Making room for business development within the new SRA learning and development regime
From 1st November 2016, solicitors are being asked to reflect upon their learning and development needs as part of the SRA’s new Continuing Competence regime.
It is a time to consider both technical and personal development requirements and the training, coaching and other assistance that can allow those targets and ambitions to be achieved.
In determining the breadth and scope of an individual development plan, an important question for all solicitors to ask themselves is:
“How do I know if I need business development training as part of my learning and development plan?”
In reflecting upon the answer to that question, it is also worth considering:
• if you need BD training at all
• the nature of the training you require (e.g. one-to-one coaching, group sessions with colleagues)
• how to set learning and development objectives having thought through your business development needs
Here are some important questions to bear in mind during that period of reflection.
1. Do you have a clear understanding of your own business development goals and objectives, as distinct from those of your firm?
2. Are those objectives aligned to the business development culture of your firm?
3. Are you turning the intelligence on the size, attractiveness and advisory needs of the sectors you are targeting into real opportunities?
4. Are your meetings with prospective clients failing to turn into new business?
5. Is your network stuck in neutral and failing to open doors to new opportunities?
6. Is your referral network dwindling in size and value?
7. Are colleagues ineffective at cross selling your services to their clients?
8. Are you good at presenting your expertise to an audience?
9. How well are you utilising Social Selling tools like LinkedIn to grow your network and win new business?
10. Are you able to produce compelling written tenders?
11. How well developed is your client development programme?
12. Are you falling behind your colleagues in the winning of new work?
If, having answered these questions, it is obvious that there are gaps in your business development needs, now is the time to embark upon training or coaching.
Some firms struggle with measuring ROI from their BD activity. If used correctly, the new SRA continuing competence regime will provide a catalyst for individuals and firms to assess the performance of themselves and colleagues against measurable KPIs.