By Ben Jessup
For architecture, engineering, and construction firms, winning business is key. But getting the meeting with the right person and cultivating that relationship over twelve, eighteen, or even THIRTY-SIX months until the request for proposal (or RFP) for the project is released can be nerve wracking and a huge expense of time.
According to SMPS’s recent survey titled “Sell. Do. Win Business.,” it is clear the trend in the industry is for more dual role work, or billable staff having additional business development responsibilities. Over the next ten years, the number of seller-doers will drastically increase as the amount of time they will be spending on business development activities rises.
To maintain profitability, seller-doers and business development staff need to be extremely efficient and effective at securing new business from existing and new clients. How do you do it? Here are some helpful tips.
1. Leverage base analytics and user behavior data.
You and your team have a constant stream of communication going between existing clients and prospects that could be giving you a head start on new opportunities. For example, what if you, a seller-doer, were notified that Susan, the director of design and planning for a major university you have been trying to talk to, was visiting your website. And, let’s say that you knew exactly which web pages she was viewing. Let’s go even further, and say that you knew whether she opened your e-newsletter, or clicked on anything, downloaded or watched a video?
With the right analytics, you and your team can have clear and highly-actionable insights into who’s checking you out and how buyers are behaving with your brand. This is essential if you hope to stay efficient with your limited time on non-billable work. Being able to focus your time and energy on buyers who are closer to making a buying decision is better than wasting hours of time on a buyer who is not ready to buy, or who you know won’t buy.
2. Implement technology that works for your business, not your industry.
We come across this objection a lot, “I like HubSpot, their CRM and sales tools. It would be perfect for our team and our business but it isn’t tailored to our industry.” Technology is changing and most software companies have realized that they can’t do everything, so they have decided to play nice in the sandbox and allow multiple systems to transfer data back and forth.
The successful implementation and adoption of a CRM or a new piece of software does not depend on whether or not the product was designed for your industry, but whether the products you use simplify your marketing or sales workflow.
3. Simplify and automate personal communications.
Supporting the seller-doer can be easily done if you arm them with the right tools. Business developers typically have a handful of go-to emails that they use for a follow up to a meeting, scheduling lunch or coffee, or the ever-popular “just checking in” email.
Taking the time to create these emails for all their contacts is time-consuming Go to the full article.