Have you ever witnessed an employee shrug off an opportunity to close a sale or start a conversation about your business because they aren’t in the “sales” or “business development” department? Are you guilty of relying solely on one department to feed your business pipeline?
Developing and maintaining relationships with prospects, customers and clients is vital to your organization’s success – and everyone in your organization plays a role in it. Everyone who works on a project that has potential to grow is in business development. Everyone who interacts with the customer is in business development. Everyone who supports the customer is in business development. People who never see the customer, but depend on their revenue, are in business development. In short, everyone is in business development.
Business development includes all aspects of marketing, sales and customer service, each have a responsibility for retaining, attracting and gaining new clients. While you may have these three departments in your organization, and they may get the most “face-time” with the customer, everyone within your organization represents your company and has the potential to build new relationships and create opportunities.
Here are three aspects of business development that everyone in your organization should be responsible for:
Everyone should know how to educate and communicate your product or service and company positioning.
Everyone in your organization should have a clear understanding of who your ideal or core customer is and how to sell your company to them. To make sure your team is sharing a consistent message about your business and products or services, hammer down your company’s positioning on “why you” (why a customer should choose you over your competition) and “why your product line” (why your product is better than the competition).
You created your company to solve a problem or meet a need. A clear positioning statement will help to better communicate your value. Create a single statement that defines your company’s reason for existence, what you do, and how you make an impact to your customers. All team members should be trained on how to say this message. This positioning statement will provide direction to employees and customers alike.
Everyone should know how to professionally help their customers buy your company’s product or service.
As an organization, your sales department may have certain questions that lead your customer to identify a certain need or desire your company can fulfill. Share these questions with everyone and teach them the process it takes to lead someone from a prospect to a purchaser.
Identify and share the steps in the sales process with everyone in your organization so they know how to fulfill your service or product once the customer is ready to buy. Recognize whose responsibility it is to guide the prospective client through the process to the purchase.
Everyone should know and understand your company’s clear standards of customer service.
In the words of Jeffrey Gitomer, “Customer satisfaction is worthless, customer loyalty is priceless.” Strong customer service is key to not only building satisfied customers but to create loyal repeat customers that help sell your product for you. Create clear standards of customer service so everyone knows how to respond and treat your customers.
Keeping customers coming back time and time again is critical for the success of your company. Not only do loyal customers become brand ambassadors and share referrals with their friends and family, but retaining and upselling current customers is much more cost-effective than the acquisition cost of a new customer. Reiterate the value of current customers to your whole team so everyone understands their importance.
Everyone in your organization represents business development. How your team expresses themselves, follows up with clients, talks about the company, and how they serve your customers all play a part in the development of your organization. The bottom line is that everyone has responsibility for the growth of your company in regards to retaining, attracting and gaining new clients.
Most organizations aren’t consistent in teaching their team the critical skills necessary to engage in business development opportunities. To learn how to put a program in place, contact me today for a complimentary business development assessment.