Do you remember all the things you did to capture just one qualified lead? In case you forgot (and some of us do), here’s a short list of just a few of the hoops you we all have to jump through to turn a prospect into a customer. Whether it’s one person or a team of people, the business development process can be daunting and expensive. Take advantage of each and every critical point in the process because they can all lead to a potential sale. At least we hope they do 🙂
- Time: You probably didn’t count the hours you spent on courting the prospective customer, but if you did, you would probably cry.
- Money: Because time = money, you guessed it, the cost per customer acquisition is real and should be identified (travel, meals, other expenses)
- Energy & Resources: There are lots of potential buyers out in the market, and sometimes it comes down to multiple people and departments to actually land the sale. Don’t forget about this investment. It’s also real.
- Educating The Customer: Remember when you talked about all those customers that don’t know anything about your product? Yep, there are lots of them and they all need TLC as well as more time and effort into pushing them through the entire sales cycle.
- The Prospective Customer Meeting: Before you meet with them you have most likely already invested a great deal of research and time to get to this point. Of course you’re not going to blow it now and just wing it. Now’s when it’s best to apply the extra effort needed. Sometimes it’s easy to wing it. I have done that before and it usually doesn’t turn out well.
- Trust: The customer has a pain point and you’re trying to solve it for them. Most likely they will not purchase unless you earn their trust. This comes with time and deepening your relationship with them.
- Purchase: You finally got them to purchase your product. Well done. Now tabulate all the resources and hours you spent to get them – was it worth it? Only you are able to answer that question. I have to admit, sometimes I had to scratch my head because I was inefficient with my time in the business development process.
This short list of 7 critical components in your biz-dev cycle is by all means, not an exhaustive list. It is only designed to give you a snapshot of the huge investment that is made in each and every prospect. Take advantage of the prospects you do have in the pipeline and be fully prepared. At any moment your prospect may catapult all the way to the purchase stage or revert back to the very early stages of your process. Either way, your up front planning and focus all the way through will increase your chances of landing the sale.
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