Most firms rely on its partner group to sell its services; a role most CPAs didn’t consider when deciding on becoming an accountant. The sales process and managing that process is not your forte. You could use some help and guidance to ensure that everyone is on the same page and marching in the same direction. Formalize your business development process with:
- Pipeline implementation & management – A pipeline is a list of all prospects everyone in your firm is currently pursuing broken out by stage (how close they are to buying). If you are looking to drive revenue in your firm, the pipeline is where you start. And once the opportunity becomes a win or a loss, it’s important you track those statistics so you can learn from your mistakes.
- Pipeline forecasting – If you’ve been using a pipeline for a while, you can use data like win rate and length of time an opportunity is on the pipeline to forecast overall future firm or niche revenue. That way, when you say you’re going to grow by 10 percent, you know what exactly that will take.
- Proposal analysis & development – The proposal document is a recap of the sales process – it is not the actual sales process. It’s a prospect-focused piece of sales collateral that should be customized for each opportunity you bid on. If you talk about your firm more than the benefits to your clients, you need a new template. If you aren’t winning 60 percent of what you bid on, your proposal may be in part of blame.