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Do you have a Business Development Strategy?

Updated: Dec 22, 2023



What are your sales and business growth goals?  Do you have a plan to guide you to achieve those goals?   As we kick off the new year these are great reflection questions to consider and help determine your path to achieve your 2024 goals. 


Every organization is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach to business development. However, one thing that I know for sure is that whether you're a solopreneur, sales professional at an enterprise organization or fundraising for a nonprofit, taking the time to develop a well defined business development strategy leveraging proven best practices is key to achieving sales and revenue growth goals. 


Getting started can be a daunting task, which is why I'm excited to lighten your load and provide you with a set of tried-and-true business development strategies. Use this framework to serve as your guide to craft your business development strategy.  Then implement your plan to accelerate your sales and exceed your goals.


Let’s get started! 


The goal of a business development strategy is to help an organization grow and expand by identifying and pursuing new opportunities, markets, and strategies to increase revenue, profitability, and market share. It serves as a roadmap for achieving objectives and should include several key components.


 Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a step back and define our business development goals and then we can develop our strategy accordingly.


Start with Crystal-Clear Goals


This is your friendly reminder to use the S.M.A.R.T. goals format. What are your business development goals for 2024?  Your goals should be precisely defined and have measurable objectives. What do you aspire to achieve? Be it revenue augmentation, market expansion, or venturing into new territories,  your targets should be specific, attainable, and time-constrained. 


Keep Your Clients Top of Mind


Sales and business development are about people. It’s about building relationships and connecting with people who have a want or a need that you can fulfill with your products or services. Our sales approach intertwines emotional intelligence (EQ) with strategy, enabling us to provide top-notch sales consulting and training services that are not just strategy-oriented but also people-focused. If you missed our blog earlier this month about the importance of emotional intelligence in sales strategy check it out here.



Let's talk Business Development Strategy Framework!


Market Analysis: Understanding the current market landscape is essential for making informed decisions. Assess the current market conditions, trends, and potential opportunities for growth. 







Here are some tips for conducting a comprehensive market analysis:


  • Trend Analysis: Leverage reliable resources for your industry (for example Gartner, Harvard Business Review, Research Institutions in your field) to stay up-to-date with industry trends, emerging technologies, and shifts in consumer behavior.

  • Customer Feedback: Request and listen to customer feedback to gain insights into their needs and preferences. Use surveys, focus groups, or online reviews to gather valuable data.


Target Client Identification: Identify ideal clients or client segments that align with the company's products or services. 

  • Buyer Avatars: Create detailed buyer personas that represent your target audience. Understand their demographics, motivations, where they go for information and buying behaviors. If you don’t already have a template leverage the Client Avatar Worksheet on our Resources page: Resources | RB Consulting (rbormannconsulting.com)

  • Segmentation: Segment your audience based on common characteristics or behaviors. This allows you to tailor your marketing and sales efforts more effectively.

  • Data-Driven Decisions: Use data analytics to identify high-value customer segments and prioritize your resources accordingly.


Competitive Analysis: Evaluating competitors and their strengths and weaknesses to develop your competitive advantage and Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What is often missed in a competitive analysis is to also look for opportunities to join forces and collaborate with your competitors. Look for opportunities that expand both of your portfolio of offerings allowing you to offer new solutions to existing clients as well as attract new clients. 

  • Competitor Benchmarking: Compare your products, services, pricing, and customer experience with those of your competitors.

  • Continuous Monitoring: Keep a watchful eye on your competitors' activities. Subscribe to newsletters, follow them on social media, take advantage of the competitors feature on LinkedIn and attend industry events to stay informed.


Pricing Considerations: Pricing is a crucial element of a company's overall business development strategy, as it directly affects revenue, profitability, and market positioning.  It should be reviewed on at least an annual basis. 


Tips to consider when evaluating your pricing:

 

  • Value-Based Pricing: Align your pricing with the perceived value your product or service provides to customers.

  • Competitive Pricing: Research your competitors' pricing strategies and position your offerings competitively.

  • Dynamic Pricing: Consider dynamic pricing models that adjust based on demand, seasonality, or other factors.


Sales Process: Sales framework that can be adapted to individual buyer journeys. A well-structured sales process can significantly impact your conversion rates.


Here's what you should focus on:

  • Customer-Centric Approach: Tailor your sales process to align with your customers' buying journeys.

  • Sales Training: Invest in training and development for your sales team to ensure they have the necessary skills and product knowledge.

  • Sales Funnel Optimization: Continually refine your sales funnel to eliminate bottlenecks and improve conversion rates. 


Marketing Recommendations: The goal is to invite ideal clients to be curious and engage with your organization. Marketing and Sales processes should be aligned to maximize results for both efforts. 

Effective marketing is pivotal for business development. Consider these recommendations:

  • Content Strategy: Develop a robust content strategy that addresses the pain points and interests of your target audience.

  • Marketing Automation: Implement marketing automation tools to streamline your marketing efforts and nurture leads.

  • Alignment with Sales: Collaborate closely with your sales team to ensure marketing efforts are aligned with sales goals and that all external and internal communications are in sync.


Partnerships and Alliances: Explore partnerships, collaborations, or strategic alliances that can help expand the business.

 Strategic partnerships can open doors to new opportunities. Follow these steps:

  • Identify Potential Partners: Look for organizations or businesses that share a similar target audience but offer complementary products or services. Leverage your competitor analysis.

  • Mutually Beneficial Agreements: Craft partnerships that provide value to both parties, fostering a win-win relationship.

  • Regular Communication: Maintain open and frequent communication with your partners to ensure the partnership remains fruitful.


Geographic Expansion: While this is not a decision to be made lightly, consider expansion into new geographic regions or markets.


 Here’s how to approach it:

  • Consider the market factors that affect your business and ability to deliver an exceptional user experience for your clients. For example: Distance from your headquarters, market size of ideal clients, market competitiveness, business climate, political climate and city/state culture and diversity:

  • Market Research: Conduct thorough research to understand the dynamics, regulations, and cultural nuances of the new market that directly affect your business.

  • Localization: Tailor your products, marketing materials, and sales approach to cater to the specific needs and preferences of the target market.

  • Testing and Adaptation: Start with a pilot program to test the waters before committing to a full-scale expansion.


Additional Lead Gen Strategies: The primary goal of lead generation is to build a list of individuals or businesses who can be nurtured and eventually converted into paying clients. Lead generation is the lifeblood of business development.  Are you prioritizing lead gen activities?  If not, consider time blocking or other time management best practices to make sure lead gen doesn't stay on the bottom of the list.


Consider these lead generation strategies:

  • Outbound Lead: Increase top funnel lead generation with outbound activity.  Establish weekly goals for cold outreach by channel.

  • Inbound Marketing: Create valuable, informative content that attracts prospects to your brand.

  • Networking Events: Attend and host industry events, conferences, and trade shows to connect with potential leads.

  • Referral Programs: Encourage and incentivise individuals and partners  to refer new clients to your business.

  • Website Optimization: Ensure your website is optimized for lead generation quarterly. This includes having clear and compelling content that  speaks to your ideal clients, differentiates your organization, is easy navigation, and has strong calls-to-action. 

  • Content Marketing: Strategy to distribute valuable content increases brand awareness, recognition and inbound leads. . 

  • Email Marketing: How will you grow your email marketing distribution list? 


Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Establishing measurable goals and tracking progress to gauge the success of the business development plan as well as continually improve your strategy. 

  • Establish clear and meaningful KPIs: Define specific Key Performance Indicators that align with your business goals.

  • Regular Tracking: Continuously monitor and analyze your KPIs to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy.

  • Adjustment and Optimization: Use data insights to make informed adjustments to your business development plan.


Risk Management: Identifying potential risks and developing strategies to mitigate them is an important and often time overlooked aspect of a business development strategy.


Here's how to get started:

  • Risk Assessment: Conduct a risk assessment to identify potential threats to your business development efforts. For example Market Saturation, Economic Uncertainty, Cultural Misalignment, Staffing Risks and Changes in Technology. 

  • Risk Mitigation: Develop contingency plans and strategies to address identified risks.


For example: Clear articulation of your company’s story with the WHY in mind and USP in external & internal communications can mitigate the risk of market saturation. 


To potentially mitigate economic uncertainty, stay abreast of industry trends and focus on ideal clients not affected (or as greatly affected) by economic downturns or budget cuts.  Be willing to adapt offerings to meet market demands. 


  • Regular Review: Periodically review and update your risk management strategies to adapt to changing circumstances.


This business development strategy framework has served us and our clients well. Remember that a business development strategy is an ongoing process that requires adaptability and a commitment to continuous improvement. 


By focusing on people, intentionally building relationships and implementing proven strategies we can all thrive in sales and growing our businesses!


There is more than enough,

Rebecca




More about RB Consulting:


Looking for a partner to help create and execute your business development strategy?

Let’s chat!  Schedule your complimentary consultation call today: https://calendly.com/rbbizdevconsulting/rb-consulting-introductory-consultation-meeting


Upcoming Cohorts & Workshops


If learning more about business development strategies and leveling up your sales skills is an area you are looking to invest in for professional and personal development, check out our 2024 Sales Training Cohorts.  


We have 3 options for you to attend this year and enrollment is open for all three right now.


  • Most sales training programs are considered professional development and are a tax deduction.  Double check with your CPA to be sure. 

  • Proud to offer payment plans.

  • Group discounts available for 8+ enrollments






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