Business Development – aligning the key players

A major challenge with business development is leveraging the unique and important contributions marketing and sales people can make to an organisation.

For starters, most business owners and directors aren’t typically from a marketing or sales background – though they clearly understand their organisation and its customers – and freely admit they aren’t certain how to get the best from these team members.

Marketing and sales people often have a different thinking style – or personality type or even skillset– which can be unlike others in the business. If not managed well, this can cause conflict or unrest to arise, primarily due to tension caused by misunderstandings.

Marketing and sales people are different from each other and often don’t connect that well. They have very different skill sets and perform very different functions within a business but need to work in harmony with each other and others for their true value to be realised.

Ensuring marketing and sales expertise is carefully integrated into a business  requires far more planning than most expect – even with entirely competent and capable people.

Time, understanding and effort are musts.

Key things for business owners and directors to consider include:

  • Ensure your marketing and sales people are in harmony (and not out of kilter) with your clients and customer-facing problem solvers. A disconnected expert will not be able to add value.
  • Create a safe environment for robust and open discussion and ensure appropriate recognition is given to all team members, underscoring the value different types of people can bring to the organisation.
  • Gain an understanding ahead of time of the complexities involved in bringing in a new sales or marketing person with a different thinking style, personality or approach.
  • Be realistic about the timeframe for success when onboarding new people. This won’t necessarily be a fast transition because it takes time for new people to learn your business and how it works, and time for the business to understand the value the onboarded team member provides, especially if what they’re being asked to do is new to the organisation.

Bringing these convergent styles into an organisation is something the David Reid Group has spent a lot of time doing.

We’ve learned from trial and error what’s required to effectively leverage the expertise good marketing and sales people can provide.

With careful planning and in-depth understanding, it’s entirely possible to bring these different thinking styles together in a collaborative, positive way that benefits all.