Gone are the days when we could pop our heads over a cubicle and ask a colleague if they know so-and-so at XYZ Company, and don’t even think about collecting business cards at a Happy Hour event or a tradeshow! The world of business development in B2B financial services has gone digital in a big way. We all know that business flourishes when we can nurture and harvest our current relationships and when we can make new connections, but how can this be done without face-to-face interactions and easy collaboration in the office? Is it even possible to achieve this in today’s digital world?
We recently co-hosted a webinar with our partners at RelPro. RelPro’s CEO, Martin Wise and Introhive’s Sales Director, Mark Scherban were joined by panellists Jay Kaduson (Partner at PwC) and Ryan Mason, (VP of Business Development, American Express) where we talked about how to adapt and be successful in this new digital world.
The speakers discussed their experiences and best practices when it comes to business development, prospecting and relationship management including valuable insights about what they’re seeing in the market today. Here are a few of the highlights from this engaging discussion:
- Get creative
- Know your audience – but also know your brand
- Six degrees of bacon
- The engine in your prospecting tool kit
If you’re looking to collaborate with your marketing team with some new ideas on how to engage with your clients and prospects… don’t hold back! The key here is to think outside the box and be customizable based on who your customer is. Do you know if your prospects are hardcore yogis or fitness fanatics? Why not take part in a group Peloton spin class or a digital yoga session via Zoom? Are they into cooking or a foodie at heart? Online cooking classes are a hit and a great way to build rapport. Also, don’t discount a curated box of goodies from your hometown (Shop local! Support local!) or a simple bottle of wine delivered right to their doorstep! Easy, everyday gifts can go a long way. If sending a gift, branded quality swag, locally sourced or brands that support a charity element are among our favourites.
Also, depending on the rules in your city and how close your contacts are to you geographically, it might be a good idea to get outside while social distancing. Book a tee time, hit a trail or go fishing – build a bond while adhering to the rules and getting your prospect out of the house. Do you live on the other side of the country? No problem! Send them a digital voucher for an experience in their hometown or go the extra mile and call their golf course in advance and buy the beers – personalization is key!
Know your audience – but also know your brand
We all know that when it comes to prospecting it’s uber important to be prepared (some might say, you’re not prepared unless you’re overprepared). With digital tools like RelPro, you can easily find out who you need to speak with at a target company, learn about their background (with contact information, resume data, aggregated web content) and keep tabs on them by receiving weekly alerts delivered right to your inbox (“RelPro Alerts”). Additionally, using Introhive’s Pre-Meeting digest enjoy fully customizable insights delivered to your inbox the morning of your meeting so you can see data such as who-knows-who, relationship strength, news, and more. Thanks to our AI-powered platform, our solutions can save you time in your meeting preparation, and in turn, you can delight your customers.
What many business development professionals often don’t consider, however, is the core values that businesses are interested in and inspired by in today’s ever-changing world. What is your company’s policy on workplace diversity, and inclusion? How is your management team handling their employees’ wellness during a pandemic? Many of your accounts will want to know the answers to these questions. They like doing business with like-minded brands who share the same core values – so brush up, and make sure you know your stuff and where your employer stands on these hot-topic issues.
Six degrees of bacon
We’re not talking about an all you can eat breakfast buffet here, but the popular phenomenon around Kevin Bacon (yes, think Footloose). For those of you who are not up to speed on your 90’s pop-culture references, 6-Degrees of Kevin Bacon, or “Bacon’s Law” is a theory based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which basically breaks down that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart. Turns out, every Hollywood star has some link of 6-degrees to prolific actor Kevin Bacon – and guess what, the same applies for business, and even more so in today’s social media connected world. Tools like LinkedIn are a great way to make connections with prospects, but mutual connections can often be misleading if there is no real relationship. That’s not to say it’s not a great tool to help you determine who you should be speaking to, but that’s where the power of RelPro comes in!
Using the search function, RelPro can help you identify who you need to be speaking to at your prospecting accounts. Then, add in Introhive: we can tell you who can give you that intro, who best knows your prospect using relationship insights, and even offer a collaboration piece where you can easily set up meetings with connected peers to get the scoop on the prospect and the company.
The engine in your prospecting tool kit
The quality of your data can make or break your prospecting initiatives. Clean, good quality data helps create more business growth and improves your close rate by enabling you to quickly and efficiently get in touch with the right people at your target accounts. Plus, data you can trust will also improve your tech stack – helping you get the most out of all of your investments (music to your CFO’s ears!) By leveraging 17 best-in-class data sources, RelPro’s coverage of 150 million executives can provide you with the quality data you need to make a difference in your prospecting efforts.
Now, if you’re thinking “But, our CRM is a giant dumpster fire – and I can’t afford to hire someone to clean it up!” fear not! Using Introhive’s Cleanse™ solution and data enrichment services, we can help you clean up your data to ensure it’s integral and stays that way. Reps will be able to seamlessly update contacts with a few clicks to ensure contacts and activities are up to date – not to mention, on average we uncover 350 new contacts that were previously not in CRM – contacts that can lead to pipeline development and revenue growth.
The simple fact is our world has gone digital and it’s now up to us to find innovative ways to do business moving forward.
Ready to see how Introhive and RelPro can help you drive business development success in today’s digital world? Contact us today for a demo!