There is no project opportunity that’s too feeble as it can gift you a great client that lasts a lifetime. It takes more than just the product or service to win a client. It takes a marketing team to nurture and attract the lead. And then comes the sales team that offers what the client exactly wants. Later, the after-sales team will ensure client retention and repeat sales. Winning the first thousand customers is a milestone that any startup would aim for. It is one way to identify the market and learn more about clients and their requirements. Having the right team by your side will not only win that first hefty chunk of customers but will also help you learn to influence the market. Since they are the ones facing the client they will know them and their needs better. Having a qualified and an expert team at right place forges a relationship with clients and demonstrate their abilities while working with a client while keeping the doors open for prospects.
Here’s how you can have a team dedicated to growth that delivers a blend of winning clients and influencing the current market.
Business Development Team
This team takes the core responsibility for creating a foundation base with the clients. They build a certain rapport and relationship with potential clients. Right from making the cold calls and tracking new leads, they do a lot of legwork by nurturing potential leads. BD Team may also create informative resources like RFP (request for proposal) and RFQ (request for qualification) responses, use cases, client experience lists and other promotional materials.
This team also works in close tandem with the marketing team and other senior staff to keep the value proposition unaltered.
Defining Content Marketing Roles for Account Service Teams
First, have small account teams to share the load of all your content marketing efforts. This will have each team member bringing in some unique skill set to each of the small teams. Such small teams will help client to attain their tailored content marketing goals by saving their time. The unique way with which each team functions independently can custom assist multiple clients at the same time which also reflects their efficiency to handle multiple projects.
The key is to have an account team having an account strategist and a content strategist with a couple of editors to help them. These small teams can largely influence the market and push the prospective buyers to the top funnel of lead. This is where the BD team, as discusses above, comes to play. Comprehensively, all will come under your startups’ A-Team striving their best to come out as a winner in the long run.
Role of Senior Staff and Principals
These are the people who shoulder the responsibility of building a relationship with clients and managing it. Clients are looking for someone whom they can put their trust in. Reliable individuals with expertise and proven track record help in winning more clients. They can even influence clients to a great extent through their proactiveness and responsiveness.
Clients love those who walk the extra mile for them. In turn, they spread positive word of mouth and help you get more leads as well. Senior staff handle clients beyond just reports and drawings. The senior staff also works for writing fee proposals and helps BD team by providing technical inputs as and when needed.
Nurturing Business Development Skills in Teams
It is best to run scheduled activities for BD and marketing in parallel with the specific staff responsibilities and assignments. Try nurturing more in-house talents for multiple positions that help to keep a flexible bandwidth. Registering startup as a private limited company will keep open the options to get funding in future. And for raising that, you will need to demonstrate a team who’s capable of pulling things together on the client front. Therefore, try incorporating training and assignments to bring out latent capabilities of the current staff under different departments to fit them in multiple roles. Once the grooming is done, see who fits where – Farming or Hunting.
- Farming: Act of nurturing and cultivating existing clients, eyeing repeat sales. This will need individuals who can subtly influence the market by understanding the targeted market segment. Avoid overlooking the farming aspect by rewarding the team which is experienced in retaining old customers and maintaining the relationships.
- Hunting: This is an active pursuit of targeting a specific set of clients or certain projects. It largely involves identifying your differentiators and gathering recon information. Another key aspect of hunting involves roping in skilled individuals from each department that brings value to customers and win them over the competitors.
Forming the team based on requirements
Start with pairing the right team members based on their expertise and allocated resources that fit the client’s bill and need. Every business opportunity is unique and crafting unmatched value for clients will help to retain them. Requirement-based teams will help by stepping up to the client’s requirements. This will have clients valuing your services and capabilities. This is where even higher rates of providing services will not be questioned.
When you are tailoring the team it is recommended to review staff competencies periodically for identifying operational, analytical or leadership gaps. Hiring for the project should then be done based on the data-driven marketing maturity and priorities as per the analytics roadmap.
In today’s competitive times, multiple teams need to function as a single unit with a common goal. This calls for alignment in marketing, sales and BD teams for client acquisition, retention and market disruption. Such a mindset is bound to take your business forward by winning more and more customers over time.
Shrijay is an entrepreneur with more than ten years of experience in working with hyper-growing digital commerce companies across the globe. He is a data savvy leader, and a true believer of people first philosophy. Currently, he runs an eCommerce strategy and Analytics consulting company, along with a LegalTech venture in India – www.LegalWiz.in.