Did you know you are responsible for revenue generation. Are you part of the business development function for an engineering-intensive company? Or perhaps you are a member of the technical team for that company. Both of you, and everyone in-between, is part of the revenue generation equation.
Engineering firms who historically marginalize or compartmentalize their business development team become out of touch with more successfully generating revenue and retaining customers. And sales people “hunters”, historically used to throwing contracts over the wall for technical folks to execute, leave sales dollars on the table. Why? Because cross-functional, collaborative exchange remains missing from this well-oiled, siloed equation.
Revenue generation involves a lot of consistent heavy lifting by everyone involved.
How much time and commitment do you put into mastering your expertise in your field? How much time do you spend learning about the other disciplines so that you bring more and more to your organization’s table?
Even if you do the right things the right way, there’s no guarantee that the market won’t bottom out, your customer will disappear when you think they are ready to sign the contract. And who else to be your extra set of eyes and ears than your very important technical colleagues, who are having all those conversations with your customers’ and prospects’ internal departments. Your technical colleagues may be privy into information that can lead to a bigger contract or prevent your current campaign from derailing.
There is no room for a siloed approach to potential collaboration between the sales and marketing functions and the engineering and design functions of a company. Dinosaur approaches will go the way of, well, the dinosaurs.
Why not change up your approach to business development by seeking hybridized, win-win solutions, one at a time? The types of solutions impacting not only tactical revenue generation. But long-term revenue generation, as well.
As unbelievable as it may seem, there were quite a few engineers who have crossed this conceptual abyss and become involved in marketing, sales and management. Do you work with some of them?
Some points to keep in mind as you reach out to your technical colleagues, to create your extra set of eyes and ears:
Collaborative relationships focused on revenue generation start at home base.
What are your companies’ respective areas of core competency? Build a sales and technical culture based on them. Again, if you have to.
- There’s no room in this economy for technical and engineering staff with an attitude. And the same holds true for sales professionals.
- There’s no room for rock star sales people who are enamored with their ability to win business by creating unrealistic customer expectations on price, timeline and deliverables. Make sure your engineers get to know you. Take them on sales calls. Both of you need to work on understanding the Voice of the Customer by listening to it, in real-time, and then discussing what you both heard.
- Nobody’s area of expertise is an insurance policy on their longevity with their organization. If the new economic paradigm is about providing value to your organization, then you need to understand that anyone in your organization can become responsible for impacting business development. So build your internal team by collaborating with your technical colleagues.
- The future of engineering-intensive manufacturing may just be in the development of a workforce characterized by hybridized, interdisciplinary, technically-oriented business development experts. Whoever can learn to understand the dynamics of technical and sales processes – and communicate them internally and externally to customers -will have a leg up on the competition.
So where do you fit into this emerging picture? The best revenue generation focused on customer retention is cross-functional and collaborative.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ Speaking & Consulting, catalyzes trust-based, purpose-driven, cross-functional leadership. She leverages Voice of the Customer and storytelling to translate across communication and collaboration disconnects impacting successful business outcomes across people and professional disciplines. Babette is a cross-functional business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of the ASQ, SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association and holds degrees from Washington University MO and University College London UK. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here.