To grow revenue and market share, professional and B2B service firms keep looking for the business version of the Holy Grail in all the wrong places: "Hire big-time rainmakers!"; "Acquire that hot boutique firm!"; "Revamp our website!"

All too often, those ballyhooed initiatives fail to deliver on the expectations of increased effectiveness in an enterprise's marketing and business-development efforts.

Narrowly Focused Initiatives Aren't Working

Moreover, marketing and business-development leaders from small professional service firms (PSFs) and large global enterprises are increasingly taking it upon themselves to champion initiatives that they passionately believe will directly benefit the marketplace future of their firms.

Many narrowly focused initiatives to improve PSFs' and B2Bs' marketing and business-development results aren't necessarily wrong, but they're not working. To understand why, we have to take a step back to see the underlying problem.

The Root of the Problem

Professional and B2B service firms must face the fact that they have a critical, fundamental problem: Marketing and selling functions aren't effectively integrated throughout the enterprise. Their organization-wide disconnects prevent them from competing effectively, impede their financial success, and hinder them from delivering optimal client service.

The real Holy Grail is a lot closer than they realize. It can be found by ensuring that marketing and business development are integrated into every function: They must become part of every person's job.

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Suzanne Lowe is founder of Expertise Marketing, LLC and author of Marketplace Masters: How Professional Services Firms Compete to Win. She blogs at the MarketingProfs Daily Fix and her own blog, the Expertise Marketplace.