will provide 40% of revenue isn't wise. Yes, still pursue those smaller markets and accounts if those fit your firm's "preferred client profile" or can move your firm forward in the desired direction. But, otherwise, keep your focus (time and resources) on the pursuits where you can make the biggest relevant gains.
The problem of non-prioritizing shows up when your proposal team is overwhelmed and doesn't have sufficient time to complete each and every proposal perfectly. They are pulled in different directions because individual BD'ers/seller-doers are working from their individual priorities and don't have an over-arching strategy that defines what is most important to the firm. When that common understanding of what is most important is in place, the entire team can prioritize their efforts and put the most attention to those proposals with the best opportunities for revenue, firm growth, and achieving the firm's goals.
There never is sufficient time to chase absolutely everything perfectly and the smart business approach is to prioritize what you're pursuing and put your efforts to where it counts!
PS One of the biggest secrets of prioritizing is the power of focus. When your attention and resources are focused, you are more powerful in your pursuit of success.
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