This is the time of year when prognosticators are predicting what will be nouveau and cool, or nouveau and harsh, in 2011. While I have some predictions of my own, I would rather write about what I know won’t change next year. The Whale Hunters promotes a business development strategy focused on continually increasing the size of an average deal and the size of a typical customer. Here’s what you can count on to move that agenda forward for your company:
Market Knowledge Markets have changed during the recession. Be sure you know who your competitors are today (not a year ago), what they are going after, and how they are positioning. What are they promising to their customers?
Teamwork Big companies buy from an orchestrated team of buyers, not from a rock star salesperson. Before they commit, they need to know who in your company will oversee and who will provide the delivery of your services to them. You can gain a clear advantage over larger competitors if you work at preparing your subject matter experts to be part of your customer-facing sales process.
Prospect Research Many big companies have cut costs and hoarded cash over the past couple of years. But they can’t do that forever and expect to be successful. They are loosening the belt and preparing to buy products and services to help them emerge strong from the recession. As always, you need to know what a particular company intends to accomplish and how it is positioning now (rather than yesterday). Put your scouts back to work looking at what the whales are doing.
Presentation In a highly competitive sales environment, how your company presents itself is critically important. There is one rule to create a winning presentation: it’s not about YOU. Whether in person or in a written or video format, your presentations must be all about the customer’s needs, expectations, and outcomes. If you convince them that you know what they want to achieve, they will believe that you know how.
Delivery Ultimately, business development is not about sales–it’s about customer satisfaction. It’s easy to have growing pains when you bring larger cutomers and deals on board. You need to continually improve your team’s desire to provide excellent service and their processes, tools, and techniques to ensure that excellence.
We offer tools, training, and support for these core principles of business development. I invite you to visit our website to see what we have to offer.