Returning to work after the festive holidays, many professionals use the opportunity to look at the year ahead and establish plans to secure specific business goals and targets they want to achieve.
How focused and practical these plans are often has a bearing on whether they will be successful or not. In helping professionals over the years devise and implement plans which bring the results they want, we’ve come to understand the core components of a good BD plan.
Here are 5 of them to help your 2015 BD plans succeed.
1. Apportion your time wisely – 20% of your BD activity will often lead to 80% of your results. So be ruthless with how you prioritise and apportion your time. Reflect on those contacts you need to really focus on and support more actively. For those who command too much of your time for little return, consider delegating elements of their relationship management to others in your team or scaling back the attention you give them.
2. Be focused and specific – Whilst it is important that your plan should focus on a goal or end result, in working with professionals over the years we’ve seen many BD objectives that have the seeds of failure in them. Their vagueness or absence of a measureable outcome in a given timeframe means that the professional often struggles to find the motivation and energy to complete them. Set goals and targets that are realistic and achievable in a given timescale. Try also to define them as specific achievements.
3. Differentiate yourself from others – Adding value to clients and contacts is a proven way to enhance your reputation and stimulate further work. The key is to deliver value that is important to that contact – and this means investing time to get to know them. Differentiate yourself and your approach by understanding their opportunities, markets and problems better than others.
4. Grow your network – Has your current network got the potential to supply you with enough work in the future? If not, it’s time to start making changes. Focus on contacts in organisations or sectors which genuinely interest you or point to your strengths and experience. What can you bring to such contacts that they will find particularly valuable?
5. Be clear where your new work is likely to come from – In establishing a strategy to achieve your objectives, map out the profile of the sources of your most profitable work. Consider aspects such as their industry sector, the growth phase of their business, whether they are an internal or external source, what particular need or issue they had which needed to be addressed and their territory/location. What you’re aiming for here is to identify the ‘quick wins’ that come from finding more of the same business opportunities. By recognising the sources of those opportunities and understanding their future work profile in greater detail, you will be able to focus your energies and concentrate on specific activities that generate the work you want.
Professionals often overestimate what they can do in a short time but underestimate what can be done long term. Each day when you take the small BD actions that move you closer to winning the work that you want, it makes you better positioned than the day before. One of the biggest hurdles you will face in achieving your goals will be time, which is why your plans need to integrate with your weekly schedule and be reviewed regularly.
For more advice about how to achieve your 2015 BD goals contact us on tel 44 (0) 20 7488 4419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org