Why Is Dedicated Server Crucial for Business Development?

Dedicated servers are something that most businesses need but they are rarely thought about. Even if a business has one most people that are involved won’t realize that they have one because it just isn’t something that is noticed. Dedicated servers will have many options and features that can help a business to grow and thrive.

For one these servers will allow you to have much more of a command over your server and will give you more bandwidth (this is very important to avoid crashes), and IP addresses. Not to mention that it will allow for more programming opportunities.

Bandwidth is very important when dealing with internet websites because the more bandwidth that you have the fast your page will load and if your page loads faster than you can expect people to come back. Nobody wants to have to wait on a page to load. This can also help in that your website is less likely to ever go down if you have high bandwidth. If you have more IP addresses then this can help a great deal as well. IP addresses are used to measure the activity on a site, and the more that you have the better and more accurately you can measure the activity to know how well your site is doing.

The option to have more programming options is a great one. By doing this then you can actually have more options to personalize you site. This can be adding different languages or make contact forms. It would be so much easier if you could create a form where someone could submit feedback and it would go straight to an e-mail account. The number of things that can be achieved by getting a dedicated server can make a list that goes on and on. Anyone that has their own web based business should really look into getting one.

If you still aren’t convinced then do some more research, take whatever your business is and do research on how a dedicated server can specifically help your business.

Growing Your Business From the Inside

The definition of business success is growth. Increasing revenue drives most sales organizations. However, there are two aspects the growth formula that are often underlooked; or, at least, underemphasized – client retention and business development in existing accounts.

The most efficient channel for increases or improvements to profitable revenues is maintaining the business relationships you have and leveraging those relationships to offer and deliver more.

Your best customers are your most efficient channel for new business opportunities. Yet, many organizations struggle to create and discover these opportunities. For the most part it is because they have become so proficient at being satisfied with the existing relationship that they fail to understand or recognize how to expand and build on it.

The first place I would look for revenue expansion is with my best, favorite and most trusted clients. Note, I would not be walking in simply trying to “sell them more”, I would be working at discovering how I can become a better resource to them and what else I may be able to provide to improve or enhance their business. Accomplishing this requires a focused strategic commitment to enhancing the relationship.

There are four steps to applying a business development strategy in your existing and key accounts:
1. Build a team and expand your contact base: Sales professionals are very proficient at knowing who their key contact is in an account. Their traditional approach is to strengthen that single point of contact relationship to the fullest. In a revenue expansion strategy that is not enough. Instead of having a lot of connections over several companies, an effective business development strategy requires multiple connections throughout the organization at multiple contact points. A single point of contact or a single contact point from your organization puts all relationships at risk.

A strong business development strategy requires that your organization is connected into your key clients at multiple levels with multiple relationships sources, i.e. your CEO/Owner, VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, or Director of Customer Service, etc. having developed and leveraged relationships in your key accounts at similar valued levels. Multiple relationships, at various organizational and functional levels, through varied contact points provides offers your organizational broader information, influence and insight. This is a very powerful strategic tool.

2. Assign a knowledge holder for your key accounts: You can utilize a CRM to manage data and information; however, like a reporter, every key account requires a knowledge holder. That knowledge holder is responsible for sharing the news of every single conversation with all others leveraging and developing relationships in that key account. Sharing the information in a timely manner enables the team to make prompt strategic moves in that account and enables the team to be more engaged and proactive to news, information, and opportunity.

3. Create a metric and meeting rhythm for the team: Being on a key account team means nothing if people do not know their roles or accountabilities. Every team member has accountabilities to the rest of the team for their role in building and expanding their relationship base in a key account. They are also accountable for gathering and sharing information to the team in a timely manner through the “knowledge holder.” As a result, I would encourage everyone to establish a metric for “new relationships” and “impactful conversations” that is a measurable accountability tool. Also, even if it is only a fifteen minute weekly huddle, all key account teams must connect, communicate, collaborate and strategize on a regular basis.

4. Pay attention to discover and create opportunity: You cannot create opportunity in an existing account just because it is a good idea – nobody cares what you want to accomplish or “sell”. However, as you expand your relationship base within an account and become a more influential valued resource, the potential for the team to discover and create new business opportunities is enhanced significantly. This is the value of a multi-faceted “deep and wide” business development strategy. More conversations, with more people, with diverse perspectives, opinions and needs provides a fantastic opportunity to add value. The fundamental component of this strategy is found in creating a focused, disciplined, and intelligent process with a long-term commitment to its execution and development.

Businesses that grow best, grow intentionally. Intention is the focused, disciplined, and strategic application of a business development process that works. The above business development process works best in your key accounts because you already have a valued relationship with them, you already have access to their team, and they already value what you are providing them. To take this relationship to another level requires the commitment of a team, the productive gathering and sharing of information, and the ability to nimbly and deftly execute a timely growth strategy. Nothing is more productive that growing within an existing account – the trick is coordinating the resources in order to accomplish it.

Residual Income Business – Developing a Culture of Communication

Residual income businesses are usually structured in similar ways. They are usually setup as network marketing organizations that allow people to build teams that will ultimately help the builder to make a substantial recurring monthly income.

The builder makes this income because they will be paid from the efforts of the people that they have put on their team. The allure of this type of business structure is that it theoretically should be a money maker for everyone because everyone can build a team.

It is a huge responsibility for the person that gets involved in this type of network marketing structure. Once a person has made the choice to join an organization that will allow them to build a team then that person has just made themselves the top boss of their own entity.

Some people that get involved in a home based operation this way often fail to see the importance of communicating with people they bring into their organization. Communication is very important because their success equals your success so it would behoove you as the top person in your entity to help them be a better top person in their entity.

Once a person has decided to join you in business then you should start telling them how you do things from day one. This could be anything from what marketing techniques you use and how often to what you do to fight off redundancy and boredom within your daily activities.

Developing a culture of constant, consistent, and useful information will endear you in the minds of your downline to the point where they will stay within your downline for longer and not fall victim to attrition.

Whenever you look at a residual income business structured in this manner always put yourself in the shoes of your potential downline to see how communication can flow smoothly to them and to their downline as well.

Removing Risks From Your New Business Strategy

This article identifies the risks business developers often face and the strategies used to minimise them. Winning complex new business is achieved by the systematic removal of risks and the effective deployment of strengths. Risks can be sorted into manageable categories each with a recommended set of strategies:

  1. You have a very strong competitor
  2. You are a late comer into the contest
  3. You face barriers within your own organisation
  4. You have a powerful anti-sponsor in the account
  5. You have some credibility/reputation problems
  6. There is a lack of alignment amongst decisions makers
  7. Your are unsure who the decision makers are and how they feel about your proposal

As there is a wealth of information to cover, this edition will deal with the first three categories and next month will focus on the remaining four.

1. You have a very strong competitor

Having a strong competitor is not necessarily the risk. It’s what that competitor has to offer which presents the risk. It may be that they have a superior solution; they may have better credibility, or they may have stronger relationships with the decision makers.

Firstly, question whether you really do have an inferior solution. Be analytical – assess what attitude each decision maker holds towards your solution and look at the detail of their perceptions. If there are some gaps in your knowledge, find out what they think. Examine the whole list and decide if your solution is inferior. If you still feel it is, you have to take action in either two ways:

Improve your solution – This is your best option, however it is not always possible or it can come with unacceptable margin implications.

Change the game – Changing the game is a classic game theory response whenever you face a stronger contender. To change the game, you need to break your solution down into components. Re-examine your decision makers and understand how they rate you on each of the components. Group the components on which you are strong and make this the centre of the buyer’s consideration. Your sales strategy is now to change the game into one you can win. Stop selling what you were selling and start selling this stronger solution.

It should be noted that changing the game is usually only effective at the start of the selling process. If the process is advanced, the decision maker’s view of what they want will be too strong for you to change.

2. You are a late comer into the contest

The good news when an unexpected tender invitation arrives is that you haven’t expended any selling time or money on this opportunity until now. The not-so-good news is that it’s very possible that a competitor is already the front runner for this opportunity. The problem is compounded by the fact that tender responses often consume significant resources and take you away from other pro-active development work.

Your challenge is to decide if you are going to pursue this opportunity and if so, how. Firstly, you need to make a realistic assessment of the comparative importance of this opportunity. Secondly, assess the comparative cost of pursuing the opportunity, including the impact of putting other work aside while you prepare this tender response. Then assign a high, medium or low rating to both assessments.

The opportunity can then be plotted on the following matrix:

Importance | High | Go | Go | Rabbit |
|__________________________________________________________ | Medium | Go | Manage | Stop | | | | Resources | | |__________________________________________________________ | Low | Stop | Stop | Stop | |__________________________________________________________ | Low | Medium | High | |__________________________________________________________ Cost

In this matrix, there are four recommendations to consider:

  1. Stop – Simply, if the importance is low, don’t proceed. Similarly, if the importance is medium and the cost is high, it is recommended not to proceed.
  2. Go – If the importance is high and the cost is low or medium, go for it. Additionally, if the importance is medium and the cost it is low, it’s worth pursuing.
  3. Rabbit – If the importance is high, the cost is high and you are late into the process, you need to pull a rabbit out of the hat! This may mean sharpening your pencil, leveraging a special relationship more vigorously, or finding a silver bullet. If you can’t capitalise on one of these options, your risk of not achieving a return on your tendering investment is high.
  4. Manage resources – You need to keep an eye on the resources you put into this opportunity, whilst maintaining your prospecting activity. You cannot let this become an all-consuming opportunity and must manage the consumption of your selling resource to the potential of the opportunity.

3. You face barriers within your own organisation

Many developers who have attended our workshops tell us that this is often their biggest challenge. We have a few simple but effective strategies:

  • Include the executives you need to persuade in your big picture analysis. Treat them like decision makers inside your client organisation and understand their personal and business motivations.
  • Involve the executives in your selling strategy as early as you can, even if they are not yet fully committed to supporting your proposal. As a sense of the hunt develops in their mind, they start to convince themselves that it is worth winning. Executives not usually involved in business development love to be asked for help.
  • Use your internal coaches to do the persuading for you. Sometimes they will be more effective than you.

4. You have a powerful anti-sponsor in the account

If you believe this to be the case, it is wise to investigate and uncover the following factors:

  • Their lack of support for you
  • Why they don’t support you
  • Their degree of influence in the decision
  • Who they are supporting

Ideally, you want to convince this decision maker that they should support your solution. However, if you are a long way into the sales process, this may not be possible.

If you believe this decision maker can’t be turned around, it may be better to stay away from them as they are likely to be supporting your competition. With true anti-sponsors, trying too hard can give them more data to use against you and/or increase their motivation to support their favoured option.

5. You have some credibility/reputation problems

If you find yourself with credibility or reputation problems, there are three things you can do:

Face the problem directly – don’t try and hide from it – Organisations learn from their mistakes. Be prepared to talk about what you have learnt and how you have put this knowledge into place for the benefit of your clients. Sound confident and welcome the opportunity to respond.

Re-frame the problem into consequences rather than attributes – Ask the decision makers why a particular credibility or reputation issue concerns them. Record their responses and deal with those rather than the negative attribute itself. Talk about those things that you now do to make sure that it is not a problem going forward. A negative successfully turned around can become a strong positive.

Find decision makers who support the corrective action you have taken – There are almost always decision makers who support actions your organisation has taken to overcome shortcomings. Leverage off the positive comments these buyers are prepared to make on your behalf.

6. There is a lack of alignment amongst decisions makers

There is a lack of alignment when the decision makers do not agree on the nature of the problem that you propose to fix. If however, there is consensus on the nature of the problem but there is disagreement on the type of solution required, action is needed to rectify this.

The biggest risk associated with a lack of alignment amongst decision makers is that the deal may never happen. The ‘do nothing’ outcome wins by default. Many opportunities with Government suffer this fate.

As an aside, your big picture strategy must contain a completion date. If there is no client imposed completion date, impose one on yourself. If you do not have a completion date, you never know if you are losing to the ‘do nothing’ outcome.

Ultimate decision maker

Where does the ultimate decision maker sit on this issue? This is the most important consideration. The solution provider who has the ultimate decision maker on side is best placed. This is where your selling effort should be focused.

Engage at the concept level

If time permits, you may need to go back to basics with the decision makers and engage them in discussion about what the problem is and what types of solutions are possible. This will require some courage and deep understanding of your client’s business. Executed well however, and it positions you as the real consultant and ahead of your competition.

Group decision makersIf there are many decision makers, it is likely that they will group into two or three solution camps. A good big picture analysis will show you how they group, which group favours your solution and which group has the power.

7. Your are unsure who the decision makers are and how they feel about your proposal

This risk is a clear indicator that your selling effort and/or big picture is incomplete. There is no substitute for getting face to face with all the decision makers. This is a two step process.

Identify – You need to ensure that your big picture identifies all the decision makers on this deal. Use the decision makers who are your strong supporters to validate that you have all the names. Get them to confirm your understanding of their level of influence and where you stand in terms of their support for your proposal.

Prioritise – Once you know who has the influence and who supports your proposal, make it a priority to work on those with high influence who don’t yet support your proposal. Be wary of approaching the anti-sponsors. You also probably need to stop spending time with low influence decision makers.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from your strong supporters. People are usually pleased to help promote a solution they want to see implemented. They can also give you advice and open doors that might otherwise be closed.