Business Dev/Sales

Building and Embracing a Growth Culture: How Do You Do It?

image of a wooden figure model going up blocks as if they are stairs - building and embracing a growth culture|image of a wooden figure model going up blocks as if they are stairs - building and embracing a growth culture

At a recent AAM! High Webinar, “Building a Growth Culture Where Everyone Contributes?”, Ty Hendrickson, CPA, Consultant and Training Director, discussed the importance of facilitating a growth culture.

Building a culture of growth is something that can help firms stay competitive, grow and gain new business. But how do you do it and why should you?

Increasing the bottom line for the firm, clients and team members requires growth at the top. It also creates advancement opportunities for team members and energizes the firm by changing the way that people work together and present themselves in the community.

Growth comes through selling, which many associate to cold calling. But Ty reminds us that selling is not something you do to someone; instead, it is what you do for someone. Business development has three phases: Marketing; Relationship Development/Nurturing and Selling.

Firm Growth Contributors

There are four types of people who can contribute to the firm’s growth:

  • The Client Developer is a professional at the beginning of their sales journey. They’re learning about the growth mindset and uncovering how to become better client servers as they build their networks.
  • The Sales Supporter is an emerging business developer developing their network of referral sources, nurturing relationships and participating in the sales opportunity. They are learning how to uncover what clients and potential prospects need.
  • The Sales Driver is an active seller that is gaining a full understanding of how to move prospects and clients through the sales process, as well as develop and meet their sales goals consistently.
  • The Rainmaker is the biggest contributor. They are learning to refine and evolve their skills while aiming to become well-known in their respective industries so they can increase the results of their sales effort. They also operate at the face of the firm in the community.

Paths along the sales journey

Another thing to keep in mind is that throughout the sales journey, there are two paths that different levels of staff can take: the path to partner or a stationary one. The expectation for each level is different. On the path to partner, staff are expected to take a more active role in the selling process, on social media and in their communities. If they are stationary, staff will still identify ways to promote the firm through professional organizations, execute client services and identify cross-selling opportunities.

Embracing a coaching culture

An important way to maintain momentum in a growth culture is through coaching and accountability. Coaching increases engagement, improves productivity, employee relations and team functions. There are three suggestions to embracing a coaching culture:

  1. Create individual business development plans so that employees can set goals and know expectations. The plan should include marketing goals, business development goals, priority clients, priority referral sources, priority prospects and marketing and business development activities.
  2. Conduct tailored coaching conversations for individuals. Don’t spread your sessions out too far apart. That will lend itself to coaching that is more reactive instead of proactive. Keep your coaching goal-based, strategize for opportunities and make sure to identify obstacles.
  3. Coach in a group setting to help align your team towards growth. Aim for monthly meetings, share best practices and discuss what has and hasn’t gone well. Don’t be afraid to openly discuss challenges—some of the best conversations happen that way! Create awards that award activities that lead to results and make sure to celebrate wins across the firm. Share your knowledge through CRM.

While a culture of growth may seem unobtainable, knowing what to expect from employees and doing your best to foster coaching and accountability can turn a dream into a hard-earned reality.

Members can access the full recording of the webinar through the AAM Store.

About Sunny Ricks

Sunny Ricks, Director of Marketing Communications, Warren Averett. Contact at [email protected] Sunny Ricks works with Warren Averett’s client service teams and niche marketers to enhance the firm’s brand, visibility and audience communication experience. Within Warren Averett’s Marketing efforts, Sunny leads the firm’s Marketing Communications team, which functions as an internal agency advising stakeholders and other marketers on topics like branding, media relations, advertising, publicity, websites, content, social media and collateral, as well as office-based and firm-wide internal initiatives. Sunny’s ultimate objective is to communicate Warren Averett’s expertise, build the Firm’s audience and generate new client relationships. Before starting at Warren Averett 15 years ago, Sunny worked at The Zimmerman Agency, leading media relations, promotions, and publicity for clients such as Diners Club, the Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa and Florida's Emerald Coast.

Welcome to CPA Growth Trends — your source for information, insights, tools and best practices to drive growth within an accounting firm.

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