Marketers are increasingly being called to the table to help CPAs at their firms become better business developers. In order to help their colleagues with this task, marketers need to be strategic in assisting, coaching, and getting their teams excited for what they are doing to drive new business. Jamie Thomas and Danielle Eisenach Reichel offered a personal business development planning guide to help guide those with a business development role at the firm.
Building a Personal Business Development Profile
To begin, each person should ask these 5 questions to build a personal business development profile.
- What is your ideal client? (Include size, industry, geography, and business issues)
- What problems do you solve for this client? (what is your greatest value? How are you different?)
- Define your positioning statement (Professional Expertise + Important, Expensive Problem + Target Market)
- What are your personal Strengths and Opportunities?
- What Barriers to success do you face and how can you mitigate those?
Creating a Personal Business Development Plan
The next part of the plan takes a look at current clients and the opportunities to cross sell as well as looking at new client prospects. Each person should make a list of their:
- Current Clients with Cross-Sell Opportunities
- Warm Prospects
- Cold Prospects
It is also a good idea to list referral sources that can help make introductions to prospects
By listing the potential opportunities and the estimated revenue amounts, the Marketing Director and the CPA can work together to identify business development and marketing support activities. Not only does this help everyone identify an overall strategic objective, but having a written plan keeps everyone’s goals in line.
Identifying Support Activities to Reach Business Development and Marketing Goals
Finally, each person should make a list of their Business Development and Marketing support activities so they can track their efforts and share their stories.
Business Development Support Activities should include:
- Account Relationship Building
- Industry Involvement
- Outbound Lead Generation
- Targeted Campaigns
Marketing Support Activities Should Include:
- Thought Leadership
- Conferences & Events
- Networking & Social
- Community or Associations
Identifying activities in the two areas will help everyone visualize their “to-dos” in the overall business development plan while keeping on task with the strategies put in place by the marketing department. As the CPAs follow their plans, the marketing department can use the information and completed goals in reports during Pipeline meetings to encourage and share information with others in the firm.