Aligning Your Marketing & Business Development Strategies
If you want to be a high-growth firm, you need to align your firm’s marketing and business development strategies.
It’s common for these two areas to be misaligned with inefficient processes, and both wasting time creating content, including blogs, social media posts, email newsletters, case studies and videos, without clear goals.
When these two areas of your firm are in alignment, they work together to drive sales and revenue, dramatically improve your marketing return on investment, and drive growth.
So how can you make that happen? The key is to set clear revenue goals.
8 Steps to Aligning Your Marketing & Business Development Strategies
Before diving into marketing and business development strategies, your firm needs to have clear revenue goals. This gives your team something to aim for and helps you determine and communicate your priorities. As you start to set goals, you may realize something is not as big a priority as you thought or, conversely, realize that it’s an even higher priority than you initially thought.
Step 1: Understand where you are
At Boomer Consulting, Inc., we like to say all progress starts with the truth. So, say you want to grow a new service. Where are you today? Maybe you’re starting from scratch with zero clients or have a small client base you’re hoping to grow. Is this area of your firm trending up or down? Everyone on the team needs to know where you are right now to make progress.
Step 2: Determine where you want to be in three years
What is your long-term goal? Do you want to grow this service line to $2 million in three years? You might consider your three-, five- or ten-year horizon, although most firms we work with tend to have an easier time visualizing three-year goals rather than a longer horizon.
Step 3: Determine where you need to be in one year
To grow a $2 million service line in three years, where do you need to be in one year? For example, if your three-year vision is to have $2 million in revenue, your one-year goal might be to have $1 million in revenue from this service line. Keep in mind that your first stage of growth might move slowly while you learn what you need to do to engage new clients and keep existing clients coming back for more. Make sure your one-year goal reflects this.
Step 4: Breakdown one-year goal into quarterly goals
A one-year goal doesn’t naturally transition into a strategy. To drill down into the day-to-day actions needed to reach your one-year goal, break down your plan even more by dividing it into quarterly milestones.
Ask yourself, are all four quarters created equal? Or is this service line more heavily focused during certain times of the year?
Step 5: Determine how many clients you need to achieve those goals
Let’s say you want to earn $250,000 per quarter. How many clients do you need to achieve that goal? Breaking revenue goals down like this is useful because getting five $50,000 clients is typically very different from the strategy for getting twenty-five $10,000 clients.
Step 6: Predict how many leads you need to get those clients
If you want to sign five new clients this quarter, how many people do you need to have in your business development pipeline to end up with ten? Do you need 25 or 50 leads? This isn’t an exact science, but it’s good to have an idea in mind. You can tweak this later as needed.
Step 7: Plan the marketing strategies needed to generate leads
What do you need to do to get 25 leads? Will you launch a new content marketing campaign? Purchase social media ads? Have exploratory conversations with existing clients of another service your firm provides? Ask for referrals?
Work backward to generate the number of leads it will take to meet your goal.
Step 8: Get to work on the strategy
Now that you’ve worked through the previous five steps, you can get to work on your business development and marketing strategies with a lot of clarity.
Alignment isn’t just “nice to have.” It’s critical to your firm’s success. When sales and marketing are aligned and working in tandem, you won’t have two departments operating in a silo. Each team will waste less time and drive more revenue.
Want help creating more marketing and business development leads?
Check out our 5 Minute Growth Makeover to align marketing and business development strategies that will win you more ideal clients.
Jon Hubbard, Shareholder, Consultant, at Boomer Consulting helps accounting firm leaders find success in the areas of leadership, talent and growth. Jon is a facilitator for the Boomer P3 Leadership Academy, Boomer Talent Circle and Boomer Marketing & BD Circle. He also guides firms to grow and be more effective in the areas of client service, marketing and business development.
Jon speaks at various industry conferences, user conferences, state societies, and associations. He is a Storybrand Certified Guide and Certified Kolbe Consultant.