The Holy Grail of business is to hire big-time rainmakers. Buy that hot boutique company! “; “Redesign our website!”
Those grandiose initiatives often fail to meet the expectation of greater effectiveness in an organization’s marketing and development efforts.
Initiatives that are too narrowly focused don’t work
Leaders in marketing and business development from both small and large professional service firms (PSFs) and global corporations are taking on initiatives they believe will benefit their firm’s future.
The efforts of many PSFs and B2Bs to improve their marketing and business development results may not be wrong, but it’s unlikely that they will work. We need to step back and look at the root cause of this problem to understand why.
The Root Cause of the Problem
Both B2B and professional service firms must acknowledge that they face a fundamental problem. Marketing and sales functions are not integrated across the entire enterprise. They cannot compete effectively, hinder their financial success and provide optimal customer service because of the disconnects within their organization.
The Holy Grail they seek is closer than most people realize. You can find it by integrating marketing and business development into all functions: they must become a part of everyone’s job.
The Structural-Integration Imperatives
PSFs, service B2Bs, and other organizations should use three frameworks connecting marketing and business development functions. These frameworks are called “Integration Imperatives.”
Three structural frameworks describe the processes, skills, and support for marketing and business development. They can be used with cultural frameworks by firms to eliminate the silos within their marketing and business development functions.
The Process Imperative — expand the range and put a spotlight on this
The Process Imperative requires PSFs and Business-to-Businesses to broaden the scope of their marketing and development functions and to prioritize all marketing and development initiatives.
It also includes making the marketing, business development, and client-service processes more discernible to everyone in the firm and more obviously iterative.
The Skills Imperative – Grow the People
The Skills Imperative calls for executive managers to reframe advancement pathways for practitioners and nonrevenue-generating staff and to more clearly direct the steps every professional can take toward competency growth in marketing and business development.
Reframe administrative relationships around the Support Imperative
The Support Imperative asks PSF and B2B Managers to redefine the lateral working relationship between executive peers in finance, human resources, IT, legal, and other operational functions.
The Cultural Integration Imperatives
PSFs and B2Bs can use three “Integration Imperatives,” cultural, to integrate marketing and business development functions.
These include an updated and well-assimilated lexicon for the marketing and development of business; new formal models of collaboration, shared responsibility, and leadership in the marketing and development of business; and the practice of making explicit expectations regarding how everyone can contribute.
Articulate new meanings of marketing and business growth
Defining the organization’s unique purpose of marketing and business development is essential. This document addresses a tough hurdle for integration: Marketing and Business Development definitions vary widely from person to person, firm to company, and sector by sector.
Unsurprisingly, one’s understanding of the term directly affects one’s expectations about their role and job functions.
New models of collaboration, accountability, and co-leadership for marketing and business growth
PSF and executive managers of service B2B can adopt a 2nd cultural imperative: Increasing formal avenues for collaborative marketing, business development, and shared accountability.
PSFs encourage people to share leadership or collaborate with colleagues, but these pathways are often obscure and unreliable.
Recently, a friend told me: “I wish I could count on all the work it takes to persuade people. All the asking, building favors, monitoring, negotiating, and coaxing. This is a waste of energy and time. “Wouldn’t it make sense to hold people accountable?”
Be more explicit about the contributions that everyone can make to marketing and business development.
Third cultural paradigm: Make explicit expectations of how everyone can contribute towards marketing and business development. PSFs and B2Bs in service have successfully used internal communication to communicate important messages about internal expectations.
But executive managers also must apply a potent new kind of cultural glue: reviewing and integrating job descriptions, checking and integrating reporting relationships, and reframing performance-management guidelines to ensure that people understand how they are expected to work together in new ways toward meeting the organization’s revenue, market share, and client added-value goals.
The Holy Grail is a Lies Inside Enterprise
The best solution is often right in front of you. Professional organizations need to look within themselves to improve marketing and business development.
When they use structural solutions to eliminate their marketing and business development disconnects, their firm will ultimately be more valuable to their clients. This is a critical competitive advantage.