Ever see that movie “She’s Just Not That Into You”? You know the part where Drew Barrymore is exhausted from the effort it takes to date in the digital age? This 50 second monologue describes what it’s like to be a Business Development professional in today’s world. Inbound Marketing, Targeted Sales Outreach, Buyer Personas, Client Journey, LinkedIN, FB, Twitter, Instagram, – the buzz word bingo alone is enough to make you feel overwhelmed. Is it possible to avoid the exhaustion that accompanies a never-ending stimulus cycle? Yes, focus on 2 hours of weekly Business Development planning.
- It only takes 60 minutes to identify where you will spend your next week. Face to face networking still wins the lead generation game especially when you work in an industry with a long sales cycle – ie: Architecture/Engineering/Construction. This infographic from Virgin illustrates the importance of meeting people in person.
- Use the first 10 minutes of this hour to capture any follow up’s that didn’t get accomplished last week. Take 25 minutes to go through your email invitations, visit industry trade organization websites and register for upcoming industry events. Time is a premium so choose your events wisely. Target industry events with at least 1 of 3 potential intentions – professional development, grow your network partners or grow your client base.
- Take another 30 minutes each week to identify which network partners and clients you need to reach out to for a meeting. Organize your strategic targets (clients and network partners) on a list hosted in a CRM, Outlook, OneNote, Excel sheet or paper Day Timer. This list should be readily available for you to identify the tasks on tap for this week. Plug the actual follow ups into your calendar. Look ahead at the upcoming industry events you just scheduled. Perhaps you can piggyback one of those events with coffee/lunch/cocktails etc.
- Dedicate 30 minutes to the tactical objectives derived from your web strategy. The strategy should be simple and you should utilize technology as a tool to create brand awareness or build credibility. Where do your clients live on the web; FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN, etc? Are you reading what your clients are reading? Is your content reaching them? Identify what content you are developing this week and block content creation time off in your calendar.
In 90 minutes you’ve planned the variable components of your calendar. There should be some standing meetings and appropriate prep time that reoccur weekly – Ex. Weekly/Monthly reporting; analyzing your conversion rates and using the conversion rates to fully understand how many leads you need to generate on a weekly/monthly basis to achieve your goals. Track against this and adjust your weekly activities accordingly.
The average sales person only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect.* 80% of sales require 5 follow up calls after the meeting.** The numbers don’t lie. Manage your calendar and get out of the office to attend meetings in person. Make the tools work for you. Don’t be like Drew and get rejected by 7 different technologies. It’s easy to fall into the BD foggy shuffle where all the tasks blur together and next thing you know you just wasted an hour on social media. So what are you waiting for? The clock has started!
*source: Sirius Decisions
**source: The Marketing Donut