Enterprises need more and more business to sustain their business growth. Everything that is made to attain that goal of getting more business could be termed “business development.” This involves a number of processes ending with sales and post sales services. Creating and maintaining relationships by developing and implementing growth opportunities can lead to more sales.
Go beyond the comfort zone
All the time sales, marketing, and business development terms are interchangeably used. They not only depend on each other, but they also complement each other. However, it does not mean they are the same. The fact is that each needs separate skills set and expertise, and different efforts. Business development professionals go out to develop business and actually sell without even realizing that they are doing so. For many people, business development at times may need coaching and training to go beyond their comfort zone.
Key for business development
Key for business development is developing and carrying out plans for lead generation and strategies for marketing and sales in the targeted markets. This is possible with business planning and actions implementable based on strategic marketing goals. Such business development includes activities such as market research, strategic planning, developing content and messaging and communications.
Market research gives many actionable insights for business development. It involves gathering and synthesizing market happenings, trends and company objectives including solutions. Geographies, industry, and other marketing organizations are some more aspects of market research. Regular market research helps to better understand latest market practices, trends, and competitors for strategising business development leading to strategising planning.
Strategic planning involves evolving strategic goals for a long and short term, market, regional and country-wise. It translates into integrated and/or industry/solution specific programs. Strategic planning involves marketing planning, sales planning and of course business planning to ensure programs and campaigns are aligned with strategic goals for overall business development.
Strategic planning leads to the next step of developing right content and messaging to reach appropriate target awareness. Content development needs to apply knowledge to tailor, build, and syndicate content for creating awareness, demand creation, and opportunity acceleration. Other strategic functions include combining business objectives with market insights and translating key messages into integrated campaigns or programs.
Continuous communication with executive teams in the form of presentations on the strategy and status of the marketing programs to them ensures continuous support for timely and successful implementation. Equally, it is important to articulate the value of the programs of specific product lines by presenting marketing programs to both the marketing and sales teams in clearly understandable terms for successful penetration in the markets for achieving more sales. That is the ultimate goal of business development.
If one is skillful in business development, one can identify and capitalize many business opportunities. Enterprises may engage one or many business development managers, or some of their marketing people wear a business development hat. Many independent professionals like financial advisors, law professionals and providers of other professional services need to assume a business development role on their own for their own business development.