Business development is the procedure that is used to identify, support and acquire new clients and business opportunities to drive growth and profitability. The goal of business development is to make intelligent business decisions that create a long-term value for an organization from customers and markets.
It’s easy to view business development as a sales and marketing process, but they’re not quite the same job.Business Development vs. Sales
Sales is the task of converting leads or opportunities into new clients. Business development refers to many activities and functions beyond the sales team structure.Business Development vs. Marketing
Marketing focuses on communication and consumer targeting. Business development focuses on business relationships and strategic partnerships.Business Development Strategies
A strong business development strategy is the roadmap that informs your team how to find and generate high-value leads to support your long-term goals.
Without a strategy, your team may struggle to find qualifying prospects or, at worst, spend months developing a relationship with prospects who don’t convert.
1. Understand your competitive perspective: By identifying your ideal customers and how your product/service can help them to solve their problems. And by getting a clear idea on what the competition is offering so you know how to differentiate your product to your customers.
2. Choose a powerful KPIs: Ensure you can measure your goals with relevant, important key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect the health of your business. The result of these metrics should give you a strong guide of how effective your business development efforts are.
3. Implement customer feedback: Your customers offer a unique, valuable point of view because they chose your product/service over the competition. Their intuitions can help define your strategy to keep your business on top of the curve.
4. Keep your website content and user interface fresh: Keep your website up-to-date and easy to use can make or break the sale for customers who know they are ready to buy. Don’t make it too difficult for potential customers to get in touch with you.
5. Speed up your response time: How fast your sales team responds to your leads can make or break your ability to close the deal.
6. Leverage a sales plan to identify areas of growth: Your sales plan should define your target audience, identify potential obstacles, provide a “game plan” for sales reps, outline responsibilities for team members, and define market condition.
7. Sponsor industry organizations, conferences, and events: This strategy will guarantee that your business development reps get valuable face-to-face time with your business’ target audience.
8. Develop long-term customer relationships: By developing a plan to keep your costumers engaged even after the deal has been closed.
9. Implement a social listening strategy: Social media is one of the best places to hear directly from consumers and businesses without needing to reach out to them first.
Without a strategic plan, you can invest resources, time, and funds into business development initiatives that don’t grow your business. A strategic plan is crucial to align your business development and sales teams and have everyone working toward the greater good of your company.