Business Development


Business Development Policy and Process

Best practice dictates that companies have a business development policy in place. It provides the guidance needed to ensure successful growth of the company. It also helps to mitigate risk. Once a policy is established a process for implantation is the next step to drive consistency in execution and messaging. The following are some of the questions you should be asking and answering as you put your plan into place.

  • What new business makes sense for your firm?
    • It must fit into your firm’s knowledge base
    • It should fit into your operational model
      • If not you need to consider the ramifications of bringing this prospect on as a client, include risk factors in your review
    • Other considerations would include
      • The source of the business
      • The potential for additional business
      • The platform provider, if applicable
  • Is this a new provider for your firm, if so does it make sense to develop another partnership with different processing requirements
  • Is it a provider with whom you already work, is that good or bad, bad if you would prefer to move away from working with that particular provider
  • What does your best client look like?
    • Use them as a model for identifying good prospects for your firm
  • What does your best referral source look like?
    • Use them as a model for identifying potential successful new referral source relationships
  • Do you have a specific goal in mind?
    • You should
    • It can be revenue or plan count based
    • If it is revenue based convert that to the number of plans you will need to bring in to meet your goal
    • It can be specific types of business such as we would like to add more cash balance plan business
  • Can you determine the metrics of activity required to attain that goal?
    • This becomes a bit more involved as you need to have a good understanding of the outcome of each type of activity, absolutely doable, start with some realistic estimates
    • You should know your close ratio
    • You should know the difference between the close ratio when you or someone from your firm are in attendance at the client presentation and when the referral source goes on their own
      • Your close ratio will be higher when you or someone from your firm is present, so keep this in mind as you work through the numbers and the activity required
      • Divide your goal by your close ratio percentage to get the number of proposals needed in order to attain your goal
    • Determine the activity required to achieve the proposals needed to meet your goal
      • How phone calls will be needed to connect to referral sources?
      • How many face to face meetings with referral sources?
      • How many events will you need to hold?
      • How many communications will you need to generate?
      • You should have an idea as to how many proposals you can generate for each of the above in order to reach your goal
    • Document all activity
      • This will help you to understand when you are most successful and when you are not
      • Track all activity including phone calls, level of involvement in sales process, close ratio, etc.
  • Do you have an established process for when you receive a proposal request?
    • You should have one and it should be documented
    • All steps required should be documented and tracked, do not allow deviation, if so keep track of the outcome
    • Include the following steps with regard to interaction with the referral source and prospect:
      • Your firm is involved in the entire sales process from start to finish
      • You establish a TEAM, you, the referral source and possibly the wholesaler
      • You will speak or meet with the prospect (along with referral source) for discovery. This is the only way you can ensure that you have all the right information in order to prepare the right plan design proposal.
      • You meet with the team to determine who is doing what, how you will assemble the proposal and establish an agenda for the client presentation
      • You will go to the client presentation as a team
      • You will not prepare a proposal without having the ability to present directly to the client yourself
    • Do not deviate from the process, consistency is key to success!







Insight and information to help you
manage and grow your business.