Everyone is likely familiar with the concept of a Marketing Technology (or MarTech) stack—that is, a group of technology-based tools that marketers use to execute and manage marketing activities across a number of channels.
In today’s post, we’re discussing a similar concept: a Business Development Culture Stack (if you haven’t heard of this, it’s probably because we made it up).
We’re defining a BD Culture Stack as all the things used to build a culture of business development across the firm. Essentially, what are all the things your firm does that shape your culture as it relates to sales and business development?
This may include performance management, BD expectations for individuals, pipeline management tools, sales empowerment tools (ahem, POUNCE), BD training, and a whole host of other pieces.
Whether intended or not, all firms have a culture as it relates to growth and business development. Instead of just letting it happen, it’s worth the effort to help set and maintain it.
So how do you change culture?
1. Get Everyone on the Same Page
The first step to fostering a culture of business development is to ensure everyone is reading from the same page. Make sure everyone understands why BD is important and share firm and department goals with everyone. Transparency is absolutely critical is getting everyone on the same BD page.
2. Set (and Communicate) Expectations
Firms that are seeking to build or sustain a business development culture must clearly communicate to everyone in the organization why cultural change is important and necessary, and be willing to tell team members what’s in it for them. Each individual within your firm must understand what the firm expects from them with respect to business development.
3. Provide Support (Training & Tools)
Once your people understand what is expected of them, you provide them with the necessary support to empower them to execute activities and achieve their BD goals. This comes in the form of business development training, defined processes (such as a pipeline process), and technology tools that support these processes.
Business development skills can be learned and cultivated, but your practice professionals need training, feedback and support in order to develop those skills.
4. Recognition & Accountability
Business development is a process that takes time, particularly when you are starting out. Results do not come overnight, which makes it even more important to recognize those who contribute to the firm’s marketing and business development efforts, not just outcomes.
Consider aligning business development efforts and achievements with compensation or promotion opportunities. Measurement, accountability and rewards must all be in place in order to reinforce the message and encourage desired behaviors.
Culture creates competitive differentiation; strategies can be duplicated, but culture is unique. BD culture and BD strategy are two sides of the same growth coin—you likely have a BD/marketing strategy, but do you have a BD culture development plan?