13 questions you should ask about your business development activity

I recently gave a key note speech about business development - "The Anatomy of an Enterprise Sale".  I wrapped up the speech with 13 (unlucky for some) key questions you should ask yourself about your business development activity, lots of people liked these - they are great reminders!

  1. Are you planning to fail or failing to plan
  2. Are you consciously using all your skills or running on autopilot?
  3. Are you confusing activity with results?
  4. Are you becoming too dependent too few prospects, solutions, markets and customers?
  5. Are you giving your prospects a good reason to meet you?
  6. Are you qualifying your opportunities objectively or are you kidding yourself?
  7. Are you offering a solution that is a nicety or a necessity?
  8. Are you talking to all the right people - decision influencers and decision makers?
  9. Are you mapping the political landscape?
  10. Are you winning support from the right people?
  11. Are you differentiating your offer only on price?
  12. Are you submitting a proposal or is it really a quote?
  13. Are you really asking for the order? 

Posted in Articles. Tagged as business development, Enterprise sales, solution selling.

Getting the most out of an interim executive manager

Want to get the most out of your interim executive then give them the authority to go with the responsibility
 
 
A couple of years ago I undertook an interim executive engagement whilst the CEO of my client was undertaking a search to find a new Chief Sales Officer (CSO).  The CEO was initially worried about giving me the authority that he would have given a full time employee.  I was empathetic towards his concerns and so we discussed the downside of responsibility without authority.
 
Experienced interims are executive level professionals, they are not temps, they are not typically "between real jobs".  They are self sufficient, motivated individuals, who above all else, will be highly skilled and experienced and can be trusted to "just get on with it".  An experienced interim executive will know their personal boundaries and know when to seek authority and involve the client.  An interim executive should free up the client's time, not consume it.
 
So here are some tips when you are appointing an interim:
 

  • Establish in advance the level of authority that the interim is going to need.
  • If, for example, you are giving hire and fire authority, make sure the interim understands your policies and procedures, and appropriate legislation.
  • Make sure the interim has the experience and track record to assume this level of authority.
  • Assess the influencing and persuasive skills the interim has, even when you do have authority, persuasion works best.
The freer you make your interim, the more effective they will be.  The more effective they are, the freer you will be to do your job.   Don't tie one of your interim's arms behind them, give them the freedom to operate that only comes when you give them the appropriate level of authority to go with the responsibility.
 
In the 25 years that I have been undertaking interim assignments the most successful engagements I have experienced for the client and the interim - are when the client empowers the interim with the authority to go with the responsibility of getting the job done.

Posted in Interim Management. Tagged as Executive interim, Fractional Manager, VP of sales for hire.

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