The responsibility of firm growth cannot rest on the shoulders of one or two individuals. For an accounting firm to see long-term success, deploying a sales culture across the organization, even in a virtual environment, from business development professionals to partners is extremely important. Learn how you, as the business developer, can lead the charge in bringing in new prospects, developing relationships and building engagement across the firm to implement an enhanced virtual growth strategy.
Deploying a Sales Culture in a Virtual Environment was a hot topic with the audience at AAM’s Emerge 2020 conference! Many great questions came through during the live chat, and this post will answer several of them.
What are some major differences you see between firms successfully deploying sales culture in a virtual environment and those that struggle?
There are two places where firms can prioritize their efforts. The first is process. Many firms don’t have a formalized (but flexible) business development process. Process should clearly articulate the key steps needed to move prospects to clients and growing clients for the long term. The second is people, specifically leadership. Successful firms have strong leadership supporting and demonstrating the sales culture of the firm.
What recommendations do you have for a small firm with a one-person marketing team? We have limited partner involvement plus bandwidth and budgeting issues?
Lack of time and resources, or the perception of such, is something firms of all sizes face. Redefining what business development is in our profession can be powerful. It is an extension of firm’s client service promise to help and serve clients. Consider having your partners focus up to half of their business development time with A and B level clients. These are the clients that want a true advisor, they are open to new ideas and services, and you want to retain them. Success with current clients will help you build momentum to leverage with prospective clients.
How are you pivoting relationship-nurturing efforts without traditional networking events?
There are three ideas firms have successfully implemented. The first: conducting client education forums via video, video on! The second, with conferences: firms are investing time in researching participants and more intentionally connecting with them. Lastly: video meetings with strategic partners or referral sources to network and keep those connections strong.
Whether it is in the office or in a virtual environment, it is important to take the appropriate steps in building and deploying the right sales culture in your organization. Business development, when done professionally, helps your prospects and clients to solve their biggest challenges. They see your firm as more valuable and trusted. You’ll create more quality business development opportunities and grow your firm more strategically.
What is Emerge?
Emerge is marketing and business development reimagined. How we lead teams, speak to and engage with clients, manage brands and help propel business growth forward has been redefined. It’s not the rules that have changed, it’s the whole game. Emerge is AAM’s two-day virtual marketing conference designed to inspire, transform, and elevate with the information needed today.
The recordings for the 2020 Emerge Virtual Conference are now available for purchase in the AAM Store. Click here to purchase and access this valuable training to grow your accounting marketing expertise.
Emerge attendees can still access the recordings for free using their conference log in credentials here.
About Heath Alloway
Heath Alloway is the Director at Upstream Academy. He joined the team after more than thirteen years at one of the top accounting and advisory firms in the US. Throughout his career he focused on firm growth and innovation. His passion for helping others reach their goals by growing in their careers no matter their firm level.
About Amy Franko
Amy Franko is the CEO of Amy Franko Associates. She consults with professional services firms to accelerate growth through business development strategy and skill development.