The business development and marketing departments have one common goal: to grow the business. When these teams work together, accounting firms see increased visibility, growth, profitability and more.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Time and time again, we see teams working at odds, unclear about each other’s responsibilities or the value the other brings to the table.
This lack of integration leads to wasted effort and lost opportunities. Plus, it can hurt your chances of retaining existing customers and gaining new business.
It is imperative that business development and marketing come together to find ways to support their common goal.
Understanding the players
Both business development and marketing focus on expanding the customer base for your business. However, there is sometimes confusion about the responsibilities and strengths of each team. This disconnection can make collaboration difficult.
Let’s briefly define each department and its responsibilities for the sake of this discussion.
Business development: Business development is the process of understanding the needs of a specific prospect, offering a set of tailor-made services to meet them and convincing the prospect to become a customer. These professionals seek to form long-term partnerships, strategic relationships and professional contacts. The same principles apply whether you have a business development team or the business partners are in charge of lead generation.
- Marketing: Marketing is the process of understanding the needs of a market, promoting your business’s services, and encouraging qualified prospects to contact you and request more information. Marketing professionals use research-driven techniques to develop messages and guarantees that communicate the benefits and capabilities of the business.
Put simply, marketing is about generating qualified opportunities. Business development is about turning those opportunities into customers.
Why the gap?
It is common for marketing and business development teams to work separately. In the professional services industry, only a small majority (54%) say their teams are highly coordinated. This breakdown in collaboration can be costly for accounting firms.
Sometimes it’s just business as usual. There is no intentional opportunity for these two teams to communicate. And they might not realize how important it is for them to do this.
It doesn’t have to be that way. These two departments need each other to be successful and drive your business forward.
Break down silos
Now that we have a better understanding of the roles of each team and how collaboration can be beneficial, the next question is, how can they work together? Fortunately, these two groups have many opportunities for joint activities that align with customer-focused priorities.
Here are four ways that business development and marketing can work best together to increase engagement and drive growth: