18 Feb Change Your Deal Origination Strategy
It can be difficult to adapt when traditional methods seem in a constant state of flux. Waiting for the dust to settle before shifting resources is a recipe for failure. Effective methods for sourcing the best business opportunities with top talent have shifted over the last decade–and they will continue to do so. Deal originators should be aware of the shifting tide or competitors will arrive first.
Sourcing opportunities in the financial world is often the bottleneck of revenue. It’s one of the more time-consuming, but necessary tasks used for keeping a full pipeline. Even the most well-connected rainmaker still needs to keep a warm network so as to remain top-of-mind when the next big opportunity crops.
The Changing Landscape of Deal Origination
Marketing has undergone drastic changes in the last decade and the metamorphosis is still marching on. Much of the change has greatly benefited the green horn startups that often lack the financing necessary to really move the needle. Shoestring budgets are now en vogue.
Performing deal origination in the 21st century will be very different than it was ten years ago, regardless of whether you’re funding startups or sourcing elephant M&A deals.
Before you go decimating your outside sales team in favor for some social media alternative, might I suggest true “origination” is still sourced from direct contacts and partnerships. While each opportunity requires a personal touch, the original opportunity source–at least in the 21st century–is likely to arise from a much more varied group of activities. In short, true deal origination in today’s day requires a much broader net given the bifurcated nature of today’s networking world– a feat that is more difficult to manage, but ultimately doable given the tools available.
The Death of “Smile and Dial”
No, no, no “smile and dial” deal origination is not dead. One of our partner affiliates operates a call center with a half a dozen agents. They’re not in the United States. They’re in the Philippines. Their English is fantastic and their understanding of the nomenclature and nuances of the industry are superb. They’re also well educated. And, as one might imagine, they’re significantly cheaper than their U.S.-based counterparts.
There will always be a place for good, quality push marketing and networking, but fortunately today’s tools for reaching your next viable business partner or growth opportunity are much more scalable and immediately accessible.
I like some of the non-intrusive methods for keeping on top of some of the closest contacts within your network. SlyBroadcast is one such tool that allows for pre-recorded voice messages left on the phone numbers of your choosing. Make sure those your’e sending know you, otherwise the FCC may come calling. It’s only non-intrusive if the individual wouldn’t be surprised to receive a follow-up message from you.
In short, nothing takes the place of a direct discussion, especially if it’s face-to-face. In the end, business is personal.
Scaling Deal Origination
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of deal origination is attempting to increase quality and quantity at the same time. It’s not possible. While Mr. Buffet keeps the riff-raff out of most of his stock by never undergoing stock splits, the rest of us must continue to kiss frogs. It’s not necessarily a quantity over quality mindset, but at some point the best deals don’t come around until you’ve reached scale. Scale in deal origination usually means scale in your contacts and a highly-effective CRM system, including detailed information about each of your contacts.
Our team uses X2Engine. Like SalesForce, it’s feature-rich. Unlike SalesForce, it’s free and open and with Amazon’s free 5GB, we’ve still not even come close to maxing-out the capacity (that after we’ve grown our business contact list to over 1,000,000).
Your deal-sourcing will only be as good as your data. Constant massaging and pinging old contacts helps you to keep track of folks as they may move and change career paths.
Getting to complete scale with your deal-flow ultimately requires casting a very broad net. It’s a holistic approach, combining all aspects of marketing–both the old and the new. Today’s net is just much more diverse and dynamic than that of yesteryear.
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