Business development (BD) is the process of identifying, qualifying, and developing potential new customers.
It is a critical part of any sales team's strategy, as it helps to ensure that there is a steady pipeline of leads to nurture and convert into paying customers.
There are a number of different business development tactics that sales teams can use, depending on their industry, target market, and sales process. Here are some of the most common and effective tactics.
Business Development Tactics
- Networking: Networking is a great way to meet potential new customers and learn about their needs. Sales reps can network at industry events, trade shows, and online forums.
- Outreach: Sales reps can also reach out to potential new customers directly through email, phone calls, or social media. When doing outreach, it is important to be personalized and relevant.
- Content marketing: Content marketing is a great way to attract and engage potential new customers. Sales reps can create and share blog posts, infographics, videos, and other types of content that are relevant to their target market.
- Partnerships: Partnering with other businesses in your industry can be a great way to reach a new audience and generate leads. For example, you could partner with a complementary business to offer a joint webinar or white paper.
- Referrals: Referrals are one of the best ways to generate new leads. Sales reps should encourage their existing customers to refer them to their friends and colleagues.
In addition to these general tactics, there are also several industry-specific business development tactics that sales teams can use. For example, sales reps in the software industry might attend industry conferences, give demos, or write guest blog posts for industry publications.
Effectiveness of Business Development Tactics
Here are some current data and sources on the effectiveness of different business development tactics:
- A study by LinkedIn found that 80% of B2B buyers start their purchase process with a referral.
- A study by HubSpot found that 73% of leads generated through content marketing convert into customers, compared to only 13% of leads generated through other channels.
- A study by Sales Hacker found that 60% of sales reps say that networking is their most effective lead generation tactic.
To be effective, sales teams should develop a comprehensive business development strategy that includes a mix of different tactics. The best strategy will vary depending on the industry, target market, and sales process. However, the tactics listed above are a good starting point for any sales team.
Tips for Developing a Business Development Strategy
- Set clear goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your business development efforts? Once you know your goals, you can develop a plan to achieve them.
- Identify your target market. Who are you trying to reach with your business development efforts? Once you know your target market, you can tailor your messaging and tactics accordingly.
- Develop a sales process. Your sales process should outline the steps that your sales reps will take to identify, qualify, and close leads.
- Use CRM software. CRM software can help you to track your sales pipeline, manage your leads, and measure your results.
- Invest in sales training. Providing your sales reps with the right training will help them to be more effective in their business development efforts.
By following these tips, sales teams can develop a business development strategy that will help them to generate more leads and close more deals.