Business development, as the name suggests, is all about creating new business opportunities, and involves a number of steps leading up to the final sale. Business development is necessary, because we automatically lose customers for a variety of reasons: death, moving house, switching to a competitor. So you have to look for new customers to replace those you’re losing, take on the competition, increase sales and develop sales.
High-level business development
To develop business at company level, follow these steps:
- Look for potential markets, scanning different areas and markets to find out what might be of interest to the company.
- Identify the most interesting markets, those with the greatest potential. It’s often the competition’s big customers who are poorly served by current suppliers, asleep at the switch.
- Target the priority niches to attack based on the strengths we have to reach them. These targets need to be entered into your CRM in order to reach them operationally.
- Create a marketing offer to reach them: this is the marketing mix or the 4 P’s
- Product, i.e. our offer and its added value
- Advertising, Promotion
- Sell your best at every meeting, and use all the means at your disposal to increase your sales.
Business development at sales team level
The steps are more down-to-earth and boil down to this:
- Seek out new prospects, in order to obtain new prospecting lists, the three solutions are as follows
- Create them yourself
- Buy them
- Ask marketing to do it
- Target the best customers– each list can contain hundreds of names or customers. This means targeting the best, the ones with the most potential or the easiest to reach. Preferred targets are those who have gone to your website to find information. Once you’ve targeted your customers, you enter them into your CRM. You need to be able to refine these targets using your CRM and the criteria you’ve entered to prioritize your prospects.
- Meet with customers to determine their needs and prepare a quotation
- Sell your product or service
- Build customer loyalty with excellent customer care and service
Business development is a necessity for any company if it is not to wither away, so if you’re organized and have the right tools, especially a good CRM, your business will grow.