Business Development Tools and Systems

Business development is a critical part of business growth. It all starts with creating and nurturing relationships with potential customers, partners, and strategic allies in the industry. Without business development, there can be no business growth. You may think this is old-fashioned or obsolete, but without knowing your customers and what they need, you will not be able to develop any business.

Business Development Techniques That Can Lead To Faster Business Growth

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The secret to faster business growth starts with your business development team. But are members of your business development team evaluating potential partners accurately? Are they taking a truly long-term view of your business and its place within the industry? Below are seven business development techniques I find effective for faster business growth as a director of strategic accounts.

1. Use the 80/20 rule to your benefit.

According to the 80/20 rule, the top 20% of all deals you sign will account for 80% of the growth of your business. Understanding that one simple rule can do wonders for your business development team and help them hit it out of the park every single time. You can’t go after every potential business partner, so you have to focus on the ones that matter. If you’re a technology consulting company, for example, then your biz dev team can spend about 80% of its time going after the 20% of partners that matter for your company’s tech ecosystem.

2. Find key decision-makers using social media.

In the era of social media, it’s easier than ever to find and connect with the top decision-makers. If you don’t know who has the ultimate decision-making authority at a company or organization, head over to LinkedIn and make sure you understand which individuals your biz dev team should be talking to. Connecting with key decision-makers through social media may be easier than making a series of unreturned phone calls. LinkedIn’s traditional search capability, which includes several filters, works great for me in this regard. Their products for sales and recruitment can work wonders as well. Groups are great, too, since you can find relevant folks engaging in conversations and linking posts. This is also a good way to come across key decision-makers.

3. Focus on relationships, not transactions.

In some industries, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that every new deal is a relationship and not a transaction. Nobody feels like being treated as “just another logo” that can be featured on your website as a partner. The best tip I have is to provide value to the partner by giving something that’s going to add value to the other person without expectations. Another way is to socialize with them — again, not just for business. In business, as in life, relationships matter. If you’re a software product engineering company, for example, you want to make sure you are partnering with other companies that are aligned with your overall business objectives and that reflect your view of the tech industry.

4. Once you sign a deal, don’t forget about the deal.

This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many technology consulting companies, in particular, ignore this simple rule. They are so excited to sign up for a new partner that they fail to realize that signing a new deal is just the beginning. I’ve found that you also have to think about following up, keeping your side of the deal, and making sure that you hit all key deadlines and milestones. In other words, you have to be a great partner.

5. Emphasize the repeat sale and the repeat customer.

Business development is similar to sales in that it is generally a lot easier to sell an idea to an existing partner than it is to find a new one. How many times have you heard about technology companies “deepening a relationship” by announcing a brand-new initiative that builds on top of an existing relationship? That’s the equivalent of a repeat sale or a repeat customer in the world of sales.

6. Commit to “win-win” deals that grow the pie for everyone.

Your business development team should be thinking about creating strategic alliances and partnerships that are good for both sides and not just your company. That’s called a “win-win” deal, and for good reason — both sides can succeed as a result of the deal, and that helps to grow the pie for everyone. Plus, once you get the reputation for signing fair deals that benefit everyone, companies could be beating down your door with potential offers.

7. Don’t sign deals just to sign deals.

In the technology consulting or software product engineering fields, it can be easy to fall into the “growth for growth’s sake” trap. Are the new deals you’re signing aligned with the strategic vision of your company, or are you just signing them because they’re low-hanging fruit and easy to sign? You want to be signing deals that propel your company forward and not signing them just so that you can issue a new press release.

By following these seven business development techniques, you can help set your company up for an exciting future of accelerated business growth. You could be one step ahead of the competition in signing up new business partners and one step closer to being a market leader in your industry. It’s time to start changing the way you do business.

Essential Tools You Need in Business Development

Just starting in sales?

Looking to transform your old-school sales department?

Don’t have a sales department and need some tools implemented to help?

Well here’s the rundown of what you need to have in your sales department in 2019.

1. Sales Intelligence Tools

Intelligence tools are specifically for finding and giving insight into your prospects. The types of sales intelligence tools vary wildly, but that’s due to every industry having wildly different needs. Long gone are the days of having a Rolodex or simply a CRM populated with company name, telephone number, and contact name. We’re now looking, from vast datasets, for buying signals – and want to be informed by the tool when the best time to contact potential clients would be. 

Some examples: Sales NavigatorZoominfoInsideViewDatanyzeInsideSalesWinmo

2. Marketing Automation

Automation can be complex, but once set up it will provide you with invaluable data about your prospects. Who is visiting your website? Who is opening your salespersons’ emails? Who is repeat-visiting your website? Which content is being read the most, and which content is converting web visitors to calls the best? Marketing automation is also closely related to content marketing (if done correctly).

Some examples: HubspotSharpSpringMarketoPardot

3. CRM

If you don’t have a CRM, then everyone will have no idea what is going on in your sales teams. People will be treading on each other’s toes, prospective clients will be getting numerous calls from different people and management will have no way to project sales. Quite simply, having a decent CRM is a must.

4. Social Media Management

Social selling is such a big part of sales. So, make sure you’re managing it correctly – scheduling posts to multiple social networks from multiple accounts. This can be very time-consuming. Some of these tools will help you find new content, and some have excellent analytics as well. A good social media management tool should increase your efficiency, but it should also increase your early-stage leads.    

5. Workflow Planner

Keep organized, keep on top of everything and never miss a deadline. If you can get buy-in from all your team you’ll be able to maximize efficiency in the sales and marketing departments using a workflow management tool. It’s not about checking up on what people are doing but making sure there is consistency and collaboration between teams and individuals.

Conclusion

When it comes to building an internet marketing agency or just taking your business to the next level with your current customers, one of the most important things you need is effective and intelligent business development. The tricky part is making sure that you’re using the best business development tools and techniques so you can start ascending the mountain – reaching the top – and staying there.

These days, many small business owners are more interested in increasing their business through active business development. To win new contracts and retain your current customers, you need to use the right business development tools and techniques for your industry.

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