Most people would answer the question posed in the title by saying, “Whoever’s doing the business development in the company.”
The real irony is that when the responsible party or parties are asked, they always have an answer. The scary part is that most of the time the person asking for the information has no way to verify that what they’re being told is true and/or accurate. Most people giving the answers are convinced they are correct, but they are usually answering the questions from their memory and sometimes with what they think the person asking wants to hear.
As we’ve heard all of our business life, everyone in the company should be doing business development in their own way. The person responsible for knowing all that is going on, though, is the owner. The owner needs to set up a manual system that will keep track of all of the company leads. It’s actually a pretty simple request, but most companies are not able to keep track of all of them. This system must be able to complete the following functions:
- It must be accessible to all members of the company that come in contact with any and all potential clients.
- It must be used by the owner more than anyone else in the company.
- The owner must hold weekly meetings with all members of the business development team to review all assigned leads. They must then brainstorm future efforts as to how they need to be handled.
- The team members must attend the weekly meeting and be must be able to answer any and all questions regarding their leads.
- The company premise must be that if a lead and the resultant notes are not in the system, than there has been no efforts taken.
- All members of the team must be held accountable for their leads, especially the owner.
Once you have had your manual system in place for three to six months, it may be time to consider investigating software to use. This would allow all members of your team to view everything that is going on or not going on as it is happening.
Here’s a look at some software (in alphabetical order) that I see my clients using and getting good results with:
- Client Runner
- Restoration Manager
As a rule of thumb, it takes three to six months to get a software up and running that will meet your needs. Here are some of the criteria to pay attention to during the selection process:
- Has the team identified the criteria, in writing, that it feels the software needs to do?
- Has a team been set up to review each of the possible software available?
- Have they selected three or four candidates that they feel meet the team requirements?
- Have the team review the three or four candidates and prioritize the software in the order of what they feel is needed.
- Ask for a list of users that they can call and ask the following questions:
a. Has the software company lived up to what they promised in writing?
b. Has the software done what the company needed?
c. Has technical support been there when they were needed?
d. Does the software connect to other software that your company uses?
e. Does the software generate the reports that your company needs?
f. Has the software company worked with you to do special reports that you think you needed?
g. When did they know and how long did it take to know which software to buy?
Software companies want to please you and they also want to make a sale. Please make sure that you get the opportunity to test the software you select and that the price of the software jives with what you deem worthy.