What makes a good Business Development Strategy?
A key element of most businesses is establishing ways of generating sufficient leads or enquiries to, not only break even, but to make profit or achieve growth. Whatever business you are in, generating the right leads to convert into sales is key to your success.
When we consider the pressures of running a small business it is not surprising, particularly for micro or start-up businesses, that generating leads is often an ad hoc activity that happens when time allows. Or is limited to a few channels that work for now, without any real structure or strategy in place to ensure a solid foundation of consistent lead volumes and future security.
However, with most businesses, there comes a time when a more strategic approach is required. Whether you are looking for significant growth or trying to make profit, developing and implementing a successful business development strategy is an important part of succeeding in business.
There are many factors that make a BD strategy successful, not least of all having a clear vision and plan of action, supported by a strong manager and an experienced engaged team. The right BD strategy will extend across the business, impacting many other departments including Sales, Marketing, Cost Cutting, Production as well as Business Planning.
The following aspects are all vital to ensuring your BD strategy is effective.
A thorough understanding of the current business activities. What works well, what doesn’t, what has never been tried?
A detailed knowledge of the client profile. Who buys from you.
Identification of any future growth areas. New products/services, new markets, wider demographic?
Knowledge of competitors. Do they do the exact same thing as you? Why would a client use them?
An understanding of your competitive edge. Why do your clients do business with you and not a competitor?
To ensure a good return on your investment you will also need a working knowledge of the costs involved in acquiring and servicing the lead, as well as the cost of delivering the sale. These costs will probably vary, depending on the channel used to generate the lead and the quality of that lead.
The best BD strategies will also be creative, always looking for new improved ways of generating opportunity. We are all familiar with the old saying “if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”. This is the time to include some carefully considered experimentation. I am not advocating throwing caution to the wind here. There needs to be a good deal of solid proven activity in any strategy however, if you never try anything new you don’t know whether you are building your strategy on the right solid proven activity.
It is also accepted that for a BD strategy to work there must be a tolerance for review and revision, as needed. Some ideas or activities will be more successful than others. This is not a time to be precious about your great ideas, if it is not working move on. It is important to fail fast and adapt the strategy, based on regularly reviewing the metrics.
If you would like some help with your BD Strategy, or you are looking to grow your business, and are considering outsourcing part or all your business development function, we would love to have a chat with you about your needs and how Pro-Team BD could help. Contact me at email@example.com or call me, Julie Barry on 07885 911877