I’m lucky to be a part of a company that encourages curiosity and innovation on the floor. We strive for kaizen, the Japanese philosophy of making small changes that lead to continuous improvement. It’s not uncommon to hear colleagues collaborating on new messaging for client initiatives, or listening to one another’s calls to uncover best practices.
But, like every other business development team, we are not immune to the peaks and valleys that inevitably accompany a career in sales. Sometimes, we’ll fall into a rut of complacency and settle for average numbers, neglecting the kaizen mindset.
During a recent slow month, the Vorsight team came together in the spirit of continuous improvement to answer the questions: What can we do to avoid a plateau? How can we change what we’re doing to be a stronger business development team?
After a successful brainstorming session, we came up with 22 ways to change our mindset, create a new strategy, and implement new tactics to help us avoid the plateau and beat our goals:
Perspective - stay calm when unexpected challenges arise. If a meeting falls off or a prospect needs to reschedule, it’s not the end of your month!
Accountability - hold yourself accountable to your goals; it’s up to you to put in the work.
Teamwork - focus on how your individual success impacts the success of the whole team, and help each other reach respective goals.
Purpose - consciously put yourself in the “right” mindset for this job. Find your reason to come in every day, and use it as motivation!
Consistency - don’t take your foot off the gas when you hit your metrics. This is the difference between a good BDA, and a great one.
Reflection - think about the messaging you used in your calls last week. How did you build value? What can be changed?
Personalization - tailor the client messaging to create more targeted conversations.
Blind spots - ask other colleagues to help you identify your strengths and your blind spots, and work together to help each other reduce blind spots.
Social butterflies - a strong office culture is crucial, but social times are best saved for lunch and happy hour. Be wary of who you may be distracting during strong calling windows!
Follow up – Did you find a new way to hit your goal last week? Follow up on the things you changed to help you have more conversations at unexpected times.
Limit distractions - personal matters happen, and distractions pop up throughout the day. While you’re in the office, do your best to leave the everything else at the door and focus on the job at hand.
Referrals - when a prospect refers you to a colleague, be persistent with your outreach. Make a list of referrals, and cross them off as you schedule meetings with them.
Lunch dials - dial through lunch once or twice per week to get more pick-ups.
After-hours dials - once a month, get a group together to come in early, or stay late, to catch prospects in the office during a quieter time.
Touch plan - make a touch plan and stick to it. Organizing your outreach will boost the number of pick-ups and email replies you receive.
Actionable goals - break down your goals into smaller, more manageable increments: start with a weekly goal, and break it down into daily goals, or even break daily goals into hourly goals.
Collaborate - if your messaging in emails and voicemails isn’t resonating, swap yours out with a colleague’s and see if there’s any improvement.
Research - pull a report to find the best calling times for your client, and use the data to have more conversations.
Short sprints - spend 30 minutes to an hour with a group to make as many dials or cases as you can, then take a break.
Mental awareness - call your fresh prospects during times when you’re fully mentally aware to deliver your best value proposition and objection responses.
Read - read books, blogs, LinkedIn articles, industry reports; knowledge creates credibility, and credibility makes commission.
Active listening - have a real conversation with your prospect. Instead of sticking to a script, listen to what they’re saying and ask questions for a more human, personalized approach.
The best remedy for a plateaued business development team is to create change, no matter how big or small. If your team has plateaued, how are you enabling kaizen?