Figuratively speaking, new business development for B2B can take hundreds of miles and several years to produce sales. It can take even longer and farther for large sales.
And whatever the biz dev road, before reaching the destination – there is always that Last Mile before you get there.
Fail to cross that distance and you get no sale, no revenue, no profit, no promotion, no commission, and no celebration. You may as well write off your time/money/relationship investments for the year as sunk costs.
The Last Mile
That Last Mile of biz dev is known in advance.
When B2B sales and marketing efforts start, the path to the expected conclusion will pass through a proposal competition.
A proposal will have to win against the competition, against the customer’s status quo, before it can go under a customer’s signature.
Yet amping up proposal competitiveness is almost always an afterthought; one that comes in the rear view mirror after losing an expected win; or, failing to retain a large current customer in rebid; or, after a cosmetic brand change.
So, if the Last Mile is known (proposal competition), why not make every customer interaction before that a mission to gather business intel for use when it matters most?
Smart execs always make the investments ahead of the curve. They plan and prepare for that inevitable Last Mile. Because there’s no excuse, whether exhausted from overload or laziness, to come so far only to fall short – especially when the path is no surprise.
Here are several areas to consider when prepping for that Last Mile:
- Sales Proposals are Personal: Don’t Chicken Out
- Proposal Couture – Dressed for Success
- Pre-Qualify RFP/Bid Opportunities
The Final Yards
If the Last Mile in biz dev is a proposal competition, then the Final Yards are the in-person, team presentations of down selected finalists.
Like proposal competitions, presentations, as the Final Yards, are inevitable.
Yet many biz dev teams are embarrassingly unprepared.
They believe they’re born with an innate talent for starring in these performances by sheer personality alone, or having waltzed through hundreds of previous ones.
Hubris in the Final Yards increases the chances of not getting through them. The majority of presenters, at the end of the B2B biz dev trail, will fail. Only one gets the win in most cases.
Think about it: truly horrifying slideshow decks are used; proud but unrestrained executives over speak; and too many teams under-rehearse. And this occurs at the culmination of the biz dev journey. It shouldn’t be.
To improve survival and success in the Final Yards, consider checking these out:
- Naked and Afraid in Team Presentations
- 12 Tips for Great Sales Presentations
- How to Win the Presentation Trifecta for More Sales
End of the Line
With the necessity of achieving biz dev goals: do something about it before you get there. Prepare for the Last Mile and the Final Yards in advance, or suffer the inevitable consequences.