The Steps in the Business Development Process

the steps in the business development process

The Key Steps in the Business Development Process

The business development process also commonly referred to as the business development strategy is crucial for both long term growth and profitability. Without a solid process in place, companies may struggle to identify new business opportunities ranging from the potential of a new market to product development initiatives.

A good business development process also assists with everything from customer service to sales process improvements. In fact, a business development process benefits all companies whether a small business or large corporation.

7 steps that companies can take in order to form and sustain a good business development process include-

1. Budget Formulation

Creating and maintaining a business development strategy requires substantial financial and labor investments. The budget established specifically for business development process initiatives will vary greatly depending on a variety of factors including human resources and cash reserves available.

If any development process was used in the past, business developers must make sure it is analyzed before the new budget is formulated. Budgeting initiatives should include participants from various teams involved in the business development strategy such as human resource professionals and sales team representatives.

An experienced development manager or business developer professional can greatly assist with the formulation and maintenance of a realistic budget.

2. Establishing SMART Goals

SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. SMART goals are any business goals that meet the criteria defined within the acronym.

Utilizing SMART goals can help guide business improvements and developments. Development goals that satisfy the SMART criteria assist businesses in avoiding the establishment of objectives that are too generalized or nonsensical.

3. Undertaking SWOT Analysis

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SWOT is another commonly used acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT analysis can be applied to specific business development goals in order to judge their efficiency and effectiveness.

SMART goals and SWOT analysis techniques work together to identify potential process improvements and secure a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

4. Measuring Progress

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Measuring business development strategy success is heavily influenced by both SMART goals and SWOT analysis. Both SMART goals and SWOT analysis results should be considered when crafting KPIs.

Key performance indicators, generally abbreviated as KPIs, are very useful for measuring business development process performance and progress. Established KPIs can cover development goals ranging from lead generation times to social media reach.

5. Drafting Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a tool commonly used in the sales process that is also useful for the development process. A great elevator pitch should be around 30 seconds long and include pertinent information from a company's business plan and long term objectives.

A successful business elevator pitch should be customer focused, providing a detailed explanation to potential clients why it makes sense for them to chose the specific products or services that are being offered. Case studies and customer service testimonials may be integrated appropriately into the elevator speech to boost validity and efficacy.

As the two work together closely, both business development representatives and sales representatives must be provided with any established elevator pitches. The elevator pitches that result in optimal business success through lead generation and increased sales should be primarily utilized.

6. Targeting Audiences

The business development process should focus on target markets and clients. Unfortunately, it is easy for employees who are not experienced business developer professionals to lose their focus on customers during the business development process.

Whether development goals or an elevator pitch, a good business development strategy is centered on customer needs and wants. Likewise, all business planning and decision making initiatives should be customer service oriented.

7. Outreach Strategy Creation

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An objective of a good business outreach strategy is to locate and secure any new market opportunities. Both business development representatives and sales team representatives must be aware of the outreach strategy in order to actively work towards it.

Commonly utilized outreach strategy techniques include networking, advertisements, referrals, sponsorships, upselling, and cross selling. An outreach strategy should change over time and should be reevaluated for its efficiency especially when releasing a new product or when a new market is entered.

The outreach strategy that a corporation uses greatly influences business growth and lead generation potential. With an increasingly competitive global market, outreach strategies are becoming more important than ever before.

A high level outreach strategy can include a combination of various methods, ranging from new product upselling during the sales process to social media advertising campaigns crafted by the content marketing team.

Key Takeaways

  • A business development process is crucial for identifying new opportunities and markets.
  • Steps for a business development process range from budget formulation to outreach strategy creation.