The month of June is a great time to check in with your Business Development Team. My first sales manager, Nick, once said to me, “By June, you should know your entire year.”
Here are a few things to do now so that you and your team are celebrating success in December!
Reconfirm Your Leadership Ethos
As the business leader, you are responsible for establishing your leadership ethos. This is the spirit of your culture, the guiding beliefs of your team. A few key action steps you can take to achieve this are:
- Determine a set of adjectives that describes the character of your team in the marketplace. You should poll your team about what they think those are. Additionally, getting feedback from customers on this would be extremely valuable…and possibly eye opening!
- Work with your team to solidify how clients should feel about meeting with anyone in your organization.
Find Out How They’re Doing
You need to check in on each team member’s year-end sales objectives. You have those set, right? It’s important to work with them now on challenges so they don’t persist. For those who are seemingly doing well, it will also be important that you discover if they are closing the “right” business. Do their new customers have long-term potential? Is having these new accounts good for your business or will they be a drain on resources? Right now is the time to suss this so that you can create a plan moving forward that will focus on business your company really wants.
What Are Their Top Ten?
Another step is to make sure you know each business development person’s top ten accounts and the respective decision makers they have. Your team needs to understand what your team is saying to each decision maker and if they have traction with the executives. Are they communicating your company’s value proposition effectively and consistently. And if so, is it resonating? Adjustments can be made now that will help avoid negative year-end results later.
Require Face to Face Meetings
As you check in with your team, determine the number of face to face meetings they are having with clients. And set a goal for the next six months so they understand your expectations with this. Meeting someone face to face illustrates a desire to establish a relationship with them. When you probe someone you cannot rely on just a phone interaction, you need to feel their responses to know what is truly important to someone. This affirms the client and let them know that they are important to you.
While talking about client meeting goals, communicate to your team your understand that face to face meetings are difficult….they take time to set up, they are sometimes met with resistance (“Just send me an email with your questions.”), and the border on public speaking, of which some may be fearful. So, remember to acknowledge each person when they accomplish this, its vital to their self-esteem and affirmation that they are being successful.
Standardize Client Meetings
Finally, make sure each business development person’s sales meetings have these ingredients:
- Agenda to the meeting
- Ten probing questions
- A seven to nine-minute presentation that presents your value proposition
- A clear next step critical path from the meeting
Insuring the above will produce a high performing team that will achieve the goals you’ve set forth for this year.
OK…with less than six months left in the year, if you follow these steps now you will set your team up for great success. Let me know how it goes! -SG