As you know, the goal of your business is to generate revenue and to ultimately grow. Even if your company is established things can change, and even though you might of had success in the early stages, if you don’t plan ahead then you are being only reactive and not proactive and you will be caught by surprise.
Now, imagine that you get a promotion at your current company, and your boss tells you that you will now be part of the business development team. You have been doing sales prior to this, so at this point you are thinking that business development can’t be that different than doing your daily sales job.
You see, while sales are immediate and you may be used to closing deals on a daily basis and getting that satisfaction from the wins you generate, (and in most cases a nice bonus for reaching your targets) business development requires a whole new mindset.
“ Business Development has longer cycles than sales, involves strategy and marketing so that is why you need to plan”
Before I get into the details, let’s talk about why you need Business Development:
- You rely on your network and think they will generate all the revenue you need.
- Even if you think that what you have is great – people still will say no to you, even when they said they liked what you had.
- Your existing customers will dry up and you will need to start looking for new ways of growing.
- The competition will be looking at what you do and will be able to copy you fairly quickly – you need to innovate.
- You need to build partnerships and knowing how to nurture them
- You need to focus on the right partnerships and not just take anyone that is willing to work with you
- You want to create the right value proposition and deliver on your promise
These are just some of the reasons of why you need business development – if you want to contribute more please leave them in the comments and I can add them to the article later.
Ok, I know why I need it… but get back to the subject! – What does it involve?
These are some of the things you would be doing in your new role:
Situation Analysis: (Most of the planning should be spent here)
- Analyze your potential Partners (Customers)
- Build Personas, Buyer Journeys, Buyer Matrixes
- Answer the Who, What and Why of your partners
- Define why the product or service can benefit your partners
- Know who your competitors are
- Be aware of the market and trends
- Determine if your partners (customers) are a good fit and are large enough
- Understand your company’s competencies
Setting the Goals and define the Objectives:
- Understand what your goals are
- Set your objectives (these are the ones you can measure)
- Develop the framework for the pipeline and how your partners fit
Developing the Strategy: Sales + Marketing
- Be sure to set the targets
- Strengthen your company
- Develop a competitive advantage
- Make sure you know how to position your company to your partners
- Know your process and how you are going to follow it
- Understand how you are building relationships
- Develop the steps needed to complete your objectives
- Bring you value proposition to life
- Solve your partner’s (customers) problems
- Build real relationships
- Make sure Sales and Marketing work as one and share the goals / objectives
- Choose the channels
Some of the Tactics
- Finding emails / Decision makers / Phone #’s
- Attending Conferences / Events
- Cold Emailing
- Cold Calling
- Setting up meetings
- Preparing for meetings
- Developing the Decks
- Pitching / and having meetings
- Educating / Inbound Marketing
- Developing reports about the market and trends
- Following up
- Closing Deals
What Happens After I Close
- Keep the relationships going
- Show real interest in their success – it is in your interest as well
- Deliver value to them and reach out when there is something happening in the market
- Don’t only contact them when you need them to renew – keep the relationship going
- Talk with them and keep engaged
- Measure the results