New Business Development is a Process You Have to Follow

Every company has peaks and troughs. Some periods are intensely busy and strong in terms of new business and others are slower. Inevitably, during quiet times, we look at what we were doing in our business development efforts and try to evaluate what we could do differently to drive lead generation.
When, in the past, we’ve evaluated the best approach for our business, we concluded that, whilst we weren’t doing everything and using every channel, no small business can afford to throw marketing funds at every opportunity that comes along. Business owners can’t spread themselves too thinly when it comes to lead generation. We decided that we had to be focused and that the crucial thing was to follow a process and to be faithful to that process.

The bulk of our new business comes from referrals, networking, past clients, via our website, delivering content such as this blog and through our own targeted telemarketing.

We had more prospects in our sales pipeline than we’d ever had before. However, they weren’t reaching the finishing line… We just couldn’t convert. We looked at the problem and decided that short of throwing discounts at the companies, there was little we could do to impact their decisions. Since we value our service, we decided that it was simply a game of numbers. So we rejected that notion. Our pipeline was strong with good prospects and plenty of them. Therefore, we decided to trust the process. That process consisted of continuing to pursue our new business strategy focusing on value not price.

Lo and behold, the following period saw some of the most productive results we’ve ever had. 5 new clients agreed to work with us pretty quickly and our pipeline solidified since we didn’t come across as desperate. What changed? In reality, nothing! It was simply timing and making sure that the sales lead pipeline was strong to start with. You can’t convert prospects into customers if you have no prospects and you won’t convert every prospect. All we did was to follow up religiously when agreed and we didn’t give up. Two of the new clients had been prospects for nearly 3 years! But the timing was finally right for them.

There are many ways to develop new business. Small businesses have limited time and budget. However, our tips for new business development are as follows:

  1. Decide on the methods you will use to develop new business that fit your company in terms of time and resource
  2. Make sure those methods fit the target market you want to reach
  3. Make sure you follow a new business development process. This means following up religiously
  4. Build up a robust pipeline. Sadly, it is still a numbers game and the more valid prospects in your sales pipeline, the more will turn into clients
  5. Allocate time each and every day to new business development. That could be new prospect calls, prospect follow ups, calls to past clients, emails, content development for your website or any other one of your chosen routes.
  6. Adapt the methods and process if it isn’t working but don’t drop things simply because you want to change. Analyse and allocate a value to what you’re doing and to the sales lead pipeline you have. One of our clients gained a £250k client from our telemarketing in month 7. What would have happened if he’d stopped in month 6?
If you’d like to find out how GSA Business Development can help Generate Growth for your Business or book one of our new business development and marketing strategy workshops, contact us now on 0845 658 8192

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