How to get the Best ROI from Business Development Training

 

 

 

  • Leadership to agree business development plans for existing and new target intermediaries and clients.
  • Target client and intermediary list to be defined and communicated.
  • Ownership of target client plan to be allocated to named individuals.
  • Put all programme material onto the Intranet. Communicate best practice and log target client / intermediary business development activity and plans.
  • Obvious and overt support for senior management group. Ensure every member understands the business development principles and language of the business development programmes.
  • Identify influential business development champions across the firm.
  • Provide coaching opportunities for the champions and those responsible for winning business.
  • Ensure that business development time is recognised and considered as valuable as fee earning time.
  • Check that charging codes are seen as appropriate and do not undermine this principle.
  • Consider conducting a cross-selling healthcheck.
  • Encourage post client / intermediary meeting coaching and discussion about skills and behaviours used.
  • Include business development activity requirements in objectives and appraisal processes.
  • Provide one-to-one support and coaching to individuals less comfortable with group learning.
  • Consider running key client development workshops in order to apply the learning to existing clients / intermediaries, develop specific plans and gain ‘quick wins’.
  • Consider exposing all client facing fee-earners and support staff to relationship development training applicable to their roles.
  • Make this one of the firm’s top initiatives for retaining and increasing fee income. Promote it as such.  Promote it in a big way.
  • Have someone at the head of the firm be the programme sponsor.
  • Programme sponsor to communicate with each individual before they attend workshops.
  • Insist that all people who can make a material contribution to business development activity and planning attend all training programmes. No excuses.  £x of fee income today cannot be allowed to get in the way of £x fee income in the future.
  • All participants must participate in all parts of the workshops – no part timers.
  • Programme sponsor to be active participant in programme.
  • Agree a ‘go public’ date when individuals will present business development plans to their colleagues. Publicise the date and invite all people in the office to attend – usually over a lunch break.  Publish plans on Intranet.
  • Take feedback from the people who listened to the outline of the business development plan.  Was the presentation useful?  Was it detailed enough / too detailed?  Was it long enough / too long?  What else would they have liked to have known?
  • Have the programme sponsor regularly ask fee-earners, “What parts of the plan have you implemented? What’s happening?  How have we taken the relationship forward?  How did the pitch go?”
  • Ensure that all of the teams participate in follow up internal feedback meetings focussing on actions they have taken. What works?  What doesn’t work?  Usually about eight weeks after the workshop.
  • Ensure that these types of meetings then become internalised – part of the way you conduct business development.
  • Publicise successes across the firm – relating to any achievement of planned actions. Initially the successes do not have to relate to fee income.  For example, meetings where a stronger relationship with intermediaries and / or clients has developed should be seen as an achievement and win.
  • Over time, measure the fee income retained and won additionally due to the activities generated from the business development activity.
  • Continually revisit and review business development plans and objectives.
  • In the light of the revised objectives, do people within the team have clear actions to undertake over the next three months or so that will take the team closer to achieving the (new) objectives?