Published Articles

Business Development Strategy

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on September/October 2003

It Comes Before Technology & Equipment Strategies

There are a number of actions available for improving performance --- for increasing revenues and company performance. However, senior management commitment, leadership, and endorsement are critical to such initiatives, because any meaningful activity for business development that's not supported organizationally has elevated opportunity to fail, and thus create greater hurdles in the future for any "re-start" of such programs.

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Business Development Leadership

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on July/August 2003

What Customers Need From Suppliers

Recent follow-up visits requested by several clients we had not seen in six to nine months left me "emotionally cold." Basic business development activities weren't being engaged with any sense of disciplined purpose or coordination.

These first-hand visits caused me to suspect that basic blocking and tackling isn't happening in many organizations. Examples include but aren't limited to:

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Business Information Officer

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on May/June 2003

A Position & Responsibility Whose Time Is Now

There are two strategic information streams that every company needs, yet tends to overlook and neglect --- until it's too late. Content from these two streams of information can contribute to practically every important decision a company makes, regardless of the organization's size, location, or market position. And without timely information from these two performance areas, any organization in our industry is doomed to eventual trouble.

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It's All About Culture

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on March/April 2003

Direction, Performance & Differentiation

A Look Beneath the Surface for a Foundation

With some frequency, I hear key personnel complain about what sales reps are not accomplishing as it relates to "bringing in additional business." However, I have a slightly different perspective --- one that many folks probably won't want to consider.

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Educational Communications and Self Promotion

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on January/February 2003

There's a famous Prentice-Hall ad that many of you may remember. The caption, supporting an illustration of a buyer, reads something like, "I don't remember your company; I don't know who you are; I don't know what you do; your company name is not familiar; I don't think you understand my business; and I don't believe I have time for you today."

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First, Let's Take A Long, Long Look in The Mirror

Published Articles
Published in

Georgia Printer

on Winter 2002

Managing information from our customers is a daily challenge for the entire organization, yet it's ripe with opportunities if we understand the context.

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Successful Business Development

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on September/October 2002

Requires Market-Driven Direction & Supporting Strategy

I attended a sales meeting for a well known company not too long ago. The president and vice president of sales and marketing invested their entire sales team's time (and morale) into reviewing what hadn't happened in terms of actual sales versus budget, year-to-date. The session lasted almost two hours.

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Leadership, Education, & Training

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on July/August 2002

The Beginning of Business Development

A client we just began working with appeared depressed. Market conditions appeared soft, and his sales people seemed to be doing anything but calling on customers, and bringing in work. Inquiry revealed that company performance was slightly above break-even, and had been in that condition for some time. Additionally, quoting activity was off, and there was little backlog.

Time with the sales reps uncovered that they believed they had nothing to offer their customers that was meaningful over their competitors, and they couldn't win work if they weren't the low price on a job. Does any of this sound familiar?

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How Important Are You?

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on May/June 2002

Technical Competence Is Only Half the

 

Picture for Business Development Success

 

We were recently contacted by a national graphic arts company, with a most unusual request. They wanted a proposal for training their experienced and traditionally successful sales reps to be more successful with major accounts, and in today's changing business environment. After two conference calls and a follow-up proposal, we received the award to develop their sales training curriculum for experienced and successful reps.

As you might guess, this is not a traditional sales training curriculum. As an overview, it's designed to guide their reps into becoming strategic resources for target customers.

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We Can't Go Forward . . . If We're Stuck In Reverse

Published Articles
Published in

IPA Bulletin

on March/April 2002

Let's cut to the chase: if we don't wake-up and change how we see our business and what we do for our customers, performance results aren't going to change. Customers are different today and in the future from anything we've experienced in the past. But too many of us are looking back in our daily attitudes and practices – grieving over (a) the loss of a major customer, (b) insensitive bankers, (c) how September 11th, Enron, and the dot-com collapse have ruined our business, and (d) the difficult-to-understand practices of desired customers.

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