Often leadership or management in small companies get so involved in daily operations that key areas begin to develop challenges. New business intake in evolving businesses shouldn’t be overlooked; they are often the first area to notice organization problems and revenue loss.
Deficits maim any department, but they utterly choke new business. There are 5 elements many businesses need help organizing and optimizing that greatly affects getting new business
STRATEGY, PRIORITIZING, TRANSPARENCY, PROCESS QUALITY, AND SKILLS.
Strategy. New business that doesn’t support a balance of tactical AND strategic goals steers you away from true success. The best deals offer the business you WANT and NEED to win. Targets that are both close and far are necessary and good leadership defines the criteria for the balance of both. A solid plan ensures your current work leads to the target markets and are aligned with the vision for the company.
Prioritizing. Winning business you are unable to deliver is sabotage. It stresses out delivery teams. If you fail to meet expectations, you earn a sticky bad reputation costing you future work, and might get sued. Sometimes you need to pay the rent and pick the low hanging fruit. However, never lose sight of the bigger strategy: objectively and routinely evaluate your sales funnel. Make sure all teams are onboard and clear about the priorities so the deal gets the right support to transition clients from sales to delivery.
Transparency. Communicating routinely and clearly with all resources what is in the pipeline and the critical path ensures that the new businesses flows. It shows disregard for the delivery teams when they are caught off guard. Share forecasts and expectations so all teams can be ready for the transitions. Pre-mortems that highlight the risks for failure are essential. When you create a transparent culture, pre-mortem failure warnings prevent catastrophic mistakes. Smart new business groups have communication plans and frequently check to ensure that their sales funnel is accurate.
Process quality. Defined role, responsibilities and process avoid dead ends and bottlenecks, allowing new business to integrate effectively. Good process supports ensuring the opportunity-cost evaluation is accurate and ensures you are winning business is profitable enough and that your company can truly deliver. Checks, balances and accountability are all very clearly defined in high performing team documentation and supporting systems.
Skills. Hiring mistakes happen due to not validating skills adequately in the hiring process or resources shifting into roles they are not suited for. When the wrong resources are estimating costs or creating sales documents and collateral, mistakes and poor client-facing documentation can be catastrophic. Too often costs are incorrectly estimated, contract terms are not accurately reflected in legal agreements. Good leadership ensures timely role and responsibility documentation and governance is created and communicated and owned as a company evolves. Having the right team in place for new business ensures a transition to both the delivery organization and finance that makes a company strong.
It is challenging to recognize issues or areas for improvement in a business that is quickly and constantly evolving. Many companies find it very effective to source an objective outside professional to share perspective on the maturity of operational logistics, and to evaluate the range of gaps and challenges a company in transition is facing. It takes a brave leader to look for help. We all know that fortune favours the brave.
Check back soon for blogs on creating solid strategies, optimizing operational plans and governance on each of the key areas!