I talk to companies daily and I’m able to get perspective on the decision to use a company like LAUNCH or hire an new business director internally.

Both have pros and cons of course, and focusing on the internal hire for the purposes of this post, a few reminders and/or questions you should consider prior to hiring (because we see too many firms that don’t):

1)      New business directors don’t have to come from a background tied specifically to your company

This is tough, because speaking generally, the ideal is an individual with a well aligned background, who can enter the position and hit the ground running.

But those individuals can be either hard to find or they tend to jump from company to company.

Another deciding factor:

2)      What is the role of your new business director?

Is it finding opportunities in more of a marketing role or to pitch and win business in more of a sales role?

Obviously, each calls for different skill sets.

And certainly it’s possible to find one person who can do both, but not typically easy.

You have to make that decision up front, and while that may seem blatantly obvious, we’ve seen many internal new business directors at companies fail because their role wasn’t properly defined.

3)      Are you hiring a rolodex?

A double-edged sword, to be sure.

Sure, a well connected individual can be a huge plus, especially in your market, but those contacts will eventually run out.

When that happens, does that person have the sales chops to get truly new business?

Don't Sabotage Your Agency New Business Director Before He She Even Starts

4)      Is your new business director also going to have a hand in account management?

Another tough one.

Depending on the set-up, your new business director may be the first point of contact, and the one who closed the business-there’s a relationship there.

But again, we’ve seen internal new business directors at firms fail for this reason as well-more and more time dedicated to existing accounts that inevitably pulls them away from the reason they were hired-new business.

Can this model work, of course, but again, you must have responsibilities very clear prior to hiring.

5)      What are your expectations?

Oh, the expectations.

I spoke with an principal recently who really wanted to try out a very limited engagement program with us.

Knowing from the conversation earlier they had tried someone internally, I asked if that was the kind of time frame they had given their new business director previously.

Obviously a time frame will depend on the roles and responsibilities of your new business director, but expectations  of closed business by month 3 are not realistic.

But should you expect initial traction and that your new business director has an organized and workable process? Absolutely.

All things to think about.

The average tenure of an internal new business director we’ve found is about 18 months.

Thinking about the above 5 questions/thoughts will help to ensure your new business director bucks that trend.