Simple Tools
October 17, 2011 | The Whetstone Group

Accountability. The word alone can conjure negative feelings of getting in trouble. Consequences. Same thing. But without accountability — and yes, maybe even consequences — business development activity in a professional services firm is sporadic and results are unpredictable. So how can you start to integrate accountability into a culture that doesn’t historically embrace the concept?

It isn’t as hard as you might think. Four simple tools — and how you apply them — can begin the process:

1. Annually — set the right growth goal, determine what it will really take to reach the goal and whether that’s feasible, and determine where your growth will come from.
2.Semi-annually — measure your billing results using the same parameters you did in setting your goal to determine if you need to step it up half way through the year and how to set your goal going forward at year-end.
3.Quarterly — review the referrals given and received by your firm for each referral source to assess whether you’re networking with the right people and effectively implementing this valuable lead generation tactic.
4.Monthly — analyze your sales pipeline to determine if you are generating enough leads and working opportunities to move them through the sales cycle.

Simple tools — but, like a whetstone, it’s all in how you use them that will determine your success. Don’t just produce the reports; hold regular business development meetings with all who have responsibility for growth, ask them to report status of results and activity, and watch as eventually accountability starts to work its magic. Activities are implemented when people said they would be, your people commit to building their skills so they can be more effective, and growth results will follow.

All from four simple tools.