Rant #6 My BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT person is NEVER in the OFFICE!
Time spent in the office – now this one cracks me up. “I never see them; they only stop in the office for a few minutes at a time then head right back out the door.” If you’d like your BD person to sit in the office and play spider solitaire then you are wasting a lot of money, they are supposed to be out – meeting new people, holding meetings, creating partners, etc. The last thing you want them to do is sit IN the office. That being said if you have not created some type of communication system or accountability system then you may have a problem on your hands. We’ve created a communication structure with our clients that allows them to be kept up to date and keeps us from having to fill out huge spreadsheets or databases.
Asking a Business Developer to spend time filling out spreadsheets is a colossal waste of time and most of them won’t do it anyway – it really goes against their core nature. You do however need to be kept up to date in a reasonable fashion to ensure the pipeline is moving forward. I would suggest an easy to manage CRM or communication structure.
The bigger issue is if your BD person IS ALWAYS IN THE OFFICE – then they have nothing to do …and that’s a real problem. I find that most CEO’s struggle with the concept that this person should be out all day and yet when they are in the office, because they are usually a lot of fun no one notices that maybe they aren’t doing what they should be doing. This BD role can also create challenges within the office – some employees may get upset that this person “gets paid for eating lunch and going to happy hour” so be mindful of the internal sabotage. Part of this person’s role is to create relationships and that typically requires lunches and happy hours to network, with prospects or with clients.