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GTD in business development role

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  • GTD in business development role

    I am wondering how in the GTD system I should categorize and handle the following:

    I am in a business development role, which means keeping track of many potential clients (up to 100) and keeping in contact with them. Sometimes the whole process of contacting a new client, cultivating them, and winning their business can take a year. It involves many steps such as emailing, responding to questions from them, talking to many people within the company, sending them literature, keeping an eye out for news that I should email them, adding them to my newsletter distribution list, etc.

    How do I categorize and handle that? In my Project list, do I add "Penske" (or some other company name) and list out every step I should take with the company? Or, is there some better way?

    How do I look across the 100 clients I am cultivating and know where I am with each one? Does that require a separate spreadsheet? I want to be able to track metrics such as "Out of 100 leads we are working, 10 we have submitted bids to, 30 we are scheduled to talk with about upcoming projects, 50 we spoke with and plan to check back with over the next month, etc." How can GTD do that? I have literally thought about a wall chart of little yellow stickies that I move from left to right through successive stages as I cultivate the relationship with potential clients. But is there a better way?


  • #2
    Dear Scott716:

    I think you are trying to solve 2 problems with the same stone, and as far as I know it is not that easy.

    The way I understand what you are asking for is this:
    1.- How to Implement the Development Role with GTD
    2.- How I keep track of Everything to do Statistics and other tracking info

    This is how I do it.
    For Number 1.- I have a project per opportunity but you need to be more specific that "Penske" where are taking Penske to? are you trying to get to know the needs of the company are you just trying to bond with the person in the Company. You need to define that in the first place, can be a 1-5 scale if you wish something on these lines:
    (1) Oportunity (2) Qualification (3) Proposal (4) Close Deal (5) Lose Deal.

    That way you can call the project Qualify Penske.

    For Number 2.- You can use the same numeric system and just updated weekly or monthly; I will probably have this in Excel, just because it is easy to Analyze.

    I do not think you can use the same tool to think and to analyze, it will be equivalent to Collect, Process, Organize and Do at the same time.

    Hope this helps


    • #3
      Hi! I'm in business development too. And now I try to attack the same issue as you I think there're a few ways how to do that. The first is using @Action lists and the second to use a checklist along with @Action lists.

      1. Using Action Lists. We can add all our active clients to @Waiting For category (James Bond 06-03 waiting for new potential projects). It happens that mr. Bond could give information not only on potential projects in his company but in other companies too so I do not finish the line with "in his company". It will ensure that we call or email them regulary after each Weekly Review. If mr. Bond at some point gives us a new project information we can add that as a project to our Project List (i.e. Conclude a contract with GAP company for warehouse system installation). Then we track this project on weekly basis as usual. If you want to add a phase that's project belongs you can do it in the Notes field or in the title (i.e. Develop the Needs: Conclude a contract with GAP company...).

      2. Using Checklists. We can also use checklists. We add all our customers to a checklist and then use this checklist as a @WF category in the point 1 above. Maybe that's even simplier because that could be standard Outlook Contact category filtered by Active and Non-Active clients (Non-Active clients are clients that don't want to work with you or vise versa Not to forget that we just add "Check clients checklist" line to our WR checklist.

      What do you think?




      • #4
        Scott -

        I run a business highly focused on growth and I keep each of my Customers as a separate project in my next action list. Sales is like tennis, albeit sometimes glacially slow tennis -- but the ball is either on your side of the court or their side of the court if it is still in play.

        So you need either one next action if the ball's on your side of the net, or one waiting for action if it's on Mr Customer's side. Depending on your trusted system technology you can carbon date the @waiting for's to see which ones are getting stale and re-ping them if needed. Also you need to know when to someday maybe a client which isnt ready or a client for whom the ball has actually gone out of play (permanently or for some period of time) for whatever reason.

        Of course you can track them in a separate system (excel or access or come CRM system) but I like the power and convenience of having all my wax in one ball.


        • #5
          Business Development

          I use a CRM contact manager e.g. ACT and manage my sales calls and relationships outside the GTD system. For me it a lot more effective this way. Otherwise my projects and actions lists are overwhelmed with sales detail. This works for me as sales is not the entire part of my job - i am tracking other projects too.


          • #6
            You've got to watch you opponent.

            Originally posted by phlow View Post
            Sales is like tennis, albeit sometimes glacially slow tennis -- but the ball is either on your side of the court or their side of the court if it is still in play.
            So besides hitting the ball you've got to watch you opponent to see if he still wants to play with you.