This is the final article in the Segmentation Series; we have discussed the process of segmenting your referral sources and the corresponding services offered, focusing your effort on your best relationships. In this article we will address business development activity in a similar manner as was outlined in the service model exercise. A dedicated sales professional should have daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly requirements that are driven by their annual sales goal. Required activity would include tasks such as meaningful phone conversations, face to face meetings, business planning sessions, seminars and networking events. Suggested basic activity would be 5 phone calls per day, 5 face to face meetings per week and 1 educational seminar per month. Remember this person is entirely focused on sales so these requirements are not unreasonable.
As with service models you will want to reserve the more labor intensive and costly the activities for your best relationships. Those that can be electronically delivered can be sent to your entire network. To grow your best relationships and to develop those with the most potential you would develop activity models that include regular face to face meetings, business planning and phone calls. Let’s take an educational seminar as an example. For your best relationships you would not only send out the invitations but follow up with a phone call. Reminders would also include a phone call. However for those that are in the C and D categories you would only send them email invitations and follow ups. If they show up to learn, great...just don’t waste any additional time trying to get them there. By focusing your activity on your best referral sources you will develop closer relationships which will ultimately increase the prospects brought to your firm and accompanying sales. It is all about developing solid partnerships. Communicate the activity model you have developed with your best referral sources so that they know exactly what they can expect from your firm and become the firm that they think of as part of their team.
SEGMENTATION – ACTIVITY MODELS
The process of segmenting your referral sources is to strive for greater efficiency, effectiveness and ultimately profitability. The goal is to focus labor intensive and more costly activity on your best and those with the most potential, without wasting your time and effort on those you have categorized as C or D.
So what are the ten steps in the development of activity models?
- What is your revenue goal from new plan sales for the year?
- What do you need to do in order to meet your goal?
- It’s a numbers game
- Divide revenue goal by average plan revenue to get the number of plans needed to meet the goal
- Divide that number by your close ratio to get the number of proposals you need in order to meet the goal
- What will you have to do in order to get the number of proposals you need to meet your goal?
- Once again it is a numbers game
- So many phone calls per day, meetings per week
- Communications, events (both educational as well as networking)
- What activities do you currently complete?
- Develop a list from which to work
6. EFFORT REQUIRED
- Indicate the effort and resources required to complete each activity
- This can be done by simply noting High or Low
- Or can be based upon time required or staff members involved
- Develop a grid with 4 quadrants, one for each relationship segment
- Place the activity into the grid based upon effort
- A level relationships may have a minimum of weekly contact (phone calls, meetings)
- B level relationships, those with a high level of potential may have a minimum of once per month contact
- C and D only receive electronic communications and invitations
- Generate a document outlining activity models by segment
- Tell your best referral sources what they can expect from a partnership with your firm
- Track activity provided to ensure no time is being wasted
By: Laura S. Moskwa