You have the idea, you’ve got the staff, and you’ve realized the vision for starting, pivoting, or growing your business. You’re ready to jump in – but you don’t know where to start. Is there one right way to build your business development for this new venture?
While there may not be one right way, there are right steps. Each business has its unique needs, but regardless of size, industry, or history, you need to start with the right foundation and build from there when marketing a new product or service.
I’ve worked with countless CEOs, CMOs, CBDOs, and other C-suite executives who are breaking into a new market. Let’s look at the first two steps that guided them to build a successful new business development operation.
Step one: Set the Foundation with Data and Systems
Successful sales teams are built on a solid foundation. You need to start with the right tools to empower your team to scale the businesses over the long run. If you skip this step and run too fast, you can find yourself wasting time and money.
Core tools to a successful sales infrastructure include a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) and Marketing Automation. As you gain traction, you’ll need to grow your tech stack, but these two are essential to your foundation.
Along with these tools, you need a reliable database to feed these systems and gain the critical insights essential to growing your development operations.
- Start by implementing a CRM system to manage the sales process. Record every conversation, email, opportunity, and KPI into your CRM. If it’s not in the CRM system, it never happened. Especially in an enterprise selling environment when you’re working thousands of leads with sales cycles ranging from six to twenty-four months, your CRM is the only way you can stay organized. It’s difficult enough to remember every conversation from last week, much less last year.
- Next, integrate a sound marketing automation system. With marketing automation, you can gain visibility into who’s interacting with your website, content, emails, landing pages, and social networks. Gone are the days of relying on a form fill or IP address to see prospect data.
Use marketing automation to arm your marketing team with data on which messages resonate with which buyer personas. Though marketing automation software doesn’t do the selling, it arms you with essential information to increase your team’s conversation, click-through, and conversion rates.
- After systems are implemented, you need to fuel the engine with data. There is no easier way to burn time and money than with bad data. It happens in too many database audits I’ve seen: old, outdated data with bad or duplicate information. Business development is hard enough, add in calling prospects that don’t exist and emails bouncing or reaching the wrong contacts, and you’re setting your team up to fail. There’s nothing like a good data provider to get you the fuel you need.
Step 2: Build Awareness with Market Intelligence
Before you invest heavily into your sales team, gather as much market intelligence as possible. Too many startups think they know which direction to run, only to find out twelve months later they were running the wrong way. Executing a digital content marketing campaign or research campaign with marketing automation provides great insights into your target market.
Get to know your target market and build awareness by:
- Getting to know your target buyer personas through marketing automation data
- Leveraging market research to build your database with marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
- Testing segmented messaging and identifying what resonates with your target buyer personas
- Building brand awareness with targeted outreach campaigns
- Improving lead scoring with data from your CRM and marketing automation
Scale Your Business Effectively with the Experts at NuGrowth
An effective business development program starts with these two foundational steps, and how you implement these first stages has a significant impact on your business’s future.
If you’re struggling with identifying quality tools, unsure how to implement systems, or suspect about your data’s integrity, it’s time to call in the experts to ensure you set yourself up right.
At NuGrowth, we have the tools, training, and time in the industry you need to start on the right foot. Our sophisticated tracking, results-driven messaging, and honed database auditing and management skills are proven to help any business build a foundation they can rely on for success.
Jeff Tillar is Director of Business Development for NuGrowth Solutions, serving as an inside sales rep, account executive, and sales coach since starting with NuGrowth in 2007. His role as a sales coach allowed him to be a mentor and teach NuGrowth sales methodologies. With over 20 years’ sales experience, Jeff is a seasoned professional specializing in enterprise sales and has experience selling software, real estate, medical supplies, advertising, digital marketing, and professional services.