If this is your firm’s thinking, then you’re missing the big picture. Almost two thirds of the entire business development process is handled by marketing activities. It wasn’t always that way, but because of technology, the Internet, and today’s buyers’ journey, your marketing program has the opportunity to amplify your business development program well beyond where it is today and pour time into your BD’ers hands so they can focus where it counts.
Marketing exists to support the sales effort. I liken marketing's role to sweeping the street in front of the business developers and being the wind at their backs as they pursue new opportunities. Yes, there are other activities marketing undertakes that may not be closely aligned to revenue generation, but the majority of marketing activities should have a solid connection to the bottom line.
Four questions to consider:
1. Does your firm hold your sales meetings separate from marketing meetings?
Marketing can't support the sales efforts if they don't hear and understand what is going on. That happens best in a meeting setting with group sharing and discussion. Most marketers are strategists and their ability to be strategic is contingent on having great input from the sales team. Open the doors and let the teamwork begin.
2. Does your marketing group know the firm's revenue projections and what it will take to accomplish those?
Include marketing in understanding revenue projections. Those revenue projections should be broken down into a reasonable formula so everyone understands the size of target market the firm should be pursuing, what is needed to engage new prospects and nurture existing relationships, how many proposals must be submitted, and how many interviews must be won.
3. Do your business developers and marketers have different ideas on the company's value propositions?
Both sales and marketing must be on the same page when talking about the company, whether in person, in a brochure or on the company website. That common ground should include your company's vision, mission, differentiators, and value propositions. Everything said by both business developers and marketers must have a common voice in order for your audiences to believe you.
4. Is everything for marketing requested at the last minute?
If requests for marketing activities are almost always coming in at the last minute, there isn't a common sales and marketing plan in place where both sides know what is to be done to accomplish the goals. It means that individuals are working unilaterally and deciding what they need, on-the-fly. Yes, there are times that a last-minute SOQ is needed, but if last-minute requests are the standard method of operating, then, one hand doesn't know what the other is doing.
BONUS NOTE: Marketo™ does it best in this blog post on marketing automation, CRM’s, and managing referrals. http://blog.marketo.com/2016/06/how-to-beat-dunbars-number-with-martech.html
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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