There are many ways to keep marketing and business development top-of-mind in your firm, including reinforcing a consistent brand message, issuing performance measures related to marketing activities, and providing business development training.
One effective tool for developing a growth culture in your firm is to hold pipeline meetings. Firms build pipeline documents to track opportunities and proposals. By creating a monthly meeting to review your pipeline, you’ll create a forum for discussions around winning bids, lessons learned from losses and highlights of your firm’s marketing programs. Here are some ideas for how to turn your pipeline meeting into a tool for building a growth culture.
Facilitate open and honest conversations about recent wins and losses.
In order for conversations about recent wins and losses to be most helpful, you will want to make sure the pipeline is up-to-date prior to the meeting. As you collect this information, you will have the opportunity to identify wins that make for good stories that will motivate others. You will also learn about lost bids, and you can encourage the bidding leads to share their stories, helping others learn from their experiences. Remember, for discussions around wins and losses to be most effective, it is important for participants to feel that they can share experiences from wins and losses without judgement or criticism. You can set this expectation and reinforce it during each meeting.
Create awareness of your firm’s marketing programs.
Obviously, the more promotion and participation you can get for your marketing programs, the more impact they will have on your firm’s growth. Your meeting agenda should include updates on upcoming events, speaking engagements, advertising and sponsorships. As you discuss each program, be sure to clarify the intended audience, the objective for the firm and how each person in the meeting can help build awareness and participation for these programs. It is also important to close the loop after programs recently complete and let meeting attendees know how they can follow up on leads and nurture relationships generated from these programs.
Educate and train in short, simple bursts.
Creating compelling education and training components for your pipeline meeting will not only encourage attendance, but will also reinforce learning about marketing and business development. Topics might include networking tips, how to create an “elevator pitch” and ideas for maximizing information from CRM. These snippets of training are meant to remind and reinforce, and they are most effective when they are 30 minutes or less. Varying instructors and speakers will also help to keep attendees engaged in the topics.
Many firms find success with monthly, 1-hour meetings, but you can vary your frequency and length depending on what works best for your firm. For whatever meeting frequency and length you select, we recommend keeping the schedule consistent to build the pattern into your firm’s normal practice. We also recommend inviting market-facing partners, managers and staff. After a few meetings, you will see an increase in conversations about marketing and a developing interest in being a part of the firm’s growth efforts.