Before you are able to attract the right business development deals that best suit your organization, make sure you understand the company’s long-term strategic goals so you can build on and achieve opportunities that have the power to flourish and will make the most sense for every stakeholder involved.
In addition, clarifying the ideal target client—and your ability to solve their practical needs throughout a changing market—will make your efforts worthwhile and help your team close on sales sooner.
Below are 11 best practices from leading members of Forbes Business Development Council to help your brand continue to live up to its promise authentically while bridging the business-to-business gap to strengthen those relationships.
1. Clearly Articulate Your Goals, Vision And Mission
Many business owners make the mistake of focusing on business development efforts without first aligning their company goals. The first step is to understand your company’s goals when it comes to business development. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to increase sales by 20%? Do you want to expand into new markets? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can develop a plan for how best to achieve them. – Tim Kroggel, MessageBird
2. Develop A Plan To Achieve Your Goals
The first step is having an established vision, mission, company strategy and goals. Once those have been created, they need to be clearly communicated. Then the next step is to identify the gaps that need to be filled to achieve those goals. Finally, plan for who, what and how those gaps will be filled. – AJ Roberts, Kartra
3. Figure Out What The Job Entails
The first step is understanding the job to be done. Consumers don’t really buy products; they “hire” products to get the job done. When you can figure out what that job is, everything else becomes much clearer—including company goals and business development efforts. – Tara Kolakowski, Loop Media Inc.
4. Focus On Metrics, Measurements And Messaging
Siloes can be the Achilles heel of a business, and this is especially true when setting goals and objectives. Business development efforts should be developed in tandem with wider company goals, regularly driving meetings and communications with a focus on common metrics, measurements and messaging. This also helps establish confidence in the entire organization’s collective objectives. – Hayden Stafford, Seismic
5. Clarify Your Ideal Customer
The first step in aligning business development is to clarify the ideal customer who is most likely to buy and use your product. Defining your ideal customer profile (ICP) ensures that all of your go-to-market efforts are targeted to the right person so that sales can close more deals. Examples of an ICP include company size, global region and buyer title. – Nate Gilmore, PandaDoc
6. Create Quarterly Objectives With Measurable Targets
The key is to take the high-level goals and break them down into quarterly objectives with real measurable weekly and monthly targets. Transparency and constant communication with threads back to the overarching company goals are critical, as is regularly reviewing and resetting as needed. Finally, having good data around leading indicators is critical to know if you are on track to achieve company goals. – Jen Cole, Appen
7. Communicate Product Value And Purpose
It’s my personal belief that two-thirds of success is value capture. However, the key to business development processes starts at the beginning of the value creation or product design process. Famously, Amazon writes a press release first before it builds any product, stating who they are doing this for, the problem it solves, how it works and the value it creates. This holds everyone commercially honest. – Dean Curtis, ICIS
8. Inspire Your Team
There are three steps to drive any company-wide strategic initiative and goal. Understand and internalize the company’s goals and be able to translate those goals to the business development efforts that are needed to get there. Develop the ability to inspire the team and build purpose to accomplish the company’s goals. Set the aspired goals and drive your execution strategy to achieve them. – Bharath Yadla, Workato
9. Stick With Strategies That Facilitate Positive Decision Making
Business development efforts need to be the bridging initiatives to deliver the company’s strategic ambition. Prioritization is critical, not when just choosing which opportunities to pursue, but also which ones not to. Resources are limited, so avoid wasting them on shiny ideas not aligned with the long-term goals. Sticking to the strategy will facilitate decision making and stakeholders’ engagement. – Rosandra Silveira, Dell Technologies
10. Make Room For Innovation
Ideally, organic business development efforts should not be too far off from the company goals. If they are, then get back to the drawing board to find the root cause to fix that first. If they are reasonably aligned, ensure that your business development efforts and goals are not “lego-fitted,” which is an early indication of stalled growth. To summarize, they need to be reasonably aligned with room for innovation. – Sudeep Sarkar, Revature LLC
11. Offer Products And Services That Speak To Your Brand’s Promise
The first step in my view would be to understand in very specific terms the company goals in the short to long term. Define a pathway with the business development efforts, paying attention to the product or service offered by the company and the clear customer segments that you need to serve. Most importantly, the business development efforts must speak to the company’s brand promise. – Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka, MTN NIGERIA COMM PLC