3 Business Development Tips to Start 2018 Off Strong
It’s a new year. It’s a time to wear more layers for your commute, pay attention to the increasingly important NFL games, and ensure your business is set up for 2018.
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, a strong business development strategy is integral to success. I’ve compiled some business development tips to help you start your year off strong.
1) Focus on your core
While fitness might be one of your 2018 resolutions, I’m talking about a different kind of core. Focus on your core prospect base. Make sure you identify what kinds of clients fit into your core prospect base and then devote most of your time to nurturing these leads.
When you focus your sales efforts on these “sweet spot” prospects, you’ll find that your time is used more efficiently and you see more leads get further along the sales funnel. Don’t be afraid to eliminate irrelevant or unqualified leads from your workflow, as they take up too many unnecessary resources.
Plus, a prospect that falls within your core audience will likely become a core client. That improves client retention. Win-win.
2) Leverage your technology
Whether it is a lead prospecting tool, CRM system, or marketing automation software, make sure you’re actually using all the technology your business pays for. It’s so easy to forget about some tools or fail to maximize every tool’s capabilities.
A lack of resources—like time, funding, and staff—remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers. Tools can help fill in these resources gaps if you and your team make the most of them.
Identify areas of your sales process that are time-consuming or complex. Do research on different technologies that can help alleviate those issues. If you choose to invest in a tool, establish a friendly relationship with the technology’s customer support or relationship management staff. Don’t hesitate to reach out whenever you run into technical difficulties! The tools work for you.
3) Ask better questions
Once you’ve established your core prospect pool and made sure that you’re leveraging your technology, it’s time to reevaluate your question list. Whether you’re chatting with a prospect over the phone or heading into an in-person meeting, the questions you ask your prospects are integral to the conversation.
A new year is the perfect opportunity to freshen up your questions. Ask your business development team for feedback on how questions can be improved, if they have ideas for additions, and if there are any questions that could be phased out of your list.
Need some inspiration? We found some helpful tips from an unlikely source—and they’ve reignited our questioning efforts.
Remember that it’s not all about asking questions about budgets or traffic KPIs. Work with empathy, share knowledge, and make it clear that you’re there to listen and understand the prospect’s problems.
So, as you continue to freeze getting to work and your favorite football falls out of contention, look for some new ways to plan and execute better sales strategies in 2018.
Born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, Tim Wagner is an Illinois State University alum with a passion for sports, Goodfellas, and mid-century design (obviously.) His beard makes an appearance five months of the year.