Having a business development process seems like a pretty obvious thing for any company to have. However, simply having a process in place is only part of the equation. For optimal results, your business development process needs to be clearly defined to everyone involved in following and supporting it.
Now before I go any further, I want to talk about the “everyone involved” in your absolutely amazing business development process. Business development is not just a sales practice. In order to adequately develop said business, there are multiple parties involved.
Your Business Development Process includes everyone!
In simplest terms, business development is the betterment of your business wherever possible. This means increasing revenue, lowering costs, growth/expansion, bettering partnerships/strategic alliances, and making overall better business decisions.
This scope of activity requires work from every department of your business.
Salespeople alone cannot carry the weight of the betterment of the business. This is why your business development process must be clearly defined. And the first step to accomplishing that clarity is having everyone involved aware that they are!
If you want to read up on how to get your sales and marketing team working together, check out our free eBook on sales & marketing alignment:
Ask yourself these questions:
While it is important for your employees to know their role in the business development process, it’s just as important to know your role as a business in the marketplace. To position yourself adequately, ask yourself these questions:
1. Who is our ideal buyer?
This question can be tough. Here at CFS, we break up our ideal buyers/targets into 5 buyer personas. These personas enable us to do these things: create common problems that we can solve for each, make sure our products/services are offer something differentiated from competitors, and so we can meet their specific needs.
2. What is our lead generation strategy?
You’ll see how sales and marketing can really become intertwined once asking this question. Leads can come in from many different sources, however, a large chunk of lead generation comes from things like inbound marketing and website development. Your sales and marketing teams should work together to make sure the lead generation part of your business development strategy is strong.
Check out this eBook to learn how you can use LinkedIn to generate leads:
3. What is our sales strategy?
This is a large part of your business development process. Sales is where your process really becomes external. By this point, you have already built a great foundation for your sales reps to work with. You’ve identified ideal buyers and you’ve created a lead generation strategy that included the marketing team and will supply the sales team with great selling tools.
To learn more on building a great sales process/strategy, feel free to download this free eBook as well:
A clearly defined business development process is a criteria for success.
If your company is feeling stuck or stagnant in growth, it’s probably because you don’t have a business development process, or it’s inadequate. It’s time to rally the troops: get your marketing strategy aligned with your sales strategy. Have departments work together to make sure time isn’t wasted chasing the wrong prospects or selling to the wrong people. Growth happens when your company is functioning like an intricate machine. The pieces and parts must fit together for your business to work.
Once you’ve defined your business development process, store your best practices and methods in your Sales PlayBook. This way, your employees will never miss a beat when it comes to new initiatives and discoveries.