Where have you been?

I’ve been AWOL, definitely MIA from this blog – a huge No-No.  I know this and yet the business required so much of my time these past few months that I neglected the one thing I know people look for – information.  Yes I was busy, new and existing clients, a pipeline to die for, and most importantly recreating our structure.  2012 taught me a few things – like having policies in my head was probably not a good idea, sure I communicated them (or so I thought) but how was anyone to really know what I expected if it wasn’t on paper?  So it’s now on paper.

We changed how we “on-board” a client.  We found that most clients had a ready, fire, aim approach to new business development and for many the idea of target markets was anyone that breathes.  We revamped our Client Acceptance Protocol and it made sense to create one for each new client so our consultants could more easily stay on task.  Our government contractors say,” it’s easy we just focus on this agency and that agency” and yet each of these agencies has multiple silos with separate decision makers so how do you know where to go in each agency?  We’ve found that a more in-depth market review and analysis in the beginning leading to a Client Acceptance Protocol for each new client prior to pipeline development led to a stronger understanding of the client’s unique capabilities, an easier transition for the consultant to communicate most effectively with prospects and it gave the client a better understanding of our strategy.

We did a billing and invoicing policy for our clients so there are no longer any questions regarding pay structures, how it’s handled and more importantly for me who handles it (and guess what …it’s no longer me)(side question – what are the things taking up your  valuable time that could easily and cost effectively be outsourced?).   We updated our Client Acceptance Protocol and it’s in the hands of everyone in the office so we all stay on task when it comes to marketing and new client engagement.  No longer can we choose to bring on a client if they don’t fit the mold (we call this rescuing puppies).  If they don’t fit, they don’t fit and we’ll be glad to introduce them to someone else who may be able to help.  In fact over the past several months I’ve given 5 opportunities to my competition – they were just a better fit.

Rescuing Puppies is the phrase my husband chose one night about 4 years ago as we were talking about a client that just wasn’t the right fit but I knew we could help them if they would just let us do our work and stop the self -sabotage.  Of course all of our pets are rescues and there is definitely something in my core about helping and taking care of others, but sometimes, in business, I want to help them more then they want to really help themselves.  As it turns out this particular client really wasn’t ready or willing to make the changes necessary for them to thrive.  This is something we see every day with smaller companies.  Almost 5 years into the business we can now spot a “puppy” a mile away and while we may have a personal relationship with the owner and we may want to see them thrive, we know the total costs will outweigh the benefits.  How often do you take on a client that isn’t the right fit?  What have you done to ensure your clients truly fit within your target?  Where are your policies?  If you’re like me you communicated, or at least thought you had communicated the policies and yet for some reason the same issues kept popping up.  Many thanks to Susan Katz, the Growth Coach for helping me to realize that it was easier to get the policies out of my head and on paper then it was to expect everyone to be mind-readers.

So while I’ve been missing, it was time well spent.  Look for our next blog on Prospect Rants.

The Candle Problem: Rethinking the Way we do Business

What truly motivates your employees? How do you, as a business owner, foster a more efficient workplace to ultimately drive sales and increase profits? Well, traditional business practices would lead one to believe that extrinsic motivators, like monetary rewards, are the best way to motivate your employees. However, recent studies show that there may be a mismatch between how businesses “motivate” salespeople and what science knows to be effective.

This is the subject of speaker Daniel Pink’s speech, “The Surprising Science of Motivation.”

The Candle Problem: Participants are tasked to attach a candle to a wall in such a way so wax will not drip on the table below. To do this, the participant may use a book of matches and a box of thumbtacks.

Some participants try to use the tacks to fix the candle to the wall. It doesn’t work. Other try to melt part of the candle and stick it to the wall. That doesn’t work either.

The Solution: Empty the box of thumbtacks, put the candle into the box, use the thumbtacks to nail the box to the wall, and stick the candle in the box.

The message of the candle problem is simple and can easily be applied to the business community, especially motivation. We must stop looking at what we think we see…what we think we know about motivation and start looking for more creative and effective ways to encourage salespeople and ultimately bolster sales.

The fact is that traditional, extrinsic rewards aren’t always as effective as we think.

“I can’t tell you how many leaders I speak with that think their sales people are motivated by money, but most aren’t,” said Springboard CEO Karin Schwartz. “It’s rarely about money.”

In fact, according to Dr. Bernd Irlenbusch of the London School of Economics, “financial incentives…can result in a negative impact on overall performance.” Instead, Daniel Pink encourages the use of intrinsic business motivation, which work because of three key factors:

  • Autonomy: The urge to direct our own lives
  • Mastery: The desire to get better and better and something that matters
  • Purpose: The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

“It’s not uncommon to see sales people motivated by cultivating long term relationships, helping others, finding the missing puzzle piece, receiving the accolades/appreciation, etc.,” said Karin. “The faster a business owner realizes how their people are motivated the faster they can develop a culture that thrives.”

If you have any questions about Business Development, please contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Springboard offers outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. Our approach to business development makes it easy to find new clients without the financial burden of an in-house business developer.

At Springboard we know sales!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn as well!

The Biggest Business Development Mistakes

 

If your business relies heavily on sales, then you know just how important it is to have a strong business development strategy. Still, even the best businesses fall victim to the same old mistakes!

  1. Assuming you know EVERYTHING there is to Know: Becoming proficient in the business development arena takes practice. Not just anyone can be successful…it takes serious work!
  2. Selling to the Wrong Person: Make sure you are talking to a decision maker. Don’t waste your time selling to someone who can’t even make the decision to buy your product or service!
  3. Failing to Make Multiple Contacts: What happens if you spend a ton of time developing a business relationship with a prospect only to have that prospect fired? Well, if you failed to make multiple contacts, you are screwed!
  4. Not Enough Prospects: Prospects are your lifeline. Without a healthy number of prospects in your sales funnel, your business has no chance of thriving!
  5. Waiting for Referrals: Referrals are great and a lot of the time, they drive your business. But you cannot rely on your clients to just hand over referrals. Get you’re a$$ out there and find business. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from happy clients. What’s the worst that could happen? They say no.
  6. Not Bringing More to the Table: What do you have to offer your prospects? If you are having trouble answering this question, then you are probably in the wrong business! And we are not just talking about your product or service. The prospect already knows about that. But what’s something you can do to help your prospect in their business? What can you offer the prospect that no one else can?
  7. Assuming you know what the Client Needs: You don’t know what the client needs. Only the client knows what he/she needs. So stop talking and start listening.
  8. Fear of Closing: Don’t let a prospect pull you in every direction. You are in the business of making money. So make the sale or cut your losses. You cannot waste your valuable time on a lost cause. That is just a poor business strategy.
  9. Trying to do everything In House: With salary ranges of $120-175k plus benefits, taxes, and expense reimbursements, companies are wisely moving away from in-house business developers and beginning to turn to outsourced business development firms, like Springboard, to ask, “How can we do this at less cost while hitting all the key areas?”
  10. Trusting Someone other than Springboard! If we didn’t think we were the best and if we didn’t know we could help you grow your business, we wouldn’t be doing what we do! So start putting your trust in Springboard Business Development!

If you have any questions about Springboard Business Development, please contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Springboard offers outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. Our approach to business development makes it easy to find new clients without the financial burden of an in-house business developer.

At Springboard we know sales!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn as well!

Teaming…it’s not just for Contracts anymore :: Business Development Tips

At Springboard, we found many of our clients selling to government contractors who started to ask if we could help them.  But since business development in the commercial and government markets is such a vastly different processes, we originally said no.  That was until we created our Business Development Team.

We found that teaming isn’t just for our clients, but it was for us as well.  Our clients were asking for help in multiple agencies, multiple locations all of whom seemed to have events and projects due at the same time requiring our members to pick one versus the other.  As much as we would like to, we could not be in two places at once. Until now!

When we decided to try the team approach we realized we could be present in all our target markets at the same time with no additional cost to the client.

The Benefits of Springboard’s Business Development Team

At Springboard, we utilize leverage and agility to represent several companies at any one time on a part time basis in the market’s where you need us to be.  Because of our leveraged team approach we get more done in the span of a month than the overwhelming majority of full time business development professionals and at a fraction of the cost with greatly reduced risk to the organization.

So, is it possible to be all things to all people? In this case yes!

If you have any questions about Springboard’s Business Development Team, please contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Springboard offers outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. Our approach to business development makes it easy to find new clients without the financial burden of an in-house business developer.

At Springboard we know sales!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn as well!

Sales as a part of Business Development & Outsourced Sales in Baltimore, MD

Business Development is such an ambiguous term. And it has come to our attention that many individuals do not know exactly what Business Development is or what it entails. The truth is that Business Development is actually a combination of strategic analysis, marketing, and sales.

Last week, we gave you a brief overview of the role of marketing in Business Development. This week, we are going to focus our attention on sales.

Sales and Business Development

The term Business Development was created because each of its three parts – analysis, marketing, and sales – are so intertwined that one cannot thrive without the other. Sales cannot thrive without marketing, which cannot thrive without strategic analysis, and so forth and so on.

As it pertains to sales, Business Development includes many aspects, including:

  • Seeking out new sales markets
  • Forming new sales partnerships with other businesses
  • Finding new ways to reach existing sales markets
  • Generating new sales leads
  • Developing new sales strategies
  • And much more!

Without the right business development (and sales) efforts, your business simply cannot grow and thrive.

Outsourcing Business Development and Sales

If your company does not have the resources to sell efficiently and effectively, then outsource these duties to a Business Development company that can increase your sales and overall revenue.

  • Expert Sales Force: Your outsourced sales team has the experience and knowledge to increase your sales.
  • Dedication: Your Outsourced sales firm does nothing but focus on selling and developing new sales opportunities.
  • Save Money: You will not have to hire or train anyone in-house. This means that you will be saving money while also increasing your revenue.
  • More Time: Outsourcing allows you to go back to doing what you do best – growing your company!

At the end of the day, increasing your revenue is the driving force behind your sales campaign.

If you have any questions about Business Development and Sales, please contact Springboard Business Development by calling 410-832-7560 or click here today!

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Springboard offers outsourced sales solutions for businesses in the professional services arena. Our approach to business development makes it easy to find new clients without the financial  burden of an in-house business developer.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn as well!