It amazes me how often I go into a company and there is always a battle that is unseen. From the outside, it looks like everything is a well oiled machine. Until I dive in deeper and quickly find out what is truly happening. And it isn't something out of the ordinary but rather very typical.
It's the Unseen battle between Sales, Marketing and Business Development.
Marketing has their year planned out already. Trade shows, user conferences, webinars, white papers, campaigns. And it's like the gun going off at a track meet, BAM! They are off and running, no looking back.
Sales - Make your numbers people. Go sell!
Business Development - Build that pipeline and just do what we say. Dial, Dial, Dial.
And the sad part is, this is very typical. Granted, it might not be this cold-hearted but all in all, it's very typical.
A deeper look and find that:
Here are some key areas to help address and make it a well oiled machine.
Have a BD rep hop on a prospect call with the sales rep. This will do a lot more than reading any case study. Hearing how the sales rep talks, works, and speaks about challenges & success, will increase leads in a huge way! Better quality for sure.
4. Send Business Development to Trade shows & Not Sales. Why? The truth is, unless sales brings a contract or is planning on signing deals AT the trade show rather than just networking, then keep sales out of trade shows.
1. For starters, a sales rep does not want to be at a trade show for 3 days. Nonetheless, standing in a booth waiting to talk to people. They much rather be out selling and making their numbers.
2. I know the typical mindset is to set appointments for sales reps AT trade shows BUT unless they are going to sign a contract AT the trade show there is no point in doing this. Because the prospective company is going to want another meeting ON SITE at their location anyway.
3. The perception of a sales rep at a trade show shows that a company is NOT making sales and needs to have their reps there to meet prospects. Having key people just waters down their value and looks desperate. BD reps can do this. Meet. Qualify. Gain contacts. Then they have more credibility with the prospects and set up a meeting with the sales rep, who is now truly valuable in the eyes of the prospect, since they were not at the show.
4. BD reps will learn more and gain more by being at a trade show. Now I do stress trade shows for BD reps only & not sales. But it is valuable for both BD reps & sales to be at a user conference. Having both BD and sales running around a user conference will increase the value you put on BD reps as Subject Matter Experts and increase prospecting, while sales can do the selling at the user conference. And when BD reps return to the phones after the show, watch how much more quality comes out of leads they generate now and how many more wins come out of it.
5. Everyone play nice. Sales, Marketing, Business Development all have goals. There is always pressure. It works a lot easier when everyone involved works together. No matter what is coming from the top.
Dan Marx is the Founder & CEO of Supply Chain Connection, the only lead generation/business development firm in the country that works solely in supply chain. Dan Marx has been a leader in the business development space with over 20yrs experience in supply chain and business development.
To learn more about this and other areas Supply Chain Connection can help with your company, contact Supply Chain Connection directly or go to www.supplychainconnection.com
Also watch for Dan Marx's book coming out in March 2017 and will be available on Amazon, "Best Practices of Business Development & Inside Sales" which covers this topic along with many other key areas.
We have all heard the saying "Work smarter, not harder." And though it sounds admirable and the right thing to say, then why do so many companies not follow this principle? Working smarter and not harder does not mean multi-tasking......................But I'll get into that another time.
I worked in both the office and from home and found out 2 key elements to be true.
When I worked in an office:
Who wants that?
When I worked from home for a different company, we had to log into an IM system to show we were online and available. We would randomly have spot checks or get pinged from the boss to check up on us. I'm sorry, I didn't know I was a teenager again.
There are 2 key elements when it comes to this philosophy of working smarter and not harder.
5% is knowing how.
And for most companies, they don't know how to do either option.
I've learned from some of the great leaders that take chances and shake things up. Every business is unique and there is not a one size fits all. But what is the same, is trust.
When Dan Price started the minimum wage program for his company, Gravity Payments, to be $70k per year, industry leaders scratched their heads, haters came out of the wood work, people said it would never work nor would he be able to keep the doors open. Well Dan Price has changed the game. Other companies started to follow suit. Maybe not at $70k per year but others have raised their starting wages. And guess what happened?
Personally, in my company, our smarter and not harder tactics are based on our industry we work. Business development and supply chain.
Here's an example of how our employees are knocking their goals out of the park for our clients and LOVE their jobs!
Working smarter and not harder does not mean a company takes advantage of their employees by working longer hours, after hours, adding extra work loads and selling it as being a great multi-tasker.
Work smarter, not harder and see greatness achieved at your company.
If this is an area that needs help within your company, then contact us directly at www.supplychainconnection.com/consultation
Most companies outsource for their lead generation and demand generation services for a variety of reasons. Some include:
But the sad truth is, most companies out there that provide lead/demand generation services are using a qualification criteria used 30yrs ago as a good idea. It's called BANT. And if you have not heard of BANT, then expect to get duped by these firms.
BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe.
Sounds great right? Intelligent?
WRONG! If a firm is utilizing this "technique" as a way to provide a qualified lead to you, then my suggestion is RUN and don't look back.
WHY? It's all secondary and all they are uncovering is a profile that fits your target market. Most companies know their target market using this same criteria.
Ex: Your target market is a company that has annual sales of $1B or more. In the Food & Beverage industry. Your target market audience are C level and VPs. Their needs are what your solution provides in common challenges and their budget is obviously being able to afford your solution. YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS! So why would a company send you a "lead" and that being qualified?
It is much deeper than that and anyone who doesn't know supply chain will provide the BANT theory as a true qualified lead. If that is the case, then you are chasing everything under the sun because ALL companies have needs that will fit some kind of space.
Do you want a qualified lead conversation to go like this?
BANT FIRM: "Mr. Decision Maker, Do you have this need?
DM: "Yes we do"
BANT FIRM: "Excellent. Can you verify your information and if this was a need that could be fix, what sort of timeframe would you like to see it happen?"
DM; Verifies info and give sample timeframe. Even though there has yet to be a qualification. Or interest in actual need.
BANT FIRM: "Excellent. If I could have someone contact you or send you addition information, would this be of interest?."
DM: "Sure, why not."
Send off the qualified lead to your team to chase.
BANT is not a qualified lead nor qualified lead criteria.
Test the firms you speak with. Do they know the supply chain language? Do you want "appointment setters" to represent your company? Or a firm that know and lives supply chain?
Don't be fooled into BANT, criteria and fluff. Ask the hard questions. Test their knowledge on the phone and if they have to get back to you (to Google and see what the heck you are talking about), RUN RUN RUN!
Here's a few lessons every business can take away from Netflix:
1. Even if THEY say no, you say YES.
Blockbuster turned down a partnership with Netflix. Netflix wanted to team up with Blockbuster to use them for mail to home rental movie services. Netflix pitched Blockbuster as a value add of their company. Netflix would have been, basically, owned by Blockbuster. Blockbuster turned them down. THEY didn't see the value. So Netflix decided they were going to offer the service anyway without Blockbuster's help. And the rest is history.
2. Always Improve
Netflix got into the streaming movie business. They saw the potential and ran with it. Netflix took a simple idea that was already being offered from cable and satellite companies by offering OnDemand movies as well. This gave their clients (and now Blockbuster's customers) more options. Taking away cable companies' subscribers away for not having to pay for premium channels. HBO has 800,000 subscribers. Netflix: 74.6M.
3. Be OPEN to Change.
This is the biggest and hardest ones for companies to grasp.
Kodak didn't see the digital age.
Yoplait the #1 yogurt company missed the Greek yogurt bandwagon and got pushed to #3.
Myspace....................well enough said.
Netflix started out as a mail order DVD rental company. Not wanting to become the next Blockbuster, they took advantage of the streaming movie and OnDemand business. But I bet when they started out, they never dreamed of being the next Weinstein Company and become on of the leading and most in demand movie studios! But they were open to it. Saw the demand and created Netflix original movies and hit shows such as, "The Orange is the New Black."
In fact, Netflix is in demand at Sundance and other film festivals. Where producers and companies are buying up their movies & tv shows in huge demand. But, not only that, actors are running after them as well. Amazon saw what Netflix was doing and got on board quickly. Amazon didn't want to miss out on it either.
So let's take these tips from a company who went full circle and is riding the new wave of this ever changing business world. Where our customers show us where the world is headed.
It's true! Before you roll your eyes, let me explain.
I was watching a program in which a renowned serial entrepreneur, billionaire stated that entrepreneurs don't take risks. He said that they in fact, they hate hearing that they stand out for taking risks. And then he went on to discuss the projects he is working on. Left me hanging for him to explain himself.
So I thought about this for a bit and realized HE WAS RIGHT!
Risk to an entrepreneur is not the same risk to the rest of us. Risk to us is taking a HUGE mortgage out to try and make a hobby into a business. Quitting our secure job. Maxing out credit cards. And the list goes on and on.
That's the risk of we think of as RISK.
So, wait Dan, don't entrepreneurs make those same risks? No they don't.
Entrepreneurs have a total different way of thinking. What may seem risky to you and I, is not risky to the true entrepreneur. The difference is their thought process. They don't look at what they can develop to become a billionaire. Their motivation is not money. They think of BLANK key areas:
1. Failure. They believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no losing. They cannot fail. It isn't an option.
2. Belief. They believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a solution to a problem. If they solve a $1M problem, they know they have a $10M solution.
3. Speed. They don't wait until all their ducks are lined up in a row. They react. They make decisions, fast and don't miss out on an opportunity. Look at Howard Hughes, he was involved in making on the spot decisions and making any changes needed to succeed, ON THE SPOT.
4. Time. Entrepreneurs realize they have 24hrs in a day. Time is of the essence. If they have 24hrs to succeed, they find a way to use those 24hrs the best way. If that means, not watching tv and reading instead to educate themselves better, they will.
5. They act as if. You have heard this before. First time entrepreneurs "act as if" they have already made it. Or perhaps you have heard the "fake it til you make it" concept. If you believe in you then you have to sell you as just that. They also take this to another area. They act as if, they never succeeded. If a billionaire has a successful company, then why would they find ways to do it the cheapest way instead of just writing a check? Or why do they get angel investors instead of just writing a full check to cover all costs? It's part of keeping them sharp and in the game. For entrepreneurs, the chase and the build is exciting. They could take the easy way, but never do.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. We will feature a unique blog each week on any subject. Send us areas and ideas you would like to hear by emailing us or filling out the contact us form.
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Dan Marx is a leading expert in both supply chain & business development. Inspiring future leaders & entrepreneurs through life stories & experiences with workshops, events, thought leadership guests spots and more.