7 Stage Business Development Audit for Construction & the Built Environment
Stage 4 – Lead Generation
Stage 4 – Lead Generation
Peter Jubb, TC Group Consultant
Generating good quality leads for your SME construction business is one of the hardest challenges you will face; there’s no magic leads tree!
What’s the challenges?
- A lack of dedicated time, which becomes more challenging as the business grows
- You haven’t built enough client relationships to sustain your growth plan
- Sometimes, there’s a deviation from the business model and the wrong type of opportunities are generated (in trying to keep up with the growth plan)
- Business owners are still doing most of the work generation with existing and new clients
- Business owners need more support from the senior management team in work generation – but do they have these skills?
- Procurement methods and routes to market have changed significantly, particularly in the public sector
- A shortage of the right accreditations and compliance standards to meet qualifying criteria
- There’s a lack of performance data to validate which clients/sectors and projects, present the best opportunities to make good profits.
- Value propositions that aren’t differentiated enough to warrant clients seeing your competitive advantage, resulting in a ‘me too’ service offer
- The profile or visibility of your business isn’t as strong as your competitors
What personal skills do Business Development people need?
I’ve been practising business development for many years, and to do it successfully it requires a range of skills, including.
- Strategic Thinking – the ability to look at a client’s world through their lens, understanding the challenges they face and how you may solve them
- An inquisitive mind with an attitude of constant learning, ‘every day is a school day’ and being able to horizon scan
- The ability to create a business development plan that’s aligned to your business model
- Being able to undertake meaningful research into clients, sectors, industry changes and procurement methods to support your decision making
- Having a high degree of emotional intelligence, active listening and being able to ask good questions to gain valuable insight
Business Development is also very process driven, in that there are numerous gateways to step through to bring value to your clients and to satisfy your business goals.
Architects have the RIBA Plan of Work stages to deliver a project for a client, and in a similar way, Business Development practitioners need a similar mindset.
Let me take you through the approach I adopt for clients.
Business Development Process Roadmap
- Spend quality time with your clients understanding their challenges, the needs of their customers and their strategic plans.
- Conduct research into sectors/technologies/regulations to build strong industry knowledge.
- Gain a thorough understanding of procurement methods and routes to market in your chosen sectors.
- Define and create a business model that serves the above.
- Profile your intended client base/sector mix/project types-create a plan of how you intend to form relationships with aspirational clients.
- Ensure that you have the business development capability/capacity either in-house or with external support to meet lead generation targets.
- Develop a pipeline forecast and populate it with known leads – be realistic with your leads being turned into bid opportunities.
- Grade your leads into firm, probable and possible to assist with forecasting and business development activities.
- Attend events, conferences, and other forums where you are likely to meet the clients you wish to serve sectors.
- Leverage your network as much as possible to get referrals and introductions to new clients.
- Ensure that you reciprocate opportunities to those providing them to you-it must be a two-way street, otherwise you are just another service provider.
- Undertake regular client surveys to gain insight on performance and obtain testimonials which are so important for social proofing.
In the final analysis, efficient business development is about the ‘opportunity cost’ formula – where should time be spent for best effect and to achieve desired outputs. Have you assessed the return on investment of your business development efforts and costs, is this working, and if not, what are the barriers?
At TC Group, we can help you with your work generation planning, to build a robust pipeline of choice.
If you’d like more information on our Business Development Audit Service and would like to take advantage of a free initial scoping call, please GET IN TOUCH