Much of Rob Burns’ career and business have focused on business development, sales and digital marketing. Prior to recommending a solution or approach within these focus areas with any client, Rob had to demonstrate proficiencies in problem solving. Problem solving at all phases and junctures with all levels of stakeholders and services delivery mechanisms.
In addition to understanding the diverse technology and solution elements of a solution, Rob Burns’ primary strength with problem solving was listening carefully to his clients, asking many questions and challenging assumptions, expanding a client’s perspective of a problem and a solution, and thinking creatively with different solutions and approaches to a potential problem, or opportunity.
Problems often appear as issues initially, and in many cases problems can also present unique opportunities.
Business Development Expertise
One definition of business development that was introduced to Rob Burns during his management consulting career, was that a business development resource has relationship-based business experience and capabilities that are not necessarily related to sales, and perhaps more related to marketing.
A business development resource can work with and build relationships with diverse lines of business teams across a company, fostering relationships with clients, developing revenue growth and driving new business. Developing relationships, whereby the business development resource continually shares valued insights, vital and competitive information, perspective, and context to the client.
Proven business development resources can identify and manage client business relationships at all levels, and are active within a client’s solution or project strategy, it’s planning, and if required, the implementation and on-going optimization of client initiatives.
Valued business development resources are the ones who are invited to share insights and information with their clients and who also help their clients with their initial and on-going business strategy. These relationships also include internal and external stakeholders, junior level clients, the most senior c-suite executives and business partners, often acting upon the best interests of all stakeholders, when appropriate.
An essential component of business development is the identification, nurturing, maintaining and sustaining of these relationships, and not just with clients, with business partners too.
Another critical component of a business development resource is their network and learning. A business development resource is continually broadening their network. They continually hone their business development craft, and specifically, learning more and more about their client’s issues and opportunities to solve those issues.
A business development resource is capable of initiating, nurturing or creating scalable opportunities at the beginning of a business or client relationship. These capabilities include negotiating and working with all levels of a client or partner relationship.
The business development resource can manage and guide relationships and opportunities from the very beginning and throughout the entire relationship or project. This includes providing project or relationship oversight throughout the entire client relationship lifecycle process. In addition, a business development resource can offer the client long term value by having both strategic and tactical strategies with a client (at many levels).
In addition, business development has been a key element of Rob’s career. Rob also sees the business development role as a multi-faceted business advisor. An advisor that can have collaborative and strategic business discussions with a client about their vision, challenges and objectives. A business relationship based upon earned trust with the client.
A relationship that can transform a client’s vision to the desired outcome, along with transitioning solutions based upon the client’s challenges and opportunities into revenue generating opportunities.
The other side of the business development role is delivering on the client’s vision, issue resolution, risk mitigation and managing the solutions to the internal stakeholders at the delivering company and ensuring the implementation, delivery and support resources working together to ensure the solution outcome exceeds the client’s expectations and for a profitable return for the delivery company.
Quota Carrying Sales Experience
One of the benefits of Rob’s tenured business development experience is that he was a client-facing quota carrying sales executive for the majority of his sales career, so Rob understands the characteristics, rewards and challenges of the sales role. Helping those companies that need a digital marketer that can empathize with and speak with the sales team.
Rob was extremely fortunate to have a significant amount of sustained sales mentoring, education, training and support early in his career.
It was the management norm to nurture and develop your sales staff for promotion and replace management as they climbed the corporate ladder, something that Rob believes is missing in today’s work and career environment. This training was a primary component of Rob’s success and the driver for Rob’s on-going and continuing education and life-long learning.
Another advantage of Rob’s extensive sales background is that even though his focus is on digital marketing and business development, Rob can speak “sales”. Senior executives have specifically pointed this out as one of Rob’s unique marketing capabilities. Rob has integrated the many years of sales and business development into his digital marketing approaches, services and methodologies.
Rob is no stranger to outbound sales and cold calling, in fact cold calling was a necessity throughout most of his career. It was during these cold calls that Rob developed a curiosity for “finding another way” and his passion for social selling and digital marketing.
Although social selling and digital marketing have been very beneficial for sales and marketing enablement, these two methods of developing business are in no way a complete replacement for picking up the phone and speaking to actual clients and future clients. It’s just that inbound and digital marketing can make that voice on the end of a phone call much more warm, valued, expected and receptive.
Lead Generating Websites
Rob’s business, technology, sales, marketing, digital and technology expertise are critical for the design and development of lead generating sites. In his opinion, what’s the point of having a website, unless it will develop new business and help grow your company.
Website traffic is important, however, unless that traffic is being nurtured and eventually converted to a sale, the website won’t be contributing to the growth of the company. Rob believes that designing a website with lead generation in mind has a much greater possibility of contributing to the growth of small and medium-sized business.
Help your website visitors with their small business issues so they get to know, like and trust you so they reach out to you when they have bigger business issues and perhaps much earlier in their decision making and buying stages.
Nurturing and guiding your website visitors throughout their market research, buyers journey, decision making and buying stages, and encouraging your visitors to take action to a next step, by providing enough value to them that they complete a website form so you can continue to help them with their business issues are the foundations of a lead generating website.
Rob’s sales, business development and digital marketing acumen are an essential part of developing a lead generating website for his clients. Along with understanding a company’s strategy, objectives, market segments, audience, personas, and much more.
Designing a lead generating website is much different than designing an awareness or branding site. Rob blends a great deal of his sales, business development and digital marketing into a lead generating website’s initial design framework. This initial strategy, planning and design work in conjunction with a company’s internal sales and marketing processes and workflow.
Rob’s business acumen, including digital and non-digital expertise, allows him to have business discussions with known and perhaps unknown lead generating impacts to a company that could be effected by a lead generating website and help mitigate any potential risk.
Rob works with his clients to optimize the benefits of a digital lead generation along with the many digital business development essentials, designs, requirements and fundamentals required for a lead generating websites.