Business Development Strategy: A High-Growth Approach | Hinge Marketing


what is a business development plan

Jan 23,  · A Business Development Plan is a document that outlines how you implement your business development strategy. It can be a plan for an individual, a practice or the firm as a whole. Its scope covers both the marketing and sales functions, as . Nov 01,  · A winning business development plan is both scalable and adaptable. Here are the 7 elements of a business development plan that creates long-term value for your business. A business development plan is a kind of a plan that is made by companies or start-up business entities to keep aa constant and also, develop their business plan in a way that it can scale new heights. This sort of plan can be successful for any small, medium and big companies all around the world. Business Development Plan Template.

The 7 Essential Elements Of A Winning Business Development Plan

By Lee Frederiksen, Ph. January 23, Your business development strategy can be key to the success or failure of your firm. Business development BD is the process that is used to identify, nurture and acquire new clients and business opportunities to drive growth and profitability. A business development strategy is a document that describes the strategy you will use to accomplish that goal. The scope of business development can be wide ranging and vary a lot from organization to organization.

Consider the model of how professional services organizations get new business shown in Figure 1. The first two stages of the model, Attracting Prospects and Build Engagement, are traditional marketing functions. The final stage, Turning Opportunities into Clients, is a traditional sales function.

In the traditional role, business development would be looking for new channels of distribution or marketing partners. But roles are changing and naming conventions evolve. I know, it can be confusing. Marketing is the process of determining which products and services you will offer to which target audiences, at what price.

The result of all this activity should be an increasing awareness of your firm among your target audience — and a stronger flow of qualified leads and opportunities. Historically, business development has been a subset of the marketing function that was focused on acquiring new marketing or distribution relationships and channels. While this role still exists in many companies, the business development title has become interchangeable with many marketing and sales functions.

Sales is the task of converting leads or opportunities into new clients. Business development is a broader term that encompasses many activities beyond the sales function. And while there is what is a business development plan overlap, most traditional BD roles are only lightly involved in closing new clients. Business development is often confused with sales. This is not too surprising because many people who are clearly in sales have taken to using the title of Business Developer.

Presumably this is done because the organization believes that the BD designation avoids some possible stigma associated with sales. Nowhere is this practice more prevalent than in professional services.

Since so many clients want to meet and get to know the professionals they will be working with, the Seller-doer role is well established in many firms. The preference for Seller-doers also tends to discourage firms from fielding a full-time sales force.

In the professional services context, these folks are often involved in lead generation and qualification, as well as supporting the Seller-doers in their efforts to close new clients.

In other organizational contexts, this role might be thought of as a sales support role. It is this expanded role, where business development encompasses the full range of lead generation, nurturing and sales tasks, which we will concentrate on in this post.

Deciding which strategies to employ to develop new business is actually a high stakes decision. A good strategy, well implemented, can drive high levels of growth and profitability.

A faulty strategy can stymie growth and frustrate valuable talent. Yet many firms falter at this critical step. Networking is probably the most universally used business development strategy.

It certainly is true that many relationships do develop in that way, what is a business development plan. And if you are networking with your target audience, you can develop new business. But there are limitations. It can be very expensive, if you consider travel and time away from the office.

Newer digital networking techniques can help on the cost and time front. But even social media requires an investment of time and attention. The close relative of networking, referrals are often seen as the what is a business development plan that turns networking and client satisfaction into new business.

You establish a relationship, and that person refers new business to you. Satisfied clients do the same. Clearly, referrals do happen, and many firms get most or all of their business from them. But referrals are passive. They rely on your clients and contacts to identify good prospects for your services and what is a business development plan a referral at the right time.

The problem is referral sources often do not know the full range of how you can help a client. So many referrals are poorly matched to your capabilities. Other well-matched referrals go unmade because your referral source fails to recognize a great prospect when they see one.

Finally, many prospects that might be good clients rule out your firm before even talking with you. Importantly, there are new digital strategies that can accelerate referrals. Making your specific expertise more visible is the key. This allows people to make better referrals and increases your referral base beyond what is a business development plan and a few business contacts.

Can you develop new business directly by sponsoring events and advertising? It would solve a lot of problems if it works. No more trying to get time from fully utilized billable professionals.

Unfortunately, the results on this front are not very encouraging. Studies have shown that traditional advertising is actually associated with slower growth. Only when advertising is combined with other techniques, such as speaking at an event, do these techniques bear fruit.

The most promising advertising strategy seems to be well-targeted digital advertising. This allows firms to get their messages and offers in front of the right people what is a business development plan a lower cost. Professional services firms have been using phone calls and mail to directly target potential clients for decades, what is a business development plan.

Target the right firms and roles with a relevant message and you would expect to find new opportunities that can be developed into clients, what is a business development plan. There are a couple of key challenges with these strategies. First they are relatively expensive, what is a business development plan they need to be just right to be effective.

The key is to have a very appealing offer delivered to a very qualified and responsive list, what is a business development plan. Here, the strategy is to make your expertise visible to potential buyers and referral sources.

This is accomplished through writing, speaking or publishing content that demonstrates your expertise and how it can be applied to solve client problems. Books, articles and speaking engagements have long been staples of professional services business development strategy. Many high visibility experts have built their practices and firms upon this strategy.

It often takes a good part of a career to execute this approach. But changing times and technology have reshaped this strategy. With the onset of digital communication it is now easier and much faster to establish your expertise with a target market.

Search engines have leveled the playing field so that relatively unknown individuals and firms can become known even outside their physical region.

Add in video and social media and the budding expert can access a vastly expanded marketplace. But these developments also open firms to much greater competition as well. You may find yourself competing with specialists whom you were never aware of. The impact is to raise the stakes on your business development strategy. It is common to combine different business development strategies. For example, networking and referrals are frequently used together.

And on one level, a combined strategy makes perfect sense. The strength of one strategy can shore up the weakness of another. But what is a business development plan is a hidden danger. For a strategy to perform at its peak, it must be fully implemented, what is a business development plan.

There is a danger that by attempting to execute too many different strategies you will never completely implement any of them. Good intentions, no matter how ambitious, are of little real business development value.

Under-investment, lack of follow through and inconsistent effort are the bane of effective business development. It is far more effective to fully implement a simple strategy than to dabble in a complex one. Fewer elements, competently implemented, produce better results. Next, we turn our attention to the tactics used to implement a high-level strategy. But first there is a bit of confusion to clear up. The line between strategy and tactics is not always clear.

For example, you can think of networking as an overall business development strategy or as a tactic to enhance the impact of a thought leadership strategy. Confusing to be sure. From our perspective, the distinction is around focus and intent.

If networking is your business development strategy all your focus should be on making the networking more effective and efficient. You will select tactics that are aimed at what is a business development plan networking more powerful or easier, what is a business development plan. You may try out another marketing technique and drop it if it does not help you implement your networking strategy, what is a business development plan.

On the other hand, if networking is simply one of many tactics, your decision to use it will depend on whether it supports your larger strategy. Tactics and techniques can be tested and easily changed.


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what is a business development plan


Business Development Strategies is essentially a marketing function, though it involves some minor sales skills like negotiation. Typical goals of business development strategies include market expansion, brand projection, new client acquisition, general awareness about brand, etc. A business development strategy plan mainly focuses on the identification of the business development strategy that the company can use. If an appropriate and effective business development strategy will be associated with the action plans of the business, there will be higher chances of corporate growth, sales improvement, operational. Nov 01,  · A winning business development plan is both scalable and adaptable. Here are the 7 elements of a business development plan that creates long-term value for your business.