How to Improve your Marketing and Business Development Efforts

We recently wrote about how firm leadership can assist in enhancing the effectiveness of your marketing and business development functions within your firm. After publishing our thoughts, we’ve been ruminating, and came up with a few more for you.

Do you want to know how to ensure that your marketing generates leads, your firm spends its marketing budgets wisely, and your partners are focused on leveraging your marketing team? If that’s the case, then read on.

Departments are changing

In our research, we’ve realised that many firms have evolved a lot in how their departments are organised. It seems that some departments are becoming obsolete, while others centralise nationally, with local event staff in satellite offices. In other firms, however, marketing and business development are now becoming more important than ever.

It’s interesting that these functions are being the engine of new business in some firms, while left to languish, or under utilised, in others.

So how can you improve the marketing and business development functions in your firm?

Firm leadership Is crucial

Leaders are sometimes hesitant to change things in their marketing and business development department teams, maybe because their background is legal or accounting based, or maybe just to keep the partnership happy. The missing link in these departments, however, is input and feedback of leadership. Leadership is key in any pursuit, especially departments where strategic plans are broken down and developed into a marketing and BD approach that is implemented firm wide. Communicating across the firm all key strategies and projects is critical. In fact, these two teams are often responsible for supporting that communication (internally and externally), so direct reporting to firm leadership makes sense.

Managing the pipeline

Every team member needs to be held accountable for their various activities in business development. That’s precisely where pipeline management comes in.

Every request needs to have a related client, be them prospective or existing. Each of these needs to have the potential amount of money that the request can eventually bring in. All of this can enable your firm to forecast probable revenues, enabling better planning overall.

Some firms are good with this, and others aren’t. The engineering, accounting, legal and consulting forms I have worked with all use different methods (and some even use no method at all!). The reality is that each business needs to use the benefits that pipeline management tools like Salesforce and HubSpot (or even an Excel spreadsheet) as these can significantly improve your business development efforts.

Your marketing resources

Marketing efforts cannot improve without the resources that have their place in the firm’s marketing strategy. By this, we mean websites, CRM, marketing technology tools, communications, and more – including leadership. All are crucial in their own way.

Whatever the firm can’t handle internally, you can always outsource which is often a better solution than putting everything on the shoulders of your team.

In the end, improving your marketing and business development efforts shouldn’t be too complicated with the proper communication, wish for improvement, and effort made from everyone in the firm.

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