What if you never had to think about where your next customer was coming from? What if you could simply turn the business development faucet to “ON” and release a steady stream of new revenues? Not very realistic, but it would be nice. So here’s the next best idea: Don’t Waste Your Time.
There’s a lot written about new business development tools out there. Generally the advice contains good, common sense ideas like “Keep filling that funnel”, “Target and practice your messaging”, “Be consistent”, “Consider both inbound and outbound marketing” and “Follow through”. So you’ve filled your funnel and you’re a conscientious biz development person. But for all the good work, leads are not converting to customers at the rate you and your organization would like. Here’s the reason: there is a BIG difference between Prospecting and pursuing Qualified Prospects. Have you ever spent months pursuing a company that was a perfect fit for your products or services only to find out that they don’t purchase what you’re selling? Or spent a year’s time nurturing a relationship with that manager – only to find out he’s not the decision maker? Or that he has no budget?
Don’t waste your time! Ask the pertinent questions up front. Qualify your prospects before investing your energy and business development dollars in pursuing them. While no method is foolproof, here’s a worksheet we developed with input from our Marketing, Executive and Finance teams at Intelligent Product Solutions — we’re offering it for your use, free of charge.
Notes: 1) the apparent redundancies in the categories are intentional and use slightly different language to prompt alternative ways of thinking about the same qualifications, and 2) that the Legend tab contains detailed descriptors of the categories.
Try it out! And let us know what you think.