Business development is the key to long term sustainability and consistent profitability of a company. Without adequate business development, a company would undergo periods of stagnancy and that creates the foundation for failure. A company would never be able to retain all its existing clients and depending on the type of products or services, repeat purchases and new clients would be the quintessential factors for business viability. Any company would need to acquire new clients. Generating more leads and increasing sales is the only way to ensure long term success of a company.
There are various ways to approach business development. Traditional lead generation techniques, various sales strategies and a consolidation of clientele by focusing on retaining existing clients form the bedrock of success. Traditional lead generation techniques include everything from surveys to telemarketing, email subscribers to running promotions or offering freebies to generate interest. Sales strategies can include cold calling, direct sales, online sales and sales through channel partners or network of franchises. Not every strategy would be applicable in every business. As a business owner or manager, you would have to determine what type of strategy would be relevant in your niche and accordingly work on it.
Business development strategies can be as myriad as lead generation and sales but there is one particular concept that works wonders. As a business, you need to partner with other businesses to get access to a larger audience. The objective of lead generation isn’t just to acquire details of random people. The more specific objective is to acquire details of prospective customers. That puts the focus on the qualifying factors. A company needs warm or hot leads and not random data of people who are nowhere in the buying cycle.
Partnering with similar and dissimilar companies will allow any business to grow. There would be new qualified leads that can be easily converted to sales. Retaining such clients would also be easier as there are a few benefits for the clients as well.
Let us illustrate how a company can partner with other businesses for business development.
- Check a desktop if you have one nearby or check your laptop. Chances are high that you would spot an Intel processor regardless of the brand of computer you have. Intel partners with all major computer and laptop makers in the world. AMD does so too. So does the likes of Asus and Western Digital. These companies make components which are integral to the larger products; which is a desktop, laptop or even a tablet. Intel doesn’t make full fledged computers but it has remained the undisputed champion in processors and various other technologies. By partnering with numerous manufacturers in the world, most of whom are brands in their own right, Intel has a market share that can be matched by none other. In this kind of business development strategy, which has actually been a modus operandi, Intel manages to steer ahead of everyone and keep its dominance by the virtue of other companies that use its technology. In other words, what we are talking about is tying up with a business that needs what you sell or offer and then through that business and its success you can script your growth story. Companies that make products and services related to one another or even dependent on one another often become partners and they grow collectively by using both their prowess.
- Another approach to business development using the same concept of partnering with other businesses is cross selling. You have a database or clientele and another company will also have a certain clientele that can be called a target audience for your products or services. Your clientele may be in need of a certain product that the other company makes, but you don’t. The other company’s clients may need the product you make or service you offer which they don’t get from that company. You enter into a partnership where your company opens up the database for the other company and they make their clientele accessible to you. It is quite common to not actually open up the clientele but to sell the products and services through one’s own brand, thus consolidating a clientele or database further by offering more products or services. This is a smart way of utilizing what one has, the clientele, and a product or service that another company is good at for mutual benefit.
The reason why these two business development strategies work so well is because these are mutually beneficial, no one loses or does anything in addition to what they are doing and capitalizing on existing strengths is always a sound business strategy. A company can even have a modus operandi of running its business using these two business development strategies. The best thing about this business development strategy is that there is little chance of failure. Results, as in more leads and sales, are almost certain with such approaches.