The Association for Accounting Marketing plans to launch a Business Development Community at its annual conference in June to bring together business developers from various accounting firms.
The launch is expected to take place at the AAM Summit at Walt Disney World's Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla., scheduled for June 7 to 10, 2015. The BD Community will give business development professionals in the accounting industry the opportunity to network and learn best practices from their peers as their marketing counterparts now do at the summit. AAM's BD Community will address the educational and networking needs of BD professionals in the accounting industry.
The community is open to AAM members who are BD directors, executives, and partners-in-charge of BD for the firm. Managing partners interested in developing an effective and engaging approach to selling the firm's services are also welcome.
Seasoned BD specialists in the accounting profession are forming the community for those who have BD quotas or manage BD, including partners. "We formed a taskforce of very experienced BD professionals to discuss what is needed," said Mike Bowlan, AAM's board liaison to the BD taskforce, in a statement. "These sales professionals are excited about creating a community to share, learn, engage and discuss effective sales approaches and techniques with their peers."
Besides all of the programs being offered by AAM at the conference, the American Institute of CPAs is also hosting its Practitioners Forum and TECH+ conferences and the Association for Accounting Administration its National Practice Management Conference in conjunction with the Summit.
Specific programs for the BD Community at the Summit include a BD Community Kickoff Breakfast where attendees will be able to help shape the community they want at the launch meeting; and pre-conference BD Sessions focusing on why business development is gaining strategic traction, integrating marketing and sales, as well as partner selling and sales management. The BD Track at the AAM Summit courses will include "Leveraging Special Projects to Land Clients," "When Your Prospect Isn't Ready to Buy," "7 Sales Habits of Highly Effective Professionals," and "Managing Pipelines."
There will also be other ways to engage with the new BD Community throughout the year, according to Bowlan, including BD Quarterly Calls that will discuss critical concepts and the related practical applications of issues like metrics, compensation and follow up, along with a BD Community Forum on AAM's New Website where business developers can share and discuss best practices.
There will also be thought leadership opportunities to speak or participate in AAM webinars on business development topics. Business developers will be able to write articles for AAM's Growth Strategies: The Journal of Accounting Marketing and Sales or the AAM Minute, and develop podcasts for the benefit of members of the BD Community.
"These are just the first steps," said Bowlan. "The BD taskforce is exploring other options to make the community engaging and enriching. Until now, BD professionals had no formal group to discuss issues important to selling accounting services which are different from topics of interest to marketers. Now there is a forum to support people in this line of work."
The taskforce includes a number of well-known business developers in the accounting profession, including Wade Clark, president of New Vision Advisors; Jason Delles, director of sales at Moss Adams; Scott Jensen, national sales leader at DGES Deloitte; Jason Jobgen of the national cost segregation practice at BKD; Russ Molinar, director of global markets at Ernst & Young; Chris Perrino, principal of business development at Barnes Dennig, and Mitch Reno, principal and chief marketing and sales officer at Rehmann. Bowlan is principal and director of marketing at Brown Smith Wallace.
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