Pit a four-man relay against a single athlete and the relay will cross the finish line first every time.
Pit a seasoned relay team against an incohesive group of amateurs and the seasoned unit will win every time too.
In business as in sports, it is rare for a single individual to ever beat out a high performing team — or for a random group to beat out a team that works together day in and day out.
Even then, teamwork is about far more than just wearing the same uniform. It’s about trust, mutual respect, discipline and interdependence.
As important as teamwork is, winning isn’t just about teamwork either. It is also about all the pieces and preparation that go into making that team effective. Without the right coaching, systems and processes and the glue that ties it all together none of the rest matters.
Cliche though it might sound, it’s tough to win when you don’t bring your “A Game.”
While this seems obvious in the realm of athletics, it is not always as obvious in business. When it comes to lead generation and business development, for example, we frequently see companies trying to get to the finish line without the cohesive, unified team or coaching and systems they need to win.
Bring Your “A Game”
No company can bring it’s “A game” unless it has all the right pieces and players place. Skip one, or substitute with a “relief player” that isn’t on board with the system, and the synergy that’s essential for moving quickly isn’t there.
So what does it take for a business development team to win consistently?
- A fully built CRM system that gives all members of the organization a 360 degree view into operations and provides a structure to organize and evaluate efforts.
- A strong database of prospects, segmented by priority level.
- A well-trained and unified team of sales and marketing professionals.
- A professionally persistent outbound calling and email effort.
- A professional, search engine optimized web presence.
- A strong content strategy.
- A marketing automation system to leverage the true power of digital marketing.
- Never Show Up Short Handed
While some tend to think they can bring their “A game” without one or more of the aforementioned pieces in place, the reality is that they are all interconnected. Each builds and enhances the value of the other. Without a CRM system, for example, you may have a database but no way to manage, interpret, or easily share the data. Without outbound phone calls and emails, you may be able to leverage marketing automation tools to identify “interested” on-line prospects, but you’ll never find those who don’t find you first. Without a sales and marketing team that is in constant contact and working to jointly understand buyer needs and priorities, your content strategy will fall short…
Value All Team Members
When running a relay, it is never good to stake all your hopes on winning one leg. The same goes for business development. Each member of the team and each tool in the arsenal brings its own unique yet interdependent benefits to the table.
A good example of this is that even with the recent trend towards more and more digital savvy “self-educated” buyers, most people still value the opportunity to speak with a sales representative early in the buying cycle.
In fact, a 2012 ITSMA study showed that, “contrary to popular belief, buyers rely on sales at all stages of the buying process.”
Just as interesting are the findings that buyers are “hungry for fact based content,” and sales representatives are most appreciated when they come prepared with intelligent insight and “provocative perspectives on the market and technology solutions.”
Work Together to Win Together
Even the Content Marketing Institute, which is highly focused on the marketing side of the coin, advocates for strong cooperation between marketing and sales, stating in a recent blog post that,
“There is also another side to the content + sales coin: The sales team has a lot of good insight and information to help the content marketing team shape its content to better meet the needs of its target consumers… If there is a formal process to share information, the sales team can provide useful feedback about what content is helpful for prospects, what content is not as helpful and why, as well as what media or methods of delivery work best. This is a win-win-win.”
The sales and marketing functions are inextricably intertwined.
The key take-away here is that the sales and marketing functions are inextricably intertwined, as are
the tools they use to support and enhance their activity. One doesn’t work all that well without the other. Marketing provides the content and the provocative perspectives. Sales provides the one-on-one conversations and relationship building. CRM serves as the hub of actionable data, and marketing automation software serves as the conduit of information from the digital marketing campaigns into the CRM.
While all of these elements can function on their own, they will never have the impact alone that they will as part of a unified “team” effort.
When you are looking for a balanced, team-oriented approach to growing your business, look no further than NuGrowth Solutions, a sales and marketing as a service organization specializing in business development, CRM management and digital marketing. We leverage our proprietary territory management system to help clients bring their “A game” to business development and grow their business with pace and purpose. Call 800.966.3051 to find out more.