Posted by Mike Scher

Mar 31, 2015 11:00:00 AM

What is your business development Protocol?shutterstock_249170233-01-1

Over the past 13 years, we have worked with over 25,000 sales people across six continents to help them get more first sales appointments. It is amazing the number of apps and tools that have been amassed all in an effort to reach the Holy Grail for getting more first appointments.

When you take into account the collective investments in CRM, marketing automation, sales intelligence tools, sales playbooks and all the sales training you have probably done, your costs easily exceed $10K per rep per month.

In spite of all that investment, many of the same challenges exist.   Sales people take way too long to become productive.They tend to get mired in details rather than paying attention to them.They are not getting enough appointments with decision makers. The list goes on and the complaints always seem to sound the same.My contact data isn’t any good.I can’t get anyone on the phone. Nobody returns my calls or emails…. and on and on.This leads to high levels of turnover and grossly underperforming business development teams.

So what’s lacking? The answer is in one word:protocol.

Webster’s defines protocol as “a system of rules that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in formal situations”.

The operative word in the definition above is “correct”. We see many protocols out there for prospecting, but rarely can any be characterized as “correct”.After all, if they were “correct”, the team would be enjoying a lot more success.

Protocol is essential to ensure superior execution.The military uses protocol to ensure everyone is on the same page and missions get executed flawlessly.A break in protocol usually spells disaster.

So what are the elements of an effective business development protocol?

There are several.

Common Definition of Business Development Activities – The first step in establishing a protocol is to create a common language around business development.For example: talking about “touches” is important.   Defining a “touch” will help you better fine tune, communicate and track the activity.If you don’t have these activities identified and well defined, make this your first action.

Best Practice Definition of Each Activity – Armed with well-defined activities, you will then need to develop best practices to execute those activities.It is one thing to define something as simple as leaving a voice message as a “touch point”.However, defining the optimal characteristics of that touch point (e.g., voice message) will statistically yield the highest response and is the essence of establishing and maintaining protocol.Once you have defined those best practice metrics, you will need to make sure your team understands and consistently applies your best practices.

Common Method for Documentation –This is one of the most challenging aspects of maintaining protocol. CRM applications allow for a fair amount of autonomy on how things get documented.Not only does a protocol need to be correct and effective, it needs to have a level of accountability and consistency.Establishing discipline and regimen on how your team documents their activity is critical.Otherwise, how else can you determine if best practices are being applied and protocol is being maintained?

Let us hear from you about your current protocols and the prospecting challenges your team is facing today. We have researched 1.8 million prospecting repetitions over more than one decade and we have used that knowledge to become the best prospecting optimization solution on the planet – bar none.

We love to talk about prospecting. Reply to this blog. Call us.Email us.

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