The next time you’re out to develop new business for the company you can try to go about it in a more-than-traditional collaborative way. If you manage to implement the methodology more consistently you’ll find new business right in front of you and you might even get that competitive edge that will bring you to the top league (or keep you there).
Below you can read more about:
Traditionally new business is developed by the Board, C-level executives or perhaps by the Business Intelligence / Business Development Department. Sometimes in that order… It is also a very typically top-down hierarchal, silo thinking and limiting way of working. Opportunities for new business arises every day inside and around the organisation – why not grab these and put them into play?
Depending on the size of the company and the type of business you’re in, the departments in your company might have names and/or descriptions that differ from the list below. The take-aways should however be the same; it’s about asking the right questions in determining what should be new business.
Here’s what the relevant departments could be asking in search for new business opportunities:
Q1. What do customers tell our employees about our services/product (touch points)?
Q2. What are our employees experiencing to be counter-productive or directly negative?
Q3. Are we getting (these) inputs up the system to decision makers?
Q1. Is there a discrepancy against what the customer is looking for and what the company is offering?
Q2. Are competitors offering the same – only cheaper?
Q3. How could the company differentiate itself to customers?
Business Intelligence/Business Development:
Q1. Do we know what is working well?
Q2. What are the obvious knowledge gained from analysing previous successes?
Q3. Do we manage to identify positive and growing tendencies?
Q1. What do employees (incl. leaders) say when leaving the organisation?
Q2. Do performance reviews give inputs?
Q3. What are the observations of new employees 3 months in?
Q1. How are risks mitigated short and long-term incl. brand and employer value?
Q2. What are the social and environmental impacts and how does this support the business?
Q3. Can we do it smarter, cheaper etc. due to standardised ways of working?
Q1. Do we base our budgets on actual inputs from those working in the 1st line?
Q2. Are we using inputs for cost-reduction from our colleagues in other departments?
Q3. To create more realistic forecasts are we building bridges with our colleagues?
Q1. Where do we usually find misalignment between intention and practical outcomes?
Q2. In which area(s) are we normally experiencing the most lost resources (time, energy, finance, materials)?
Q3. What is the biggest learning that should be considered?
Q1. Are we attracting the right customers?
Q2. Are we making our employees proud to work with us so they will act as ambassadors?
Q3. Is storytelling part of the way we work (does previous successes allow/encourage new ideas?)
Q1. Are we using technology to go to market faster and smarter?
Q2. Is agile thinking something that is used by our colleagues (can we benefit from e.g. sprints)?
Q3. Can we make the customer journey better by applying data?
Q1. Why do our customers choose us now (Unique Selling Proposition)?
Q2. Where do our customers find room for improvement?
Q3. Which service would our clients pay (more) for as they can’t get it elsewhere (unmet needs)?
Those who work within those specific departments daily are the subject matter experts. Use them and use them well.
Using the questions above naturally there will be some overlapping of both topics and areas touched. As the organisation manages to bridge the silos when creating new business, the quality of the questions and the mutual understanding grows considerable. Hence the outcomes should gradually improve as a shared mindset starts evolving.
Other benefits of which some are the famous low hanging fruits are:
To gain most of the work and effort put in the New Bizz processes it is important to keep stakeholders involved for as long as it makes sense and let them be part of celebrating the new business when in place.
The questions in the first section are generic. They are meant to give an idea of the types of questions to ask – and perhaps be used as examples to get the process started.
A facilitator needs to lead the process. Perhaps some employees have experience in facilitation such as HR (Learning & Development), IT (agile) or BI/BD (Lean). It is important though to remember that for once this is not about saving money or reducing employees but rather it’s about generating, ripening and harvesting the best ideas to create new business for the company. Ideally the best processes are taken from the internal resources to design the facilitation – or a qualified and experienced facilitator from outside can be used. Sometimes the latter can help get the process started and aid in building trust around new ways of working.
To avoid meeting fatigue, make sure that meetings are run extremely structured and efficient so that no-one feels they are wasting time (or not being heard/involved). As the process gains traction and experience in a facilitated process grows remember the keywords are delegation, engagement and interaction so that everyone involved get that sense of ownership needed.
Are you creating New Bizz in your company/organisation in a way that is both structured and aids growing a culture of belonging – one that inspires WE leadership?
Do you have any inputs to the above that others may gain from?
Stay safe and inspire WE leadership