13 November 2006

Business Development is about balance

Depending your type of business, your time investment in Business Development can have a major impact on your ability to deliver to existing clients. That's a problem that product-based businesses don't need to worry about to the same extent.

It's natural in a service-based business to put your best team in front of a prospective client - the same team that should be delivering high value to your existing clients. That can be a touch uneasy for targets / almost clients. If they make the leap of faith and become clients they want to know that they have met their service team. In a larger business, this is done by trying to offer a degree of continuity between the bid team and the service team so that the client doesn't feel that they have suffered a complete switch between the initial discussions relating to their business and the day to day management of their account.

Like much else in life, Business Development is about balance. New business is essential for the life and longevity of the organisation - but so is retention of the clients that are already on the books. The business can't focus on a single area except by ignoring the other.

How much time you get your team to devote to client service and Business Development will vary depending on the specific needs of your business, but it will probably be different from the choices that we have made - if all businesses were the same then all the answers would be the same which would make life a lot less challenging.

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