Finding a Business Development Company That Actually Gets You Business

He’s got the list of targets you deeply desire. He waxes poetic about targeted email campaigns. The appointments promised to your sales team set your insides all a flutter like prom night anticipation. You feel confident you’ve found the perfect business development company, one that will consistently replenish your sales pipeline and increase your revenue.

Nine months pass and voila! Not a damn thing is different. How could this relationship with such seemingly great potential have gone so wrong? A lack of vetting, that’s how. Here’s three questions to help you figure out if you’re with the right company…or if you just hopped into a back seat of regret.

Finding a Business Development Company That Actually Gets You Business

1. Do they understand who your ideal client is?

This question should be answered long before any calling/emailing efforts begin. While tons of prospects might seem like potential clients, which ones will actually work best with your company’s personality? What type of client will sustain a long-lasting relationship? Mapping out the ideal customer for your business development company is not your responsibility alone; your partner should be genuinely engaged in this process as well.

2. Can they speak knowledgeably about your product/service?

I know, this seems like a stupid question – how could they possibly call a prospect without knowing what they’re calling about? Any firm can cover the gist of your company in that initial intro script and probably respond to a few rejections to keep the conversation going. But what happens when that cold caller gets a constant barrage of questions, when simple scripts just don’t cover it? Your outsourced business development team should be able to confidently have real conversations with prospects, as if they were a part of your own sales team.

3. Are they really qualifying?

I’ve run into quite a few clients that have used appointment setting firms that failed, but not because they didn’t set enough appointments. The problem was the appointments were worthless from the start. It’s understandable why a sales development rep wouldn’t want to turn away someone showing interest; after listening to a sea of voice mail greetings and aloof prospects, it’s hard not to latch on to something positive.

Still, setting no appointment is better than setting a poorly qualified one. Why would you want to pay someone to waste the time of your salespeople? Using a firm that qualifies well will result in less leads every month, but the leads they do send you will have a much higher close ratio.