Business Development is a bit of a catch-all phrase. However it does embrace what every entrepreneur, founder, owner manager, director and people in marketing and sales will (or should) be doing, one way or another; to develop business.
Four business development strategies
Starting from the basics, business development or business growth, can be achieved in essentially four ways:
- More customers – finding new customers and making an initial sale to them, either through your direct sales activities or through channel partners, affiliates and other options
- More sales to existing customers – through client or account growth, retention, repeat sales, up-selling, cross-selling, increasing customer lifetime value and similar strategies
- Bigger sales – increasing the average order size by increasing the value on offer and hence the price people are prepared to pay
- Buy another business – to achieve a step-change in growth
Each of these approaches relies on effective marketing and sales strategies, operations, tactics and activities.
It’s a complex matrix to manage, especially with so much change taking place in the market-place.
Business development is a great example of the twin approaches needed for success:
- Working IN your business
- Working ON your business
Working ‘in your business’
Day-to-day, if you’re in business development like us, then you’ll be talking to clients and prospects, arranging meetings, sending emails, writing proposals, presenting solutions, negotiating deals and all the many tasks involved in B2B sales campaigns. And working on these can be addictive; the thrill of the chase, and the desire to make another few phone calls, to ‘build relationships’ and so on.
Occasionally you might just think ‘Is there a better way?’ and occasionally perhaps ‘There must be a better way!’. And since you’re reading this then maybe now is one of those moments.
The B2B sales marketplace is changing. For one thing, the internet has allowed buyers to find out so much more about options and solutions, and for vendors to put information out into the various places where they hope their potential customers will find it, read it and act upon it. It can be tough to stay ahead.
That’s when it pays to spend some time working ‘On your business’.
Time to work ‘on your business’
You might be asking questions like:
- What can we do to get more of the right people to find out how we can help them?
- How can our lead generation be improved, so we have more inquiries coming through to us?
- How can we generate more and better quality opportunities for the sales team to work on?
- Are there ways to improve our close rate, reduce the sales cycle time and save sales time?
- What can we do to deliver value to existing and new customers quicker and get referrals?
How will you know when it’s time to investigate changes, and then take action and make changes?
Will it be …
… when you’ve lost another big deal that will really hurt your business?
… when you’ve got time on your hands because business is a bit ‘slack’?
… when you lose a good salesman to a competitor who can generate good leads?
When is the right time for business development?
When times are good, or OK, it’s tempting to say ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But that’s just the time to be investigating where improvements can be made, to leverage what is working well and raise up the areas that are under-performing.
If you feel it’s time to evaluate changes then get in-touch with us at Wurlwind.
We can discuss ways to help you identify where change might be beneficial. We can suggest ideas and innovations that apply in the B2B marketing and sales world. We offer practical, incremental solutions.
If you want to develop your business then email me, Mark Stonham at firstname.lastname@example.org