Tips For More Sales and Business Development

Are you a good selling or business development professional? What distinguishes you from the remainder of the pack?

With over 27 years of experience working with those that develop business and sell for a living I find the following characteristics:

1- Those that seek relationships not a commission check

2- Do not procrastinate, using the hours in the day wisely to be with prospective and current clients

3- Do not waste “windshield time” on wasteful things or nothing

4- Reads voraciously to understand competitive intelligence that aids the client

5- Establishes a strategic account profile to understand prospective client opportunities and limitations

6- Knows the economic buyer in their accounts and does not waste time with gatekeepers

7- Think strategically not tactically to engage buyers

8- Learning the client’s business and discovering methods to assist them now and in the future

9- Prepare provocative questions that engage and enlighten

10-Knows when to listen and when to speak

11-Networks constantly to meet new buyers

12-Engages a sales process

13-Creates emotion and has a passion for the sales process

14-Believes in what they are selling

15-Nurtures relationships with proper customer service, returning all calls and emails in a timely manner

16-Uses and respects the relevance of CRM reporting useful data to upper management

17-Understands the importance of customer to customer influences on account management

18-Thinks in terms of client outcomes, not units sold

19-Dresses professionally and is ready to engage with every client

20-Has poise and flexibility to engage gatekeeper and buyer ethically

Use the following as a checklist for your selling professionals if you are a manager or for you personally if you sell for a living. Check back periodically to determine methods to make you a more effective seller to alleviate time and develop more business.

©2010. Drew Stevens PhD. All Rights Reserved.

Why Many Business Development Titles Create Motion and Activity With No Progress and Results

The title of business development adorns many of those 3″ x 2-1/2″ paper documents passed out at all those business networking events from chamber of commerce meetings to ribbon cuttings to open houses to more formal meetings. Yet what does this title really mean and more importantly what are the results from these 2 simple words?

First, what does the word business really mean? Webster’s New World Dictionary refers the reader to the Anglo Saxon word of bisignes and to look up the word busy. The first definition of this word, “busy,” means active at work.

Now the word development comes from the word develop which has Latin and Old French origins. This word means to wrap apart. Looking at the first definition it means to cause to become gradually fuller, larger, better, etc.

From these two words, it is a plain as apple pie that everyone in every organization wears this title whether it is written on the calling card or not. From the dock workers, to the front line supervisors, to the receptionist to anyone at the C-Suite level, all are in roles to be busy and with the goal to become larger or better.

Titles should be more specific to each employee’s job responsibility. For example, there exist some people within the organization whose major role is to be extra busy and to expand growth specifically through this one goal – increase sales. These individuals are called salespersons. Other specific roles include customer service representative, human resource specialist to shipping manager. Again business development is presumed within each of these titles. What is not presumed is their unique role within the organization and how that role helps to achieve a specific goal necessary to keep the firm leading forward or productive.

So if your business or organization wishes to experience revenue growth, then make sure that the title reflects the specific role of that person. By taking this action, you will increase sales and provide the opportunity for everyone to share in even greater results.

Remember it is easy enough to confuse motion with progress and activity with results. The title whatever it is should not add to that confusion.

Business Development For Small Enterprises

With anything that you do, it’s important to establish a clear plan of action in order to assure a higher probability of success. The same rule applies to small businesses. Many enterprises have folded in less than five years because they did not start with a clear-cut plan that defines what they want to achieve. Operations suffered because the whole organization was not well-informed on what it is exactly they should be doing.” Without a proper business development plan, you might as well be running your business blindly, which could be fatal to your investment.

The winning edge

During the conception of the type of business that you wish to open, you will want to start with a clear definition of what it is exactly that you intend to offer your potential customers. For instance, if you want to open a bookshop, it’s not enough that you have a basic overview of your operations – i.e. that you sell books and other similar supplies. You will need to provide a more specific definition of your business, identify your winning edge. What will set your small business apart from all other similar shops in the area? Surely, there are a number of bookstores in your locality so you will want to provide your potential consumers something new, something that hasn’t been offered yet. Your business development strategy should be able to identify all that.

Research

The role of research as a stable base for business development plans for small businesses. Even small businesses should be run with proper information regarding the type of niche market they intend to tap into. Before you decide to offer certain services, you will want to learn more about the market that you will be working with. You need to know more about their different quirks, what they look for in certain products and services and how they react to new ideas.Contrary to popular belief, the benefits of business development are not only limited to large-scale corporations. Even SMEs (small-medium enterprises) can stand to achieve more if they have a clear-cut plan to back them up. Companies such as International Business Development offer specialized services that are geared towards helping startup enterprises device a plan that will catapult their businesses to success.

Contingency plans

A business development plan not only specifies the goals and objectives of a company. Tthis plan can also serve to provide specific contingency measures. Everyone knows how the market can be unstable. Several different changes can happen and these conditions can either hinder your company’s growth or enhance it. The idea is to have a specific strategy on hand that is capable of foreseeing certain possibilities and providing an action plan that will address these potential road blocks or opportunities, as the case applies.

Finally, the importance of staying as faithful to your business development plan as possible. Throughout the life of your business, there will be instances when you may have to deviate from the strategy you have established. The most important part that you need to keep in mind is that you need to still keep yourself informed of what your goals are.

Business Development Ideas For Small IT Business

Information technology is not meant for small business. This is the biggest misperception hovering around the IT stream. Instead, information technology is one domain that has many opportunities for all. IT not only offers you a wide variety of jobs to opt from, but is also a small business destination. The workloads are tremendous, and you should try venturing into this steam only if you are willing to work continuous sleepless nights. Getting work is not difficult, but delivering within the restricted time frames and still maintaining the output quality is what takes the toll. Another important characteristic of this business is the multi requirement. You alone with a specific skill set might not be able to satisfy all requirements, but a perfect team with a coalition of different specializations is necessary to expand. So, before advertising or planning for mass business development, ensure that you have the right personnel associated with you. Recruitment agencies could be handy or you can refer to your own educational institute’s student list for such reference names and contacts.

To grow your small business, it is important to make the target segment aware of your presence. This can be best done by procuring a few speaking slots in important conferences and sessions related to your field. You can also advertise in a few selected journals and directories in your domain; however, be cautious of your budget. Do not overspend unless you’ve roped in a few fixed clients.

Develop a website and use other online strategies such as search engine optimization to boost your presence. This suits your stream; your target customers are well educated and can be easily reached through the World Wide Web.

Another important way to get your break is by getting associated with professional consultants or AMCs (annual maintenance contractors). These people are generally looked to for technical advice. They can certainly refer you to their clients for a small mark-up fee. Another network where you need an entry to be among the chosen IT service providers is the company’s purchasing department. Look for informal referrals in this group and couple it with your professional networking. Send them your brochures and provide as many dummy runs through the offerings as possible. If they are impressed, half of the job is done.

Business development in the IT domain is not very difficult, especially if you can offer the right portfolio. So, emphasize as much as possible on your product and follow the mentioned guidelines to create the desired impact. Choose the path that is subtler, as immediate steps in this direction could mean enormous spending that might not be viable at initial stages.