Today, business development strategy has become more than ever because of constantly evolving marketing trends. But sometimes people mix it with sales, but most frequently ignore it. However, if you have a business development strategy, it will help you succeed as it is crucial for long-term success. Further, it makes sure that everyone in your company is going toward a common goal.
Before we move ahead and understand how to create a business development strategy, it’s important to understand what exactly business development is.
What is business development?
Business development is the method to identify, attract, and get new business to facilitate your company’s revenue and growth goals. But how you accomplish these goals is referred to as a business development strategy also how it applies to and serves everyone at your company.
It’s not surprising to confuse business development with sales, but they have an important distinction. Business development leads to several activities and functions inside and outside the conventional sales team structure. In some organizations, business development is part of the wider sales operations team. In others, it’s a portion of the marketing team or sits on its team.
7 Steps to Create an Effective Business Development Strategy
A business development plan is a long-term layout furnished with business development strategies to generate sustainable and realistic growth in the future. In other words, while a business plan is a basis for a new business venture, a business development plan is a roadmap for constant growth and success.
Factors need to be considered while creating a great business development strategy involved.
1. Set Goals
Goals are the basis of every roadmap; therefore, if you do not have a strategic plan, then accomplishing business goals becomes challenging. Setting development goals let you focus on various things simultaneously, from generating new products to long-term business growth objectives.
In this case, employing the SMART goals technique is an outstanding method for determining attainable development goals. SMART goals stand as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Further, consider writing down a comprehensive description of business goals followed by actionable plans that can drastically encourage you to reach those goals. However, companies need to ensure that they focus on the quality of goals rather than quantity, as too many goals can quickly sink even the most established business professionals.
2. Create Profiles
Companies that are aware of their targeted market and buyer personas are more likely to build a successful business development strategy. Once they clearly define the categories, enterprises can design an effective marketing plan and business strategy overall.
A focused business development strategy is valuable whenever a company enters a new market or communicates with new customers. Additionally, with the help of business development strategies, You can further improve your customer service provided to existing clients.
Studies show that consumers react favorably to personalized and informed business development strategies. For instance, 97% of B2B consumers report choosing a particular vendor due to their excellent demonstration of information regarding a particular business landscape. Moreover, 94% of B2B consumers stated that the vendor they bought from better knew their particular company and its requirements.
3. Build KPIs
Key performance indicators, commonly shortened as KPIs, are a modern business strategy tool to quantify your performance. However, for KPIs to be useful, they must be practical and reasonable. Further, some business planning software applications can even support tracking and measuring KPIs.
4. Explore Marketing Channels
Today, there are different marketing channels available out there for companies to choose from, which makes it easy for a business owner or marketing department to get overwhelmed. Therefore, keep your budget size and human resources available in mind whenever your company is determining social media, in-person marketing, or even a combination of both.
Companies have to ensure that their established marketing plan is re-evaluated consistently. Marketing plans require re-evaluations, especially during shifting circumstances, like whenever you release a new product
5. Assessing Customer Service
It is one of the most important factors that you need to keep in mind while making a business development strategy. When you provide sound customer service to your customers, it significantly influences both business growth and success. It has especially become important in an increasingly competing global market; customer service can differentiate clients picking a specific vendor or their competitor.
Make sure that you provide a positive customer service experience to your existing and new customers every time they communicate with a company. Exceptional customer service can further ensure that new customers convert into long-term business clients.
Moreover, great customer service lets happy customers provide a free word of mouth through social media posts and personal referrals.
6. Analyzing Resources
Whenever you think of making successful business development strategies, make sure that you are aware of your enterprise’s available resources. Resources that businesses need to consider range from human resources to financial accounts.
After a company has comprehensively analyzed its available resources, it is smart to assess how its business development plan can be administered most efficiently.
7. Sharing up the Information
One of the common mistakes most companies commit is that they fail to share their business development strategies and plans with people outside of the immediate team list. Although it may look obvious to confer updates and relevant information to stakeholders, this important step is sometimes avoided altogether while discussing long-term business goals and plans.
Companies must ensure that their key stakeholders are well aware of business development strategies and business development plan updates.
Some of the Effective Business Development Strategies
a) Checking the utility of the business model
While implementing any strategy keep in mind that the market is continually evolving thus it becomes imperative to review the existing business model and re-evaluate where your business stands today when it comes to revenue and cost. Further, it is also a very important time to track contemporary financial metrics and cash flow. Be careful about your runway.
B2B businesses have to assess the impact on new sales, credit cycles, collections, and bad debt as a part of their business development strategy.
b) Outbound telephone and mails
Professional B2B services firms have been utilizing phone calls and mail to quickly target potential clients for decades. Targeting the right firms and roles with a consistent message and you would expect to discover new opportunities that can let you grab some prospective clients.
There are a number of challenges with these strategies.
First, they are comparatively expensive, so they require to be just right to be effective. Second, if you don’t grab the prospect at the right time, your efforts may go in vain— and consequently, have no impact on business development. So, your approach should be very appealing that leads to a qualified and responsive list through proper analysis and research.
Networking has become the key for every business success and constructed on the basis that expert services purchasing decisions are rooted in relationships, and the most reliable way is to develop new relationships through relationship marketing which will lead to face-to-face networking.
Many relationships do indeed develop in that way. So if you practice networking with your target audience, you can certainly develop new business.
But remember, buyers are highly time-pressured, and networking is time-consuming, thus it can be very costly. Therefore, implementing more latest digital networking methods can let you save cost and time front.
d) Plan policies for as per the situation
Today, it becomes tough to estimate how long this pandemic will last, it is important to be prepared for all scenarios. For instance, we think of a 3-month problem, an immediate halt on changeable expenses like hiring, marketing, travel, etc.
However, if the crisis lasts for 9 months to a year, entrepreneurs will need to change their B2B business strategy to reduce the variable expenses, renegotiate fixed costs (rent, salaries, equipment lease payments, etc.), and concentrate only on the important essentials for survival.
It may be a great idea to revisit your sales strategy – marketing online versus in-person, as your business development plan. You need to analyze if you have to cut back or scale up on marketing costs.
Some serious reconsiderations would be needed if the impact of the pandemic continues for 18 months or beyond. B2B businesses will require to communicate, strategize, and act with compassion. You would need a revision of sales revenue goals and product timelines along with a new running plan.
e) Tracking expenses against the revenue status
While implementing business development strategy it becomes important for businesses to carry out a proper assessment of their fixed and variable expenses along with the actual revenues for their business development.
This proper evaluation will give you a fair picture of where a company stands financially and encourage the entrepreneurs in planning ahead in the contemporary disconcerted market.
This strategy can be achieved even when the pandemic impact settles.
The close friends of networking, Referrals are usually seen as the tool that takes networking and client satisfaction into a new business. For instance, when you build a relationship, and that person refers to a new business to you, it works as referrals.
Referrals are common now, and many B2B firms make most or all of their business from them. To leverage the power of referrals you have to be in touch with your loyal customers and for that, you have to identify good prospects for your services and get a referral at the right time. To make the most and to track their activities, consider launching a referral program as it makes it simple and easy for you to attract and engage more and more customers. Further, it allows people to make more qualified referrals and expands your referral base beyond clients and a few business contacts.
In this post, we have learned what business development is and how you can create a business development strategy. By incorporating the above mentioned factors into your strategy can take your business development to a whole new level.
The most significant aspect of business development is to define the target audience and personalize their experience as it will let you improve your products and services as per their requirements.
7 most important factors to consider while preparing your business development strategy.
1. Set Goals
2. Create profiles
3. Build KPIs
4. Explore marketing channels
5. Assessing Customer service
6. Analyzing Resources
7. Sharing up the information.