Business Development Tools and Techniques

Business development is a key ingredient for a successful business. It’s a step that can never be taken lightly, and it’s a process that must be well planned out and exploited properly. A good toolkit will help you appear confident and capable to your prospects, as well as helping you tend to your existing business relationships. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most useful tools for engaging in effective business development.

Business development is the act of creating, nurturing, and growing mutually beneficial business relationships with other companies or individuals to achieve either individual or joint success. Businesses need them to facilitate sales, expand market share, evolve their products and services, and hire talent. Effective business development proper planning and implementation are critical to the growth of any company in any industry.

What is Business Development

Business development is the process of creating strategies and plans to grow a business, expand operations, and create a more stable company. By looking at business development opportunities, a company can figure out how to grow and strengthen its leadership, organization, and take advantage of opportunities.

Let’s imagine you are part of a management team for a small regional hotel chain. Your company has 20 hotels in the southeast and is evaluating business development options. You believe there are opportunities to grow your chain and improve your marketing. There are also ways to reorganize the leadership team to maximize efficiency.

Techniques

There are several essential techniques for creating a business development plan. Following these steps, you can improve the quality of your decisions and create a more concise, effective plan that supports growth.

Essential Tools You Need in Business Development

 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. 

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).

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.

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.    

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.

Business Development Tools You Need to Know

SEMRush

business development semrush

As you’re looking for businesses to potentially partner with, you need a tool to help you identify the best opportunities. SEMRush helps business development teams analyze how popular companies are online by giving you their domain authority. The higher the domain authority, the more popular the company, and the stronger their reach.

semrush domain authority

You can also find companies that are linking to the company you searched to help you find even more opportunities in your niche. If you’re looking for a tool that gives you more insights into the companies you’re reaching out to, this is the tool for you.

InstaPage

business development instapage

InstaPage is the best tool for creating personalized landing pages. For example, let’s say that you work for a tech company whose product can work for all industries. Instead of sending a potential client or business partner the link to your generic home page, you can create a personalized landing page targeted to their industry.

So, if you’re reaching out to a client that works in real estate, you can create a landing page custom to the real estate business. This helps the potential business partner understand your product better if you’re speaking their language.READ  Product Manager vs. Project Manager: what’s the difference?

InstaPage also has heatmaps that identify where users are clicking and scrolling the most on your landing page so you can continue to make improvements for optimal conversions.

If you’re not convinced, InstaPage touts that personalized landing pages can help increase conversions by up to 400%.

Fiverr

business development fiverr

Fiverr is a great tool for delegating some of your work to focus on what matters most – business development. The last thing you want is to get lost in all the recurring small tasks that you don’t have time to focus on getting new deals that could move the company forward. With Fiverr, you’re able to find freelancers in just about everything.

fiverr screenshot

Whether it helps with email marketing, web design, or public relations, you’ll be able to find someone to help you. The best thing about Fiverr is its unique approach to freelancing. Instead of posting a job and receiving bids, with Fiverr, you’re able to browse the site similarly to the way you shop. The freelancers sell themselves to you instead of the other way around.

AWeber

business development AWeber

All business development teams need a powerful email tool that will help them with their outreach. AWeber is a powerful email marketing tool where you can send out different email campaigns and schedule an automated sequence. You can tag the different emails based on clicks and open rates to help you segment your prospecting lists, which will help you drill down to those most interested.

The best thing about AWeber is just how simple it is to use. They have advanced features like A/B testing and drip campaigns, but they have designed the software in a way that’s intuitive and easy to use.READ  7 Product Roadmap Examples You Need To Know (+ Free Tools)

Hunter.io

business development hunter.io

Hunter.io is a tool you’ll want to add to your bookmark right away. One of the most frustrating things about business development is having the correct contact information for the person you want to email.

hunter.io screenshot

Hunter.io takes the guessing game out of it and provides you with the correct contact information. So, you don’t have to email info@abc.com and instead can email s.johnson@email.com. Of course, you’ll want to visit Linkedin first to find out who you need to contact, and then hop over to Hunter.io to get their email address.

FunnelCRM

business development funnelcrm

Keeping track of your contacts and leads is where FunnelCRM shines. If you’re looking for a CRM with robust features without breaking the bank, then this is the CRM for you. One of my favorite features is the ability to tie my email to the CRM so I can reply to contact from my Gmail account and it will be saved to the CRM.

business development funnelcrm

This makes it easy for different team members to stay up to date on the contacts’ communication with the company. However, what sets FunnelCRM apart is the low price point and robust features such as professional proposals and contact forms.

Canva

business development canva

If you haven’t been using Canva in your business development, you’re missing out on some design efficiency. With Canva, you can design anything from your business cards to consultant-worthy presentations and proposals in a matter of minutes. That’s right, minutes.

canva screenshot

You see, Canva isn’t like your typical design software where you need to be an expert to design anything. Canva is built much more intuitively. You start by selecting the type of project you want to build such as a presentation, letter, Facebook cover, etc. Then you browse through their templates, pick one that you like, customize it, and you have a stunning presentation with beautiful graphs ready to send your prospects.

Conclusion

Business development (“BD”) is an important but commonly overlooked function in a startup, and small and medium-sized company (SMB). This post provides a framework to help you focus on BD activities that will yield the biggest impact on your company’s growth.

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