Yesterday, I had an in depth session with a leading Boston area financial advisor. Their firm has doubled every five years and they have plans to double again in the next five years. In the past, their growth has been on the back of solid personal business development activities by the two partners along with timely, yet somewhat ad hoc referrals. To achieve the next level of growth (from $300M to $600M AUM) they understand that they need a more systematic marketing and selling engine. But what should they do differently?
The challenge is that, along with growth comes increased business and operational complexity which takes up more senior team time. The senior team is saddled with business responsibilities and are not able to fully engage the market as intensely as they did in the early growth years. At the same time, it is the senior team that is most critical to selling success. So, what is the answer?
Part of a good solution is to develop a ‘Model Week’ for each member of the business development team. The model week articulates the level of selling activity that is both critical and realistic in a given week – balancing much needed personal time with the needs of the business and the sales engagement process. The elements that should go into a model week can be derived by building a revenue model. Here are some considerations:
1) Begin with a segment-based revenue model
– Use the 80/20 rule on focus toward the more profitable and strategic client segments
– Determine the number of new clients needed based on size/ segments/ demographics and back in to the number of prospects and ultimately meetings you need
– Map and model the volume of lead sources from referrals, inbound marketing and outbound sales efforts and the close rates across each segment
– Identify and clarify how each member of the team must align around their individual plans – even if you have adopted a team approach
2) Build a ‘Model Week’ for each selling colleague
– We are looking for a systematic program that works, so don’t forget to plug in personal time and the seasonality of your business.
– How many meetings per week across each stage of the relationship development process and for each segment?
– Who will lead these meetings? What staffing mix is needed to hit these volumes and execute successfully?
– Determine what are shared / leveraged programs – like referral dinners or campaigns – vs individual responsibilities
3) Execute and measure
– The model will be wrong, and that’s OK. Make adjustments to your assumptions based on realities, and continue!
– Re-allocate activity levels and expectations across the team as new data becomes more visible.
The Model Week is an important part of a Revenue Architecture for your business and a more systematic and predictable revenue engine. Inbound marketing promises more leads coming to you from the web and while this is an important component of your plan, the 1:1 engagement, prospecting and business development activities continue to be critical to your success.
Defining Revenue Architecture
Rev-en-ue noun the return or yield from any kind of property, patent, service, etc.; income. Ar-chi-tec-ture noun the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Revenue Architecture is the process and product of planning, designing and construction of sustainable revenue performance.
“Revenue Systems” is a critical layer of the Revenue Architecture and describes the people, processes, content and technology that make up a ‘revenue engine’. “Revenue Programs” is the day-to-day and week-to-week activities that drive the sustainable revenue growth. It is critical to execute a certain level of consistent activity. The Model Week will be a central part of your Revenue Programs.
Good luck and good selling!