Many times new business can be created by investigating new markets and finding new customers; other times it can come from leveraging relationships with existing clients. In both cases, you need a strategy and the right skills to implement it.
With our 21 years of experience working with companies across the world, we are able to help our clients because we listen to them and understand their needs and now we have used our knowledge and experience to create a complete checklist which you can download for free after taking the survey below. The survey will be a chance for us to understand what you really need and for yourself to do a complete health check of your Business Development strategy and see if you have left any areas uncovered or are not paying enough attention to some aspects.
So, here is what you need to write a new business development plan.
Prepare well, or prepare to fail. Never forget that this is not about you. but about what is important to your prospects. If they realise you are can solve their problems, they’ll see the value you give them.
Make sure you accurately define your audiences, make your value proposition clear and check your teams have all the skills and tools to map your market and reach out to your prospects.
Map your market
You need to discover your potential target accounts, the main decision-makers in those accounts, the number of buyers and influencers involved, their pain points and barriers to purchasing and their stage in the buyers’ journey. Don’t improvise this or you will waste a lot of time chasing the wrong prospects and end up spoiling your chances; you need the right people with the right skills to research a market (we’ll talk about training your team later in this article).
Nurture your prospects
Once you have found who your prospects are, you need to craft material and messages to engage them in conversation. To this end, build a content calendar to schedule your actions over a period and keep track of what works and what doesn’t; use all available tools (social media, e-mail campaigns, telephone) to reach your prospects.
Use your website wisely: don’t waste time and money chasing traffic for the sake of traffic. An appropriate SEO strategy will allow you to boost your brand profile as a thought leader in your market. Use e-mail marketing carefully to remind your prospects that your website has something useful for them which they should read.
Empower somebody and make them accountable for prospecting; make sure you give them all necessary support.
Build and control a solid pipeline
We cannot stress enough the value of a solid sales pipeline; it is what allows you to forecast revenue and allocate resources. Your sales pipeline should give you a clear vision of all your sales opportunities, when they come to market and the value of each opportunity.
Align sales and marketing
Too often sales and marketing teams operate as separate entities in an organization, but the modern market is changing in such a way that uniting, aligning, and streamlining processes can no longer be delayed. Aligning is about working together to identify audiences and client profiles, creating common terminology, processes, goals and KPI’s. Sales and marketing teams should also work together on a content strategy which covers various stages of the buying journey.
Finally, and most importantly, they should share information regularly. If you are a marketing person and your responsibility is to create material which resonates with your prospects you should regularly talk to your sales teams because they are the ones who talk to your clients and prospects; they know all the objections and also the reasons why you clients are happy about you. If you are a sales person you should not miss any chances to tell your marketing teams any feedback you get from customers and prospects, because your marketing team will use this information to create material which will bring you new sales opportunities.
Use the latest technology
The times when all this could be done manually are gone forever; nowadays you need a good marketing automation platform to save you time and money. We’ve touched upon some of these aspects earlier but now it is time for a more in-depth treatment. First of all choose your marketing automation platform wisely: we have developed a fantastic tool called OMNIA® which runs on a Zoho platform. We have implemented marketing automation systems since they were introduced and we have chosen Zoho over all the existing platforms because due to its flexibility and adaptability it can create a really powerful set of marketing and sales tools and it can be tailored exactly to your business needs. You need to choose the channels that are the right fit for your business (Blogs/Social media/Videos/Podcasts/newsletters/advertising) and have a tracking system to measure response to your marketing activities or website visits.
Train your team
Finally, not all companies can afford to have their own in-house Business Development team; so, should you outsource the service?
If you decide to do your Business Development in-house, having the best talent is essential and so you should be constantly training your staff.
The first thing you need to consider is how to find the coaching system that is most suitable to you. There are many options: having external coaches on your premises, online training (podcast and video series, webinars), using your own staff as trainers (this is a great idea to promote team-building and collaboration) or sending your staff to attend events or courses.
Make sure you have a plan to avoid the disruption which might be caused by having members of your staff away from their usual workplace; you will also need clear goals which will allow to measure success.
If you already do all the above, you are doing everything you should to create and support a sound Business Development Strategy. If you would like more help, please get in touch with Broadley Speaking on +44 (0)1822618537