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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Anatomy of New Business Development

The Anatomy of New Business Development

New business development is a cornerstone of sales success. Whether you’ve heard it described as a 5-step, 6-step, or even a 9-step process, the number of steps doesn’t matter as much as the quality of execution.

Let's break down the most critical steps to kickstart your new business journey: identifying great leads and securing that first meeting. If you can't master these, the rest of the process is moot.

Step 1: Identify Great Leads

In the quest for new business, it all starts with finding the right prospects. Gone are the days when you could just flip through the Yellow Pages and start calling the biggest advertisers. Today, a strategic approach is essential.

  • Focus Your Efforts: Rather than casting a wide net, hone in on a couple of categories or industries at a time. This focus allows you to gather relevant insights, understand industry-specific pain points, and tailor your approach accordingly.

  • Leverage Tools: Subscribing to lead generation tools like ZoomInfo or Seamless AI can significantly speed up your process. These platforms offer access to comprehensive data and contact information, making it easier to build a list of qualified prospects.

  • Be Strategic: Use available resources to find data on potential leads. Look at their business models, pain points, and recent news. This background knowledge will help you craft a more compelling outreach message.

How to Find New Sales Leads in a Difficult Market

Step 2: Get the Meeting

Once you’ve identified great leads, the next challenge is securing a meeting. This step is harder than ever but not impossible.

I remember the excitement of setting my first meeting via email back in 1997. It seemed so easy at the time. Fast forward to today, and the landscape has changed dramatically. Today, prospects have so many ways to ignore us. We have to find ways to stand out from the crowd and get their attention.

  • What’s in It for Them?: Always approach from the perspective of what you can do for them. Highlight the potential benefits and solutions you can provide. Make it clear why meeting with you is worth their time.

  • Persistence Pays Off: Getting a meeting requires creativity, intelligence, and persistence. We use a process called the "Don't Give Up" plan. This involves making nine touchpoints over about three weeks, using various channels like email, phone calls, and even social media. Each outreach should offer a strong, valid business reason for why the prospect should meet with you.

  • Be Ready to Pivot: Not every prospect will respond to your first approach. Be ready to adjust your strategy based on the feedback you receive. Flexibility and adaptability are key.

The Bottom Line

If you master these first two steps, you’re on your way to a steady stream of new business. Identify great leads with precision and secure meetings with persistence and creativity. Do this consistently, and you won't have to worry about hitting your targets ever again.

New business development doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By focusing on these foundational steps, you’ll find that the rest of the sales process becomes much more manageable.

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Topics: business development increasing new business