Business development in the Digital Era requires organizations to adopt new strategies and tactics to adapt to opportunities and challenges created by the increasing use and constant evolution of social and digital technologies. It’s harder to get buyers on the phone, and to get them to listen to a pitch, either on the phone or in person. Many prefer to be in charge of the acquisition process by doing their own research online and only interacting with potential vendors and service providers that they think offer viable solutions to their problems (when they’re ready, and on their terms).
On the other hand, websites, internet advertising, and social media platforms offer sellers many more opportunities to share their products, services, expertise, and differentiated value with larger and more diverse audiences. They also – crucially – allow sellers to gather competitive intelligence and benchmark best practices against their peers, in addition to identifying prospective buyers and new revenue-generating opportunities.
Online demos and meetings, as well as mobile devices (notably tablets), produce more opportunities to leverage new technologies to pursue revenue goals. With them, as well as interactive presentation decks, sales conversations can move from seller-directed, pitchy monologues to buyer-directed, seller-responsive dialogues.
The choices are plentiful – and potentially overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to begin, how to prioritize, how and where to engage, etc. We can help. Key to our approach is the idea that traditional marketing practices, especially those applied in consumer-oriented firms, are not the best ways to develop new opportunities in business-to-business enterprises that are more relationship driven and/or operate with a longer selling cycle, higher price points, lower volumes, and more complex transactions.
Rather than simply trying to develop and implement marketing and selling tactics – which involves a lot of (often ineffective) one-way communication – we emphasize approaches focused on relationship building and business development. These approaches involve listening as much as talking (if not more), as well as a responsiveness that balances the needs and objectives of both buyers and sellers.
Services and Fees
Working with your team, as well as external vendors and service providers, we will help you develop a viable strategy and tactics to enhance your ability to pursue business development objectives more efficiently and effectively by:
- Reviewing and optimizing your digital brand identity
- Determining how to leverage social media channels to “listen” to industry leaders, competitors, and customers
- Updating the tools used for client relationship management to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness
- Developing new approaches to prospecting and sales conversations that optimize the use of new hardware and software options
- Revising collateral materials to work in both print and digital media
- Identifying new methods for conveying expertise and differentiated value to a broader digital audience
Our Business Development services are customized for each client depending on their starting point, goals and objectives, and the availability and skill levels of both internal and external resources. If we have already conducted a Digital Engagement Audit, and/or provided Strategic and Tactical Guidance services, the outcomes of those efforts will serve as the starting point and will reduce the scope and length of the project.
For clients that use external service providers for website design/management, marketing, and/or communications, we can provide project management services to coordinate activities and ensure all changes are well integrated and optimized.
Fees are usually specified as fixed rates based on the scope and complexity of the project. Retainers are also available for periodic reviews and ongoing advice and counsel. Travel reimbursement is expected for out-of-town engagements; however, most services can be provided remotely.
This service can be provided independently or in conjunction with our Digital Optimization services.