It was great to be back at Cottenham Village College this morning, alongside Catherine Hay from Form the Future CIC. We had a productive meeting with Helen Scully, Careers Lead, and are excited to be able to continue our support of their career development programme and look forward to all the exciting things 2020 has to offer them.
How is Business Development Evolving?
Staying on top of the latest industry trends, news, software etc. feels like a full-time job at times! Fortunately, we’re here to do the hard work for you and in this article, we’ll be discussing all things Business Development!
Business Development has and continues to go through a remarkable transformation, we’re more rapidly seeing a huge shift from a traditional focus on sales and partnerships to a dynamic strategy encompassing market insights, innovative collaborations and harnessing cutting-edge technologies. Through the wonder of technology, the globe is fully connected, and business development has evolved into a multifaceted discipline that emphasises customer-centric approaches, data-driven decision making and the ability to respond to an ever-changing market!
It’s no wonder that the industry continues to boom; with a UK growth rate of 7.2% between March 2022 and March 2023 we’ve drawn the conclusion that businesses need to stay on top of BizDev trends to ensure they can continue to hire top sales / BD talent!
The pandemic changed the “BD Game Rules” forever. Long gone are the days where you scroll through the database and start calling; according to Forbes the average sales professional should have “an average of 10 or more [sales] tools to deliver on pipeline targets.” How many tools does your sales team have at their disposal?
Examples include CRM System e.g., Salesforce, Zoho or HubSpot, Sales Engagement Platforms e.g., HubSpot or MailShake, Lead Gen & Prospecting Tools e.g., SalesLoft, Sales Analytics & Reporting e.g., HubSpot or Zoho, Predictive Analytics Tools e.g., SAP Analytics Cloud, Contract Management e.g., DocuSign or Adobe Sign, Sales Performance Management e.g., Zoho, Virtual Meeting and Comms Tools e.g., Zoom or Microsoft Teams, Sales Training & Onboarding Platforms e.g., Allego
(We promise this is not affiliate marketing BUT we do want to provide you with some examples of brands you may recognise!)
All the tools mentioned above must be considered in their own merit, taking into consideration their integration capabilities (many of the above examples provide more than one function and could be a 3 in 1 tool) and how user-friendly the tools are. Is business growth on your horizon? Each of these things will influence the tools you select.
Try before you buy & get the team involved too!
A few other things to consider…
Has your BD team got the right tech stack?
It’s not an easy choice, the options are endless, and your tech stack needs to change as your business develops. There doesn’t seem to be a right size fits all and of course, everyone selling their product claims it’s the best! Not to mention choosing the wrong tools could cost you huge amounts of money! So, how do you choose what works for you?
A brief definition of tech stack: a collection of tools, platforms, apps, and software that a company uses to build its products, carry out its business operations and monitor performance metrics.
Here’s a mini guide to help you choose the tech stack that works for you!
- Define Business Objectives – What are your goals, and current and predicted challenges? E.g., expanding market reach.
- Assess your requirements – Consider factors like scalability, security, integrations, user experience and data analytics. Create a list of essential features and functionalities your tech stack should address.
- Research & then research some more – Read case studies, look at what your competitors are doing (if possible), consult with experts and stay up to date with emerging trends and innovations.
- Compatibility & Integration – Your tech stack ideally needs to work well together. Data silos and inefficient communication can hinder productivity.
- User experience – prioritise tools that enhance user experience both internally and externally.
- Future proof – Select technologies that are adaptable to future innovations, and avoid anything that you fear may become obsolete.
- Budget – Investing is crucial but so is your bottom line. Invest wisely and where necessary gradually, always consider the initial costs and ongoing expenses. Look for open-source solutions and cloud-based options that offer cost savings and flexibility.
- Test – don’t take a product because the person selling it says it’s good! Test it for yourself, ask for a trial, and extend where necessary. You’ll need to see some proof it’s going to work before fully committing.
Harmonise the link between marketing and sales!
Do you have a separate sales and marketing department? Do you treat the two like allies in your business? Because we’re here to tell you that sales and marketing collaboration is the cornerstone of a successful business development strategy. The synergy between these two functions creates a powerful force for growth and when their efforts are aligned, sales and marketing teams can seamlessly bridge the gap between attracting potential customers and turning them into loyal clients.
Your sales teams are your eyes and ears on the ground, the frontline soldiers if you like. Your marketing department should be regularly tapping into the unique insights of your sales team. Can you regularly hear ongoing conversations around…
- Emerging marketing strategies
- New / improved targeted and effective campaigns that speak directly to your customers and clients’ needs and desires.
- Up-to-date and relevant content that will spark engagement, educate & inform your customer base.
Targeted campaigns, content creation and strategic outreach attract potential customers and nurture them through the sales funnel.
Brand familiarity or the ability to see and become familiar with brands influences 80% of customers to purchase something (https://nealschaffer.com/social-media-marketing-statistics/). Who does your branding? That’s right the marketing team! Lean on them, encourage monthly meetings between the sales and marketing heads / full team, whatever works for your business, because what doesn’t work is continuing to treat the two functions as separate entities.
First comes sales proposition, next comes direct selling….
The difference is simple: a sales value proposition is a tight statement that outlines the unique benefits and value your product and/or service offers to your target audience, sometimes before they even know they need you. Direct selling refers to the process whereby a sales team or individual engages with potential customers either face to face or via another method of communication e.g., telephone or email.
In a world full of choices what makes you different from your competitors? Why am I buying from you over someone else? Your sales proposition must answer these questions, you must tell your customers how you’re addressing their specific needs or pain points and emphasise your competitive edge. This method is a strategic messaging tool that will influence how your brand is perceived and ultimately guide the sales pitch.
The direct sale aims at directly building relationships and very importantly trust, addressing objections, and tailoring conversations. Ultimately, both are important for driving successful sales outcomes, but we believe you should be using the sales proposition to frame the conversation and direct selling to drive the conversation.
Lastly, never stop relying on the Kameo 3 T’s!
Trust: Trust is the foundation of any successful sales relationship. Be honest, transparent, and reliable.
Technology: We may have mentioned it once or twice, but on a serious note it’s coming for you, and you need to be using it. The technologies you invest in will be your tools for showcasing how good you are.
Tailored Approach: We’re all unique, so tailoring your sales approach to specific needs and preferences is crucial for success. Listen actively to pain points, goals, and challenges. Use your value proposition and direct sales techniques to hone in on them. Always customise your solutions because it demonstrates you genuinely care about their success which in turn increases your likelihood of a long-term relationship (assuming you want one!).
For Kameo News – https://kameorecruitment.com/news/
For Market Insights – https://kameorecruitment.com/market-insights/clients/