A Simple Framework To Align Marketing and Business Development

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Hi, this is Mo Bunnell from Bunnell Idea Group, and today we’re going to talk about how to get sales or business development and marketing working better together. This is really important because the business development folks can easily look at the marketing folks and say “Oh, our collateral isn’t any good. This brochure they did has a Blackberry on it and nobody has Blackberries anymore. I don’t want to use it with my people.” And the marketing folks are looking at the business developers going “Man, we come up with all these impressions and all these events and all these leads and we generate it, and the business developers don’t do anything with it.” It’s horrible.

When we look at it function by function, we find that just saying “Hey, business development and marketing, you should work better together,” will make everybody just clamp down and become entrenched in their own views. They don’t really work better together. I’ve seen it dozens of times. But here is what can work. What can work is a really simple three-step process I can show you right now that will generate results every time. It will get people working together on cross-functional teams in a way that they will enjoy and get them feeling like they are part of this winning team mentality.

Here’s the first step. Figure out what you want to create demand for. Instead of looking at each silo independently, business development and marketing, we are actually going to pick an offering to focus on. Maybe it’s a service, a product, or whatever it is, and we want our clients to buy more of it. Do an analysis. Work together to figure out what you want to create demand for. That’s step one.

The second step we want to do is to take that service offering – let’s just say it’s a service – and we want to work backwards to design the perfect client and prospect experience to get to a yes. Here’s what that looks like. A contract or a yes out on this side of the process can be pulled back one step if we think about what expert driven give-to-get can we offer to really create demand for the client purchasing that product. A give-to-get might be a one or a two hour session between expert and a client, where the expert is actually proving the problem is important with the client in both their environment and situation and actually starting to solve it. Typically, this is only one to two hours investment of time.

If we pull that back a step, we can think what marketing collateral can business development and marketing work together on – marketing can take the lead on this – to prove or create the awareness for  the need of that one to two hour give-to-get interaction. The marketing collaterals we have sent to lots of people are typically sent with an offer to say “Would it be helpful if we do this two hour session at your offices?”

Now, from the marketing collateral, the last part is ironically the first one we’ll execute forward on. The last step in this stage is figuring out who in the world needs to get that marketing collateral because they have this problem. Then we can offer the give-to-get that can be moved forward to the yes on a contract.

So the four steps backwards are the contract, the give-to-get, the marketing collateral to prove they need the give-to-get and the list of people that need it. That finishes up step two, designing the process backwards.

Here is the third and final step. And this is where the fun really begins. This step is executing the project and the process forwards. So this is when business development and the marketing folks are going to look at that list. They’re going to look at real people’s names and say “Do we have an in there? Who do we know that can introduce us? How can we get in the door the first time?” Some places it will be marketing collateral that creates the demand for the introduction. In other cases, one of our business developers might know Jane, the CFO at the target organization, really well and they can just give her a call. Therefore, will segment the list. We will figure out how we are going to get in front of each person, and then we can meet on a weekly basis. The business developers and marketers can look at that list, figure out who’s been sent the collateral, figure out who’s going to reach out and make the offer for the give-to-get, and then proceed all the way to purchases and contracts.

When we find marketing and business development professionals work on it in a cross or lateral way, in a cross-functional team, to create demand for a specific project, process, service, design the process backwards and execute it forwards, then we find that people work together very well. They’ve got specific to-dos to tackle. They create a winning team kind of mentality and they have fun doing it. As with all our videos, we hope that this one helps you help your clients succeed.