12 December 2013

Where in the business development process is your consultant underperforming?

The failure of our industry to enhance its reputation will continue for as long as we have a high rate of staff turnover.

How seriously can we be taken if (as RCSA data suggests) we struggle with annual staff turnover that is consistently between thirty and fifty per cent?

This is a topic I have often written about.

One of the areas within this topic, that is often overlooked, is the importance of a manager ensuring that their team members clearly understand and are consistently following the company’s business development process. Inefficiencies in this area can be a massive productivity (and morale) killer. If a consultant is struggling to build results (and confidence) then you’re entering a danger zone where the risk of a consultant resigning, disheartened or demoralised, rises significantly.

The role of the manager is to maximise the chance of the consultant succeeding through ensuring that the business development process is followed. Industry news service, ShortList, interviewed me on the topic of productivity, generally, a couple of weeks ago.

Since that time I have thought more about the productivity issues within the business development process, specifically.

Here are 16 questions recruitment agency owners and managers might find valuable to ask themselves about their consultants’ productivity in the area of the business development process: 
  1. Do they have a clear target market (ie they know who to ignore and who to pursue)?
  2. Do they know how, and where, to gather leads?
  3. Do they allocate time (every day) to find leads?
  4. Do they allocate sufficient time each week to make calls to these leads to qualify whether this lead is a genuine prospect?
  5. Do they stick to this schedule?
  6. Do they know exactly what to say when prospecting by telephone?
  7. Are they skilled to confidently handle the predictable objections from prospects (eg have a PSA, not recruiting right now etc)?
  8. Do they know how to conduct a prospect meeting face-to-face and use any sales support material in that meeting?
  9. Are there clear, and consistently used, labels for each stage of the sales process pipeline (eg prospect, client, key client etc)?
  10. Do they understand how to work a prospect through the sales pipeline?
  11. Does each prospect or client have a ‘next action’ with a specified date?
  12. Do they know when a prospect is no longer worth pursuing?
  13. Do they know, without reference to a document, the key components of your terms of business (ie fees, guarantee, payment terms etc)?
  14. Do they know the parameters within which they can negotiate these terms (if at all)?
  15. Do they know how to powerfully present the arguments for exclusivity to a client?
  16. Do they know when, and how, they should walk away from a vacancy in negotiation stage?

If you don’t know, for sure, the answers to each of these questions, I suggest you seek the evidence so that you do know.

The answers may just save you from another consultant leaving, with their potential unfulfilled.

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1 comment:

  1. great post, really appreciate your ability to distill this down to a tangible sequential process