In this packed guide, you will be given all the information required to build a sustainable (professional service based) selling capability that isn’t reliant on a few specific individuals. This is a fundamental step on the path to growing your firm’s future value.
It is not long in any conversation with a professional service entrepreneur, before the topic turns to the perennial challenge of selling work. To be successful not only must you be excellent at what you do (my assumption throughout this series), you must also be excellent at selling your services. There are so many firms that tick the first box but are woeful at the second; indeed, they almost have an attitude that the world should come to them. Unsurprisingly, it rarely does. One level back from this desperate state of affairs, is the firm reliant on one, or two, gifted individuals to sell the majority of work with no intent to broaden out the capability more widely. Such businesses very quickly hit their growth plateau and, regardless, will find it difficult to realise full value in the future – due to the clear dependence on such idiosyncratic contribution. The next level back from here – entering the realm of solvability – is an owner-manager acutely aware of the need to develop a sales capability (beyond the mercurial abilities of any ‘rain makers’) but with limited experience, or knowledge, as to how best to go about this. This guide is for such a reader.
Indeed, if you have been recommended this series but only have time to read one guide, I would steer you here. Nurturing a genuine sales capability is so often the ‘final bastion’ to be overcome in the challenge of building a business of value. Crack this and you really are most of the way there. Guide 08 is packed with the information required to set in train a capability improvement project; one that will leave your company with the tools, processes and attitudes required to make a ‘step change’ improvement in your sales performance (and, hence, firm value).
Guide 08 talks a lot about tracking and managing your ‘leading’ sales activity – potential client calls, prospect meetings etc. This simple MS Excel tool will help you quickly ascertain targets for such activity as contingent on your overall sales targets and estimate conversion ratios.Download Resource
The ‘Do We Do?’ checklist is a one-page MS Excel proforma that aids in the qualification of opportunities. It steps you through the key areas of analysis – is there a genuine client opportunity, can you win it, can you deliver it and is it worth winning? Whilst this isn’t meant to produce an absolute answer, it can powerfully aid your ultimate judgement/decision as to which opportunities to pursue and which to drop.Download Resource
This template is designed to help you get started with an account development pack. It isn’t intended to be used in every opportunity pursuit, or to become some kind of bureaucratic/unthinking exercise. Rather, it provokes the right level of analysis and preparation into critical client/account pursuits. The value is not in the content that ultimately might be captured in this pack but in the quality discussion/planning it facilitates.Download Resource
Dom is well placed to advise professional service firm leaders as to how best to undertake this most critical of efforts … building a sustainable selling capability within your company … as the foundation ‘engine’ for future growth and firm value. This is based on his personal experience of selling professional services for over ten years and – more relevantly – of overseeing projects that embed team-wide business development capabilities in such firms. Such projects are multi-dimensional affairs (involving people, processes and tools) and, as such, require careful planning and methodical oversight. When such projects involve other specialist sales providers (e.g. trainers, software vendors), Dom is able to advise on the selection, procurement and implementation of these also. The most relevant first step is often an assessment of your current situation … such that improvement plans can be logically developed from there.View Related Services Contact
The guides are being published as they are completed. The completed (foundational) guides are available on this site with the remainder of the series still to be written ... according to reader feedback and direction. Please vote below to influence the chronology in which the remaining guides are produced.