Business development is the process of implementing effective strategies throughout your organization to drive growth and increase revenue. This process requires the business development team to pursue opportunities to help your business expand, identify new prospects, and convert more leads into customers.
Business development is closely related to sales, because it contributes greatly to sales growth. However, these two processes are actually different. Before going into details, let’s first find out what makes them different.
Business Development vs Sales
Business development is similar to sales, but involves greater responsibilities such as helping companies improve and maintain relationships with prospects, understanding customers’ characters, increasing brand awareness, and seeking new opportunities to maximize business growth.
In contrast, the sales team sells your product or service to customers and works to convert leads into customers. Business development-related work streamlines the work of the sales force.
Here are some general responsibilities of a BD representative:
- Determine and identify prospects
- Look for new business opportunities
- Stay up-to-date on the competition and latest market trends
- Report to salespeople and development managers
- Ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty
Business Development Ideas
Here are some business development ideas that you can implement in order to optimize your business growth. These strategies can help you generate more qualified leads, networks more effectively, and increase brand awareness.
Establish Relationships with Prospects & Customers
Phone conversations have become less effective than they used to be a decade ago. There are more effective ways to strengthen relationships with your prospects and customers.
Meet your prospects or customers in person at conferences, exhibitions or events related to your industry. Consider hosting your own event and inviting your existing leads and customers. Connect with them through social media like LinkedIn so you can always be updated on them and share important information about your product or service with them.
Offer Free Consultations
Explaining the benefits of your product or service to your prospects can help speed up their decision making. This will also help you understand them further so that you can assess whether they are your ideal prospects or not. Eventually, you will be able to focus more on qualified ones.
Provide Sales Demos
Provide your prospects with sales demos so that they can see how your product or service actually works. Make sure these demos are customized to the prospects’ needs to show how your product or service can solve their challenges. You can share these demos in person or through video chat.
Nurture Your Leads
Remember to nurture your leads, whether through telephone calls, e-mail, meetings, or other communication channels. The purpose of nurturing leads is to remind them of your product or service. When you first contacted them, they probably did not need it yet. Thus, it never hurts to re-offer what you sell to them.
To make it easier for you to follow up with leads and make different quotations, you need a reliable CRM system. An CRM system also enables you to identify qualified leads and forecast revenue you will gain from each lead.
Create Relevant Content
Create various types of content such as blog articles, videos, and social media posts for your prospects so they can learn more about your brand and product or service. Make sure the contents are not just about promotions, but also information and tips that are useful for your prospects. Also, consider publishing an e-book that can be downloaded on your website.
Collaborate with Marketing
Although business development generally belongs to the sales department, that doesn’t mean their internal work only involves members of the sales team. The BD team needs to establish communication with other departments too, especially marketing.
The marketing team’s role is to create content for your target audience. Therefore, it would be great if the BD team could work closely with the marketing team on blog articles, marketing campaigns, social media posts, and website content so that the results will be more relevant to your prospects.
Conduct regular meetings for the BD and marketing teams so that they can exchange ideas and share updates with each other. Use the right CRM system so that both teams can collaborate better.