July’s Movers and Shakers

Working in Business Development, it’s hard to keep track of all the changes and the latest Movers and Shakers so here is a summary of the latest company news and exciting new appointments that we recommend you keep an eye on:

Weetabix internally appointed Francesca Davies as Marketing Director earlier this month, succeeding Sally Abbott who moved up to board level as managing director.

The promotion comes as previous incumbent Abbott steps up to managing director, where she will oversee marketing strategies and the consumer-facing side of the business.

Davies, who has been with the company since 2008, promised evolution not revolution, stated that there is already a lot of positive momentum within the 85-year-old brand, and as a result, there won’t be any drastic change in strategy. It will continue to reach out through traditional mediums like TV, and numerous retail partnerships that help tell the brand’s story at the point of purchase.

Toy store Hamleys has appointed Ralph Cunningham as its new CEO. He replaces Gudjon Reynisson, who has been with the company for nine years. Reynisson will now step into a vice chairman position.

As the new CEO, he will oversee a period of expansion for the brand, which unveils a new store in Mumbai this week, taking its total number of sites to 110.

House of Fraser

House of Fraser has announced that Michelle Maynard will join the retailer as its new Chief People Officer.

She will report to the new chief executive Alex Williamson, expected to take the reins at the department store at the end of July, and will be responsible for overseeing HR functions and internal communications.

Edwin Blanchard has also joined as Digital Director. Edwin, who was previously at The Body Shop, has replaced David Seeby in the role.

Alex Williamson, the current boss of the Goodwood Estate, has been appointed as its new Chief Executive.

British heritage brand Hunter Boot Ltd has announced the appointment of Tamara Klien as Head of PR, effective immediately. Tamara joins Hunter from Starworks Group in London, where most recently she served as PR Director. Previously, Tamara was at Style.com as Global PR Manager and prior to that UK PR Manager for Hugo Boss. In her new role Tamara will lead Hunter’s global PR based in the London Headquarters, reporting into Brand Director, Ali Lowry.

FatFace has announced the appointment of Gabrielle Sims as the company’s new Head of Licensing.

The company said that she has worked across a number of big global entertainment properties and brands during her career in the licensing industry. She has held roles at Fluid World, The Licensing Company and, most recently, IMG where she was licensing director for three years.

Marius Lang has been appointed as Senior Director – Head of Marketing UK & Ireland at Lego, after Rebecca Snell was promoted to a European role.

Lang joined Lego in 2014 as director of marketing in the toy brand’s direct to consumer business, and was promoted to senior director in January 2016.

British kitchen supplier Howden Joinery has hired the boss of Kingfisher-owned DIY firm Screwfix Andrew Livingston as its new Chief Executive.

Mr Livingston will replace Howden’s founder and chief executive Matthew Ingle, who the company said would retire in the first half of next year after 22 years at the helm.

Gourmet burger chain Byron Hamburgers Ltd, which trades as Byron, has appointed Nick Young as its new Chief Operating Officer as it looks to get back to the top of the market.

Prudential plc announces the appointment of Mark FitzPatrick as Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Nic Nicandrou, who takes over as Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia.
Mr FitzPatrick  is currently a Managing Partner of Deloitte UK and a member of its executive committee.  He has 26 years of global industry experience, and his roles at Deloitte have included leading the CFO training programme and the insurance & investment management audit practice.

News UK has appointed David Robinson as Marketing Director of The Sun, following the exit of Rob Painter to Sky last month.

Robinson, aged 37, had previously been leading the marketing and sales around The Sun’s new paywalled Sun+ digital offering since the start of the year.

Chelsea Football Club has appointed Adam Field as its first Head of Global Fan Engagement as the West London club seeks to build on its success on the pitch to further establish itself as a major global football brand.

Catherine Johnstone, the former Chief Executive of Samaritans, has been appointed Chief Executive of the older people’s charity the Royal Voluntary Service.

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10 Tips For Setting Your Business Development Objectives

Business Development is usually a number one priority for most agencies. Yet often it is viewed tactically with the search for ‘low hanging fruit’ and quick wins, or simply because agencies think they should be doing it. Getting it right takes time, commitment and requires you to bring together a wide range of expertise.

Whether you are planning to outsource or manage Business Development in-house, you need to understand what success should look like before you start any programme. Writing a plan with clear long term objectives aligned to agency growth will help make sure that everyone is focused towards the same targets to help you achieve this. You can then break this down into the milestones needed to get you there.

Here are our top recommendations as to what you should think about when you look to set your Business Development objectives to drive agency growth:

1. Understand why you really need to do Business Development

Make sure you know why you are looking to undertake a Business Development programme. Identify what are the opportunities and challenges that you are trying to address – and whether there has been any recent trigger events that has led to this, e.g. a drop in inbound enquiries.

2. Are you geared up for Business Development success?

Business development takes a big commitment to developing strategy, identifying targeting, developing conversations, attending meetings, pitching, writing proposals and managing it all in CRM – do you have sufficient resource to deliver on this and who will need to be involved?

3. Identify and understand your long-term goals

Where do you want to be in 3-5 years and why? What type of growth are you looking to achieve – financial, headcount, number of clients? Are you looking to develop expertise in different areas of the business, or just do more exciting work? It’s always good to keep in mind what is most important to you and ultimately, where you want to go with your business. That way you can work out the type of business you need to win to get there.

4. What is your new business target for the next 12 months?

You need to break your longer term objectives into manageable targets, often broken down to focus on the year ahead. Once you know what growth you are looking to achieve you can work backwards. Calculate your current turnover projection based on existing work, client development, referrals – and then work out how much new business you need to win on top of this to achieve your overall company growth targets. Is this realistic? Think about what you achieved last year as a guide and then apply a stretch.

5. How many clients will you need to win to achieve this?

To help you achieve a new business revenue target it’s important to know how many clients you will have to win to deliver this: preferably a smaller amount of high value clients is going to be the most effective way of achieving this, rather than lots of low value wins. It’s important to define the different types of clients you are looking to win and understand what the likely value of these is going to be. Remember it often takes longer to win the bigger accounts so you will need to find the right balance to deliver on your shorter term objectives.

6. What type of clients are you looking to win?

It won’t always just be the monetary value of a win that’s important. Make sure you strike the right balance with clients that provide fame, fortune, fit/fun – and understand as a business, what is most important to you right now. Then apply this to your targeting to match the right characteristics to find your sweet spot. Industry sector is often important: are you looking to win business in sectors you already have strong experience, or crack new areas? Do you have any key target clients you’d love to work with? Don’t just go for the big names, think about who you could do great work for? Get everyone involved for inspiration.

7. What is your track record of winning business?

What is your current pitch conversion? Use historic Business Development success to inform your targets and projections. Do you have experience winning business from cold, rather than inbound or referral? Remember that there is a big difference between outbound and inbound – the latter will usually be much higher conversion rates and shorter lead times, but you have no say on who the company is. Use your historic success to inform what KPI’s you need to put in to deliver on your Business Development and growth targets.

8. How do you qualify opportunities?

What qualification criteria do you currently apply to assess whether an opportunity is worth exploring? Be clear on the decision makers you need to be talking to and what makes a good meeting. BANT is a good starting point (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe) or MEDDIC (Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, Champion) can suit a more consultative sell. Not every meeting will come with a clearly defined opportunity, so make sure you know who you are happy to meet for a coffee and an intro and be prepared to nurture and track all of these opportunities through your pipeline.

9. How will Business Development work with Marketing?

Marketing and Business Development increasingly go hand in hand as part of a joined up approach. Events and content can really help drive keep in touch programmes, but often operate in silo. Do you have in-house or outsourced marketing/PR resource? If so, make sure this activity is closely coordinated with Business Development and a shared campaign plan is developed.

10. What are you willing to invest in the programme?

Remember, Business Development is a long-term investment and you will not always see business won for many months, with significant ROI sometimes taking years to realise. The worst thing you can do is chop and change so make sure you have an idea of what you are prepared to invest to achieve your targets and how long it may take – be realistic. It’s always good to ensure everyone is aligned to success through their performance and delivery (e.g. win commission).

Business Development done well has the potential to transform the dynamic of your business and get you working with more of the right type of clients. Setting clear growth targets and aligning this to Business Development will help you better understand what you need to achieve to get there – and critically, whether you are on track to do so. Make sure everyone involved in Business Development understands what long term success looks like. It’s vital that – whether in-house or outsourced – everyone is fully engaged in your long term ambitions and understand what needs to be achieved to get there.

If you would like to discuss further, or would like any help with this, please get in touch.

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What do clients truly value in their agency?

Do you think your clients are happy with your work? In a recent Upstream survey, 30% of clients are far from it.

For Business Developers, making the sale is about talking to your potential client’s objectives and what you can do, or not do, to meet them. In our report, ‘What do clients truly value in their agency?’ you can find out what matters most to clients and tailor your approach to ensure it resonates.

We surveyed over 50 client-side marketers to find out their opinion on agency relationships, and what it is they value. Read our report to find out what clients think about:

  • Timely communication and investing in a personal relationship
  • Setting and meeting KPIs
  • Quality vs quantity of work
  • What the best agencies are doing differently…

Click here to get your copy of the report.

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Why Business Development is a lot like a gym membership.

An agency founder recently explained that Business Development is a lot like a gym membership. We all know that committing to it will deliver the results we want; whether that’s getting stronger or losing a few pounds.

There are a few problems though. Some of us despise every torturous second at the gym, so we’ll put it off until we stand sobbing in front of the bathroom mirror. Some of us are spinning so many plates (e.g. staff, meetings, clients…kids!) that we don’t get time. Others are too easily tempted by the glimmering beer taps shining like rainbows through the pub doors on the commute home…you know who you are!

So, by bedtime, there’s that niggling pang of guilt that we didn’t allocate that one hour of 24 to the gym that day, which would have been a few more steps towards our goal.

I love this analogy because it perfectly describes what it takes to do Business Development correctly while at the same time highlighting the challenges when agencies try and do this in house.

I guess you could describe allocating a Business Development role or agency as personal training, body cleansing and therapy all rolled in one. The health benefits include:

ZEN – you know there’s someone focussed and dedicated to finding new opportunities while you can focus on running and developing the agency.

A HEALTHY BODY – sometimes, clients will leave, for whatever reason. But with a consistent flow of opportunity with the right prospective clients, you will avoid the risk of having detrimental dips if they do go. If they don’t go, you should experience consistent growth.

A HAPPY MIND – the best thing about new business is you can go after the right types of opportunities for you. The ones everyone will get excited about working on and the ones who will be long terms clients.

CONFIDENCE – You know that feeling when you step on the scales and like what you see, you’re energised, motivated and more successful. Winning new clients and reaching your goals is one of the best and most satisfying feelings in an agency.

At Upfront, we’re all about establishing goals and winning business so it’s the first thing we ask agencies when they come to us for Business Development. What do you want to achieve? We then develop a plan of action to reach those goals.

Get in touch if you want to discuss your goals or look out for my next blog on How To Brief a Business Development Agency…

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Does good new business start at Cannes?

There has been plenty of conversations about the value of Cannes Lions this year and whether you can justify the cost of a €32 Chicken Sandwich on the Croisette – and the thousands more that a trip can often cost an agency.

Whilst the focus of the week is to recognise creativity and sharing knowledge, there is also a big focus on networking. With BrainDating, Accenture’s bump and Connect wrist bands, plenty of action is focused towards making connections. We’re always interested in meeting new people, so Upfront went along this year and got talking to people to find out how they got on.

Jon Reid, Business Director at Set Live, the agency behind the unmissable YouTube beach experience at Cannes, knows first-hand the impact the event can have: “Each year we help Google to stand out at Cannes and we know how important this is to their business. However, if you are going to meet potential new clients it can be difficult if you don’t have an established presence there”.

Whilst Cannes brings together so many senior Marketers from across the world, conveniently into one place, you are competing heavily for their attention. “We had a range of exciting meetings lined up with high profile CMO’s who were all keen to meet us at Cannes, but it is always hard to actually tie down timings as there is so much going on and so many competing priorities. However, it’s been a great way to start a conversation”, Jon explains, “[…] and for many they will have experienced our work first hand if they made it down to the beach”.

Nick Stephens at Brand Experience Agency, Ignis, went for a more spontaneous approach. Armed with a networking pass, Nick managed to meet a great range of potential prospects by striking up new conversations around the hotels and beach bars of the Croisette: “I just identified who I wanted to speak to and went and found them. I was particularly keen to speak to the guys at the Weather Channel who have just been bought by IBM Watson. They ended up inviting me on their yacht, which was a great way to get to know them!”.

Miranda Glover, Business Director at digital agency E3, who received a nomination for their AI virtual assistant work for Arthritis Research, and won a commendation for a strategic report in the AdMap Prize, found the talks invaluable at Cannes: “The Cannes experience overall was extremely informative and inspiring. I went to lots of talks which gave me a great perspective on the future of our industry.” Miranda described Business Development happening by osmosis and feels confident that relationships will develop over time: “I met some great influencers and creators at the events and sure we will meet again, but Cannes doesn’t really suit a quick-fire agency pitch, instead we all want to assimilate knowledge and make new connections whilst we are there and then come back to it.”

One sure-fire way of getting people’s interest is to host a high-profile welcome party. Leading social analytics platform Crimson Hexagon did this to great effect with Twitter, at their Cabana right next to the palace. For the remainder of this week, the cabana served as a base for their meetings, while their executives worked the ground at partner events like WPP Stream and the Facebook VIP party. Marian Cramers, Director for Global Network Agency Growth at Crimson Hexagon, was particularly pleased with this third edition of Crimson @ Cannes. “I feel we have really established our brand and presence here over the years, people acknowledge our place in the ecosystem and we had many more C-suite and senior prospects and clients passing by. The relaxed space of the cabana and garden area also means they stay for quite a while, and we can have very open conversations about procurement procedures or changes within their org. Conversations we’re very unlikely to have anywhere else than here in Cannes!”

Overall, it may be difficult to justify the cost of Cannes as simply a New Business exercise. However, if approached responsibly and combined with meeting clients and gaining insight, then it still has an awful lot to offer and a great opportunity to meet a wide range of people in a relaxed environment.

We felt there is a lot more that the organisers Ascential can do to foster networking and introductions at Cannes to help make sure people get the most out of the week. For instance, no-one I spoke to got much out of the BrainDating app. Users found that it required far too much time and effort to organise anything and felt it would be better to make it easier to match people on relevant topics of discussion.

It certainly helps if you are doing something at Cannes or at least have a focal point to orientate meetings around. The YouTube beach was great for this and so was Crimson Hexagon’s Cabana. Hosting your own party is a great way to get people together and crucially, collect their contact info. And just being at Cannes you are likely to connect with like minded people, especially if you proactively introduce yourself to as many people as you can.

Apparently great stories start and continue at Cannes Lions. From all those that we spoke to during the week, lots of good conversations start there too. The question is now whether those good conversations will continue beyond Cannes? If they do and turn into new business, then it will certainly help to justify a return next year!

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June’s Movers and Shakers

Working in Business Development, it’s hard to keep track of all the changes and the latest Movers and Shakers so here is a summary of the latest company news and exciting new appointments that we recommend you keep an eye on:

The UK alcohol industry’s social responsibility body Portman Group have appointed John Timothy as Chief Executive.

John joins the Portman Group at a time when drinks companies are strengthening their efforts to reduce alcohol-related harms, through robust self-regulation of alcohol marketing and with effective local partnerships that help create safe and vibrant night time economies.  Official statistics show notable declines in alcohol misuse in the last decade and the Portman Group’s members are committed to supporting this positive progress.

Former Superbreak UK and international sales director Jane Atkins is joining Shearings Leisure Group as Strategy Director.

The Saint Lucia Tourist Board

Liz Fay has been confirmed to lead PR in the UK.  Liz formally took on the role on 12th June 2017 and her immediate focus is to develop the UK PR and social media strategy to support the trade partners their efforts in generating awareness, desirability and demand for Saint Lucia.

The board has also appointed Patricia Charlery-Leon to lead its Operations in the UK. She replaces Atlyn Forde who left to join Travelport as regional head EMEA.

With a team of four, Charlery-Leon will work to grow visitor arrivals from the UK and Ireland and strengthen Saint Lucia’s trade and consumer relationships.

Money Advice Service

Charles Counsell is to be the new Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service. The appointment was made by the Financial Conduct Authority and approved by HM Treasury.

Charles is currently Executive Director and Board Member at The Pensions Regulator where he has played a key role in the successful introduction of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions. He succeeds Caroline Rookes who announced she would be stepping down as Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service in the Autumn.

Additionally, Mo Raja has been promoted from Lead SEO Manager to SEO & Digital Analytics Team Lead this month.

Thomas Merrington has been promoted to Creative Director at Penguin Ventures, charged with setting the creative direction for all Penguin Ventures brands.

Merrington joined Penguin Random House from Silvergate Media in January 2016 as Peter Rabbit brand manager and head of product development for Penguin Ventures which manages PRH’s portfolio of licensed literary brands and characters.

In his new role, he will be developing new style guides and assets to support licensees, retailers and partners. He will also be involved in identifying new brands to add to the Ventures portfolio, his focus developing the “live, theatrical and experiential” business “to ensure that the Ventures brands continue to reach new audiences”.

Volkswagen has hired Geraldine Ingham as Head of Marketing as the brand continues efforts to rebuild its reputation after the damage caused by 2015’s ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal.

She joins from Nissan France, where she marketing director and handled the roll out of a car sharing scheme.

Apparel retailer J.Crew Group Inc said on Monday that James Brett will succeed retail veteran Millard Drexler as Chief Executive Officer.

Brett, who has more than 25 years of retail experience, most recently served as President of specialty home furnishing company West Elm, a unit of Williams-Sonoma Inc (WSM.N).

Drexler, who is credited with making apparel retailer Gap Inc’s (GPS.N) a global brand, will continue in his role as the J.Crew’s chairman.

Outdoor clothing specialist Go Outdoors has appointed Maplin’s Claire Webb as its new chief financial officer.

At electronics retailer Maplin, Webb led the finance, legal and HR functions and oversaw the refinancing and sale of the business to Rutland Partners earlier this year.

POLPO have announced that Scott Macdonald will be joining the team as Managing Director. Scott joins POLPO from Bill’s Restaurants where he held the position of Managing Director for four years. Prior to this, Scott was F&B Director at Selfridges and has worked in the restaurant industry for over 25 years.

Sainsbury’s Argos has appointed Gary Kibble as its new Marketing Director, replacing Stephen Vowles, who left the business in December just months after it was acquired by Sainsbury’s.

Kibble will join the company in the next few months. He will report to Bertrand Bodson, chief digital and marketing officer and will be a member of the Sainsbury’s Argos management board.

AccorHotels has appointed Karelle Lamouche as Senior Vice President for Sales & Marketing, Distribution & Revenue Management at HotelServices UK & Ireland. The role will also include taking responsibility for the loyalty programme – Le Club AccorHotels – as AccorHotels continues to increase its loyal customers.

Celebrity Cruises has brought in Cheapflights’ former global marketing lead, Sam Otter, as Director of Marketing and PR for the UK and Ireland.

Nissan has enlisted Nicolas Verneuil as its Marketing Director in the UK, where he will be responsible with handling the overall strategy in the region.

Guide Dogs

The UK charity has announced that it has appointed Tom Wright as its next Chief Executive.  He will join in September, having been group chief executive of Age UK and its sister charity Age International for nearly nine years.

Guide Dogs has also appointed Steve Vaid as its Director of Mobility Services and Deputy Chief Executive. He joins the charity from Action for Blind people, where he has been director of operations since 2010.

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What the GDPR legislation means for B2B marketing

Over the last few months, uncertainties surrounding the potential impact of The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation have meant a lot of conversation, speculation and quite frankly confusion for marketers within the B2B space. The piece of EU legislation aims to overhaul data protection law within the EU and will come into force in May 2018, but many in the industry are uncertain as to how this will affect them in practice.

In an attempt to make sense of this new legislation and what it means for B2B marketing activities, we consulted Lecturer in Law at University of Hertfordshire Henry Pearce, who provided us with his take on the implications of the GDPR legislation along with practical recommendations for how to prepare for its full implementation come 2018.

How does this new piece of legislation apply to B2B marketing?  

At present, most of the obligations under the DPA apply to firms carrying out B2B marketing related activities. However, there is currently one notable exception to this. At present, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), mentioned above, specify that B2B email marketing and similar activities would not have to obtain the express opt-in consent of any individuals whose personal data were involved in said activities to satisfy the individual consent ground for legitimising the processing of personal data under the DPA. Therefore, in the context of B2B marketing activities involving personal data, if individuals are given the option to opt-out this is sufficient to establish consent.

So B2B marketing strategies will not be affected by this legislation?

Broadly speaking, to all intents and purposes the GDPR retains the same definitions of “personal data” and “processing” as contained within the DPA, meaning that all and any uses of any information that can be used to identify an individual person will be subject to the GDPR’s substantive rules and provisions. The GDPR broadly also retains the abovementioned conditions for processing of personal data contained within the DPA, but with some important clarifications, particularly regarding individual consent.

As noted above, under the DPA the processing of an individual’s personal data can be made lawful by way of said individual giving their unambiguous consent. Under the DPA and PECR it appeared that consent could validly be obtained for personal data being used for marketing purposes on an “opt-out” basis (i.e. as long as the individual concerned was given the option to opt-out of their data being used for marketing purposes, this was enough to signify them giving consent).

What can B2B businesses do ahead of May 2018?

To prepare for GDPR coming into force in May 2018, you will need to make sure that:

  1. In the event an individual whose personal data is contained within your database contacts you enquiring as to whether you hold any information about them, confirmation must be given to that individual without undue delay.
  2. If, having received confirmation that their personal data are being held, you will be obliged to make the individual aware of precisely which of their personal data are being held and for what purposes, and that the individual has the right to object to their data being held in the manner specified.
  3. If an individual asks to access personal data of theirs that is held by you, or wishes to receive a copy of those data, then you must honour this request without undue delay.
  4. If any of the personal data contained within your database is inaccurate, you must allow any affected individuals to rectify or otherwise correct any erroneous records.
  5. If an individual objects to their personal data being stored in your database, or asks for their personal data to be deleted, then these too are requests that must be upheld.

Even still, many are concerned that the GDPR could apply to B2B in full due to the PECR current reforms and the leaked GDPR version suggesting that the previous B2B exceptions will be done away with. As in the case with Brexit, however, only until the legislation has been implemented will the full limitations be made clear to B2B marketers.

In the meantime, businesses should be refining what they already know and taking into account best practices when building strategies to communicate with prospects. From refining data to ensuring that messaging is targeted and content is relevant in order to build long lasting relationships, to building in plan a robust data management system in order to track engagement and honour ‘opt outs’, you will put yourself in the best position not only to comply with the GDPR legislation, but to encourage ‘opt ins’ and engagement with your campaigns and content.

 

 

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May’s Movers and Shakers

Working in Business Development, it’s hard to keep track of all the changes and the latest Movers and Shakers so here is a summary of the latest company news and exciting new appointments that we recommend you keep an eye on:

Ian Gandy has joined at Travelers as their new Head of Digital. Previously, Gandy was working as Head of Digital with Esure.

BT British Telecom has recently appointed Andrew Stears as Digital Product Owner, from his previous role at Stagecoach Group.

Burberry named Judy Collinson their new Chief Merchandising Office. Collinson was formerly at Christian Dior in the U.S. and at Barneys New York.

The British luxury fashion designer and retailer has also hired former Unilever chief information officer (CIO) Mark McClennon to be its Global CIO.

Anthony Newman, director of brand, marketing and communications at Cancer Research UK, has recently left the charity after a 17-year stint to become Global Brand Director for Sea Life.

He begins his new job with the Merlin Entertainments business at the end of May, replacing the outgoing Dominic Warne.

WaterAid UK has recently announced that Tim Wainwright will become its new Chief Executive, to take over from Barbara Frost following her retirement in May.

British Cycling announced that the sports governing body has appointed Julie Harrington, currently the Football Association’s group operations director, as British Cycling’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Phase Eight has poached Jigsaw’s online trading and digital marketing boss James Williams. Williams will become Director of Marketing and Online Trading at the Foschini Group-owned retailer. His remit will be to accelerate online growth and ensure customer experience is consistent across the brand.

Former Jaeger trading director Gwynn Milligan has joined maternity and kidswear brand Jojo Maman Bébé as Commercial Director to help drive the business.

Pete Markey has left Aviva after just one year to become Marketing Director at TSB Bank. Markey will play a key role in maintaining this momentum if it wants to continue to disrupt the major high street banks.

British fashion brand Jack Wills has appointed Mike Doyle as their Financial Chief as well as promoted Mark Wright to the new role of Multi-Channel Director.

Sally Abbott has been promoted from Global Marketing Director to Managing Director for food processing company Weetabix.

Elise Hamer has been appointed Global PR Manager at Clarks. Previously at Aquascutum, Elise is based in the London offices and reports into Amsterdam-based Esther Lopez Riva, Head of Global Communications & PR.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has appointed Jeff Howarth as its new Group Marketing Director.

Edelman announced that Kate Hawker is joining the firm as Managing Director of its UK Healthcare team.

Formerly Healthcare Chair at Burson-Marsteller, Kate tripled the size of its healthcare business and spearheaded a successful team, winning and running significant global assignments.

HSS Hire has appointed Steve Ashmore as Chief Executive. He will take the reins on 1 June 2017.

Ashmore, who has previously held senior posts at supply chain company Exel and heating firm Wolseley, will replace John Gill as boss of the tool rental firm.

Moët Hennessy has appointed a new Managing Director for its UK operations as current head of the London office, Jo Thornton, gets promoted to a position in the US.

Taking over from Thornton on 1 July 2017 will be Bertrand Steip, who is currently international director for Maisons Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon and Mercier, based in France.

Byron Hamburgers has appointed Wagamama marketer Simon Cope as its new Managing Director.

Cope will join Byron in July and sit on its executive board, focusing on marketing, food development and property.

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Call Mapping: How to structure the perfect call

By: Sam Meade

Ironically, cold calling seems a very hot topic of discussion lately. Particularly, whether it’s a legitimate method of initial communication, or whether it’s slowly dying out as an ancient sales technique.

So, is cold calling dead? The short answer is no.

Cold calling is an essential part of new business development, and now more than ever, it’s essential that you get it right. The best business development professionals know exactly what they want to get out of a call before even picking up the telephone. Successful call mapping can be the difference between the start of a blossoming relationship or the end of one.

So where does it all start?

First and foremost, a bit of background work prior to the call. A valuable trait of a successful Business Development professional is their ability to know who to talk to. The reality for many BDMs is that (more often than we might like to admit), a lot of time can be spent preparing for a call, simply to find that you are being referred onto someone else.

Why does this happen? Simply put, you have failed to effectively qualify the prospect.

Here are some helpful tips to get you through the perfect call – from qualifying the prospect to closing the call:

Tip #1: Use all the tools available to you

The importance of utilising an insight led approach to call mapping is key in being able to structure the perfect conversation. Scanning industry blogs, reading through the trade press and using new business insight tools like Upstream, can enable you to find appropriate points to discuss to ensure that your call is relevant to the prospect, and not a nuisance to them.

Social media networks like LinkedIn & Twitter are a wonderful way to get a feel for an individual and their company’s organisational structure (some even list their direct responsibilities within the role!).  Finding out this information will ensure you are ready to make that all important first step to building the relationship with your prospect.

Once on the call, you need to ensure that you grab their attention from the offset. The most important part of the call is the first 30 seconds, the elevator pitch. This is where the contact decides if they’re going to give you their attention or not. A lot of people get the elevator pitch wrong because they do not understand it’s purpose, which is in short a way to generate enough interest to continue the conversation, not to close business. Which leads me to tip #2…

Tip #2: Keep it to a concise intro (to the point and relative to the prospect)

If you manage to adhere to this, you will have caught their attention, and now you can move onto qualifying their situation. This means figuring out whether the prospect needs your product/service, and more importantly, if they can afford it.

This is where identifying what you want to come away from the conversation with before the call is essential to knowing what questions to ask. Try probing the prospect into talking about their situation and existing approach with the use of structured qualifying questions.  Of course, the dream outcome is that they are interested right away, but we are in the business of generating business relationships, and finding out when they might be interested could be far more valuable than forcing someone to take a meeting when they’re not ready.

Tip #3: Your first question should be the least intrusive

You need to remember, your relationship with the prospect is completely cold, and you need to come across consultative and valuable. Your chances of a positive conversation will increase if you start off slow, map out a structure for the call which ultimately leads to the end goal (a follow up call later in the year, or a meeting in the diary, etc.).

Once you have all the information you require, you need to make a judgement call to your next actions, whether that’s getting commitment from the prospect to a further call or meeting. Either way, get that in the diary as soon as you finish the call. Which leads me to my last point…

Tip #4: Send an invite for your next action right away once the call has ended

The biggest mistake I find BDMs make is not setting a specific next action directly following a call. You can seriously increase the business development life cycle by accepting vague sense of commitment from the prospect, e.g. “Give me a call in a couple of months” or “Send over an email with some dates and times”.

To avoid this rabbit hole, just be polite and ask for a specific follow up date and time. If you’ve outlined an apparent reason to speak again, the prospect will not mind. Then it’s just a matter of securing this appointment with an accepted invite, and I emphasize accepted because until the invite has been accepted, it isn’t in your prospects diary, and in a weeks’ time they will probably forget.

Wrapping up

As I hope I’ve made apparent, setting out a clear call map from the offset will allow you to build your relationship with the prospect from the get-go. By following these tips, you can ensure that you have all the necessary information to move this prospect through the business development life cycle successfully.

While business development often gets linked to sales, I would argue that it’s so much more than that. So when it comes to call mapping, an agile, thought out approach can be the difference between traditional sales and truly understanding prospects business objectives in order to connect with the right people when the time comes – ultimately what good business development is all about.

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“This proposal is pretty good, right Bob?”

But that wasn’t the first thing the EVP of Marketing asked me. Before that she’d said… 

Tell me what you think about this presentation Bob.

I had just started a consulting project a few hours earlier, when the animated EVP asked me to look at a presentation she was going to be giving later in the week. So, I took a look at her first slide which was filled with self-absorbing, company-centric, all about me information. Then, I looked at her second slide. Her third slide. Her fourth slide. All the way up to her 34th slide which were just more of the same. I immediately had a flashback to a similar and equally awkward situation I found myself in my distant past.

Not surprisingly, the presentation slides were a precursor to a proposal which I also had an opportunity to review sometime later. That’s when the, “This proposal is pretty good, right Bob?” question got asked.

For the life of me, I have a difficult time understanding why people just don’t realize, that a client or prospect doesn’t really care about your first 15 slides in a presentation, or your first 10 pages in a proposal that talk about how great you are.

OK, get ready. Here it comes…your client or prospect only cares about what’s important to them, not you. They could care less about how and when your company was founded, how many awards you’ve accumulated, or what color socks your CEO wears in meetings.

Sure, all that stuff is important to establish your credentials and credibility. (Well, maybe not so much the color of the CEO’s socks.) But, there is other, more customer-centric and subtle ways to convey that information. And if you can weave them into a story that relates to a problem the client or prospect has, it can be a strong way to enhance your credibility.

But Bob, it’s not always possible to do those things.

Of course it’s not. And in some businesses, it’s not only inappropriate; you can be penalized or even excluded from the vetting process, for not adhering to protocol. Templated Requests for Information and Proposal formats also usually don’t leave much room for self-expression, storytelling or deviation.

But, in my experience, the majority of B2B clients and prospects are flexible about what you’re proposing, and you can pretty much bet they’d appreciate being educated, informed and yes, even entertained to some extent, with a well-thought-out and easy-to-read proposal. Especially if what you’re telling them helps to solve a problem that’s keeping them up at night. Think about it. How many times have you had to read through page, after page of extremely detailed, pretentious, me-too, aren’t we wonderful, here’s what we will do for you, pseudo-knowledge droppings types of proposals?

To that point, as illustrated by my illustrator, cartoonist friend Bot Roda

Proposals are like presentations. They need to be engaging.

But, unlike a presentation, you won’t be there to tell your story. To make eye contact. To see how your audience (the reader) is reacting to the delivery of your words and your proposal.

So it becomes even more important to make the proposal memorable, in a good way. Assuming, of course, you can actually address the problems your reader is facing and provide quantifiable value while doing it.

So, here are a few tips.

  1. Think of your proposal as a magazine or online article. Make it readable and informative, with attention-getting “teaser” headings and subheadings to entice the reader. Make it something your audience not only believes, but something they want to read and, importantly, share with their colleagues.
  2. Use an “opener.” Think of an appropriate way to attract and keep the reader’s attention. Then deliver it in a way that will let them know you understand their problem, while also implying you know how to help them to achieve their objectives and address whatever issues they may be facing. I place the opener immediately after the cover page and use it to set the tone for what follows. For example, I’ve used the following opener on more than one occasion to call attention to a company’s disorganization issues. “Pilot to passengers. I’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news is we’re hopelessly lost. The good news is we’re making great time.” Yes, it is humorous, but it acts to diffuse a serious situation, while simultaneously drawing attention to it. Before deciding to use this particular opener, I had to have an understanding of the environment, the people involved, their personalities, company culture, competitive landscape and the problems they were facing.
  3. Thank you note. I like to put a brief, personal note right after the “opener” to reinforce the message of the opener and how the proposal will address the prospect’s issues. I also use it to express my appreciation for the opportunity to submit a proposal and I sign it (either an original signature or an inserted JPEG signature). Does my signing it make a difference? To me it does for two reasons. First, it means it was the last thing I did after having reviewed the entire document to make certain all the points were addressed. Second, by my signing it, it makes it personal and reflects my commitment to the prospect or client. I’m sure there is research somewhere regarding the best color ink to use when signing a document for memorability. I use blue.
  4. Put the good stuff upfront. Look, nobody has time (or really wants) to read through 47 pages of detailed information about how you’re going to solve their problems. And while that’s definitely important, you need to condense how it’s all going to work in an Executive Summary. Simplifying complex issues is no easy task. But, it’s definitely beneficial for the reader (and you too) when you can do it and do it well.
  5. Include the price. Don’t make your reader flip through the proposal looking for the cost. Give it to them in #4 above and definitely do it while keeping #6 in mind.
  6. Quantify the value. This is the most important part of #5. Quantify the cost in terms of the value benefit your proposal will be delivering. Anything can be quantified, whether its carbon footprint reduction, improved productivity, reduction of particulate matter, the instances of rapid eye movement in dream states in dogs…anything. Whatever it is, just make sure you present it in terms relevant to their problem. Will what you’re proposing help reduce costs? Then give them the projected value of those costs savings over time and compare it to what they’re doing now. Or compare it to competitive offerings. Or, show them the cost savings on a piece-by-piece or a per person basis. Whatever best demonstrates the true value based on their objectives. Ideally, you could create algorithms for your value offering and convert it into an Excel document, so your prospects can enter their specific information to see various calculated outcomes for things such as ROI, Lifetime Value or Lost Opportunity Costs. I created an “Evaluator” that provides a roadmap so prospects can see how well they perform in four key business development areas most businesses have in common. You can email me at Bob@streetsmartbizdev.com and I’ll send it to you, along with an overview on how it works.
  7. Use visuals. It can be a quote, graph, cartoon, link to a video, or a text box (like the one here). Anything that will reinforce your value message throughout the important sections of the proposal at a glance as the reader skims it.
  8. Speaking of quotes. Consider including one from the project manager or team members who will be overseeing the project or program. It can be about their expertise on the subject and experience and how they, and your company, helped other clients facing the same or similar issues. It’ll not only provide an introduction to the person/team, it will also provide a human connection and reinforce credibility. We humans are visual beasts, so if appropriate, include a picture or video of the person, or the team to put a face with the name.
  9. Other stuff. If your proposal will have a fair amount of pages, include a Table of Contents. And if you do include one, make the line items interesting, not just a boring listing about the section and a page number. For instance, if you’re identifying the pages which describe the implementation of the program or project, try something like this..“This is where it all comes together”…………………….pages 8 through 15. You can also do the same thing for #8 above. “Meet the team who will make it happen”……………. pages 16 through 17
  10. Links to reference material. Provide links to relevant articles to reinforce your recommendations. Kinda like I’m doing here with some good articles and tips on proposals by people like Dan Steiner in his article, and of course, Ian Altman’s reality check article.
  11. Addendum. If you’re required (or compelled) to include all your services, company history, and things like case studies, White Papers, related research, detailed employee profiles and other relevant materials, the addendum is a good place for them.
  12. Proofread the damn thing. Frequently, people will use a proposal template where they can just fill-in-the-blanks to save time. Time saving? Yes. Smart? Yes again. But, it could be disastrous. I’ve read proposals which had the previous prospect’s or client’s name in the document. Nothing says, “I’m too busy to really look at what I’m sending you,” more than a boilerplate document which has not been proofread. Take the time to make sure it’s done. Ideally, by someone other than you because you’re too familiar with it and will overlook things. (Using a professional proofreader is best so long as your “style” is understood and not compromised.) If your proposal is not proofread thoroughly and the reader finds typos and errors like the one I described earlier, you can count on one thing. Not getting invited to submit another proposal any time soon…if ever.
  13. But it doesn’t stop there. There’s always the delicate situation of following up. Ideally, you will be notified you’re been awarded the project. However, waiting can be nerve-wracking. So, when and how you follow-up is key. You want to make sure the prospect knows you’re anxious to get started. But don’t want to annoy them in the process. According to Noah J. Goldstein, Robert B. Cialdini and Steven J. Martin, authors of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be More Persuasive, “Sending a funny, inoffensive cartoon during negotiations can generate higher levels of trust and generate 15 percent higher profits”. There’s also neuroscience behind the reasons as to why it works. Does it work in every situation? Nope. What you do really all depends on the relationship you’ve developed. You just need to do what makes you and your client feel comfortable.
  14. And when you do get the business. If you don’t continue to keep in touch by providing your client with monthly updates, with progress reports linked to the quantified value you said you’d be providing, then you’re leaving money on the table. Monthly summaries will keep you on your toes and provide the foundation for regular client review meetings. It’s also a good time to begin thinking about asking for referrals. Marla Tabaka has some good information about referrals in this article.

Got any proposal tips you’d like to share?

This would be a good place to do it.

Reposted from LinkedIn with permission from Bob Musial, Principal at StreetSmart Business Development. Click here to read more of Bob’s work.

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