Make your business development planning more successful

Feb 7, 2018 | Blog, Business Development, How we help clients grow, Insight

Having worked with different professional services clients over the years, I’ve seen many try to transform their approach to sales (or business development, if you prefer), says Annabel Miller. Some of these organisations have put together a formal transformation programme, whilst others have simply sought to make a positive shift in their sales efforts.

Whether you are considering a major change or a few tweaks to your approach, I’ve come up with the following key points that you should consider as part of your plans.

1. First, answer the question “Why are we doing this?” There must be a compelling reason for change, with a clearly articulated “what will happen if we do not make these changes” and why the current status is unacceptable.

2. Design your programme. Have a clear vision about what the newly transformed organisation will look like. For example, “In 3 years time we will be working in these sectors, we will have these key clients, we will be known for….”

The vision needs to be supported by 12 month objectives, Here’s an example of key objectives.  Our objectives over the next 12 months are: 

  • To have made our first sale in the Oil & Gas sector
  • To have doubled the number of business development meetings we are having as a business,
  • To have developed a Key Client programme for our top 10 accounts.

It’s then important to clear the KPI’s for those involved, so they can focus on these new objectives.

Business Development Planning

Learn tried and tested strategies to help you unlock more opportunities and win more – and better – work.

A half-day course for up to 12 people

3. Put together the right team to drive the programme. Your team make up will be somewhat dependent on the size of the programme, but to make it work you will need senior sponsorship. One of the firms I worked with had the CEO, CFO, Head of BD/Marketing, Head of HR and the four business unit leaders on the team.

4. Develop skills, process and behaviours. You will need to include training into your programme. Don’t make the mistake that many make and think that a one-off training course will develop sustained behavioural change. It doesn’t! Training works if: a) people know why they are doing it, b) how it will help them do their job better, c) they are given support following the event, and d) there are follow ups and refreshers.

5. Give your best and potential performers access to coaching. This demonstrates a real commitment to improving people through strong, challenging and empathetic coaching. It complements training and allows the recipients to really embed new habits. Coaching should be given to both individuals and teams. High-performing teams, whether they are leadership, key client, market/sector teams, can take the business to new places and turbo-boost business development.

6. Make sure you measure and monitor progress: Track the KPI’s, celebrate successes and make sure to involve, not dictate.

7. Lastly, be very clear about the behaviour you now expect and do not tolerate poor behaviour, regardless of seniority or past performance!

If you would like to know more about how I could help with your sales training and coaching, please get in touch.  This article borrows from research (McKinsey, Hinge Marketing) as well as my own experiences.

Optimise your selling Opportunity

Creating a possitive impact at that first client meeting.
Effective Business Development Meetings - free training guide from Questas Consulting

Get it now

Need help winning Bids & Tenders?

Summary Winning bids & tenders is a challenge. How do you make your business proposals stand out and stick in your clients minds? In this episode of Work Winning Ways Questas CEO and Founder Gary Williams talks to Richard Williams all about winning your bid.KEY...

Cross Selling in the world of Professional Services

Summary Cross selling in the world of Professional Services is the Holy Grail.  Organisations think it’s easy, but in this episode of Work Winning Ways, you’ll find out why it’s very difficult. Join Gary Williams as he discusses why cross selling is important, how...

How To Become A Trusted Advisor

Summary On this episode of Work Winning Ways, host Gary Williams of Questas discusses the evolution of the work winning employee and what your client wants from them. Also hear all about what it takes to become a trusted advisor, and just as importantly, how to keep...

Managing the Client Experience

Managing the client experience is vital, because we all know that a happy client is your best advocate. That is why it’s so important to understand the tools needed to successfully optimise the client experience, and maximise the positive encounters that clients have...

Building Strong Relationships

Summary In this episode of Working Winning Ways Gary Williams talks to Edd Stone of The Technology Partnership. Hear all about how Edd works with, understands, and builds strong relationships with people. These relationships can last over an entire career and span...

The Psychology of Selling

Did you know that understanding the psychology of selling can help you to win more work? Are you responsible for winning work but not a salesperson?  On the Questas Academy’s Professional Selling programme, we work with candidates to equip them with the tools and...

7 Steps to Winning More Work in 2022

Do you want to win more work in 2022? Here are 7 steps that will help you to win more of the right kind of work from the right kind of clients. These are based on our years of helping consultancy, engineering and professional services firms create opportunities,...

Engineering and Leadership

Summary In this episode of WORK WINNING WAYS we have a fascinating interview with Pat Sweet of the Engineering and Leadership podcast. Pat talks to Questas founder and CEO Gary Williams, as he gives some great insights on what it takes to successfully lead...

Building Customer Experience Around Trust, Care and Value

Summary Building customer experience around trust, care and value is the main theme of this episode of Work Winning Ways. Questas founder and CEO Gary Williams is joined by Paul Adams of The Project Centre, a professional design consultancy, focused on civil...

Why Client Services are the Key to Success

Summary In this episode of Work Winning Ways, Gary Williams, (founder and CEO of Questas) reveals why client services are the key to success. He shares insights on what Questas does for companies, how the podcast name came about, and why it is so important for client...