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Business development for dummies



Business Development

by Anna Kennedy


Business Development For Dummies®
Published by: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, www.wiley.com
This edition first published 2015
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Contents at a Glance
Introduction................................................................. 1
Part I: Getting Started with Business Development.......... 5
Chapter 1: Introducing Business Development for Services Firms.............................. 7
Chapter 2: Finding Damaging Gaps in Your Business Development.......................... 19
Chapter 3: Diving Inside Your Customer’s Head.......................................................... 33
Chapter 4: Using the Lifecycle to Your Advantage....................................................... 51

Part II: Planning for Business Development.................. 71
Chapter 5: Getting Ready for Business Development.................................................. 73
Chapter 6: Building Your Business Development Plan................................................ 97
Chapter 7: Putting Your Plan into Action.................................................................... 115

Part III: Making the Most of Marketing...................... 135
Chapter 8: Appreciating the Benefits of Marketing for Your Business.................... 137
Chapter 9: Driving Sales Success with Effective Marketing...................................... 157
Chapter 10: Creating Your Marketing Plan.................................................................. 175
Chapter 11: Automating Marketing – More Leads with Less Effort.......................... 199


Chapter 12: Forming a Winning Team: Marketing and Sales Cohesion................... 221

Part IV: Seeing What Sales Can Do for You................. 235
Chapter 13: Becoming the Leader of the (Sales) Pack............................................... 237
Chapter 14: Taking the Lead: Selling Under Control.................................................. 265
Chapter 15: Closing the Sale to Your Satisfaction...................................................... 285

Part V: Managing Your Customers for Business
Success.................................................................... 297
Chapter 16: Generating Success from the Customer Relationship.......................... 299
Chapter 17: Joining Together to Maximize Business and Customer Value............. 315
Chapter 18: Standing Tall To Get More Customers: Vertical Industries................. 333

Part VI: Making Influential Friends: Partnerships....... 345
Chapter 19: Seeking Partners for Mutual Benefit....................................................... 347
Chapter 20: Pursuing Your Plans for a Successful Partnership................................ 361


Part VII: The Part of Tens.......................................... 377
Chapter 21: Ten Regular Actions that Benefit Your Business................................... 379
Chapter 22: Ten Key Metrics to Watch........................................................................ 383
Chapter 23: Ten Great Resources for Business Development.................................. 387

Index....................................................................... 391


Table of Contents
Introduction.................................................................. 1
About This Book............................................................................................... 1
Foolish Assumptions........................................................................................ 2
Icons Used in This Book.................................................................................. 3
Beyond the Book.............................................................................................. 4
Where to Go from Here.................................................................................... 4

Part I: Getting Started with Business Development.......... 5
Chapter 1: Introducing Business Development for Services Firms. . . . 7
Answering the Question: So What Is Business Development Anyway?..... 7
Recognizing that business is a serious business................................ 8
Understanding how business development differs from selling...... 9
Breaking business development into bite-sized chunks.................. 11
Placing the Customer Experience Center Stage......................................... 12
Deconstructing the customer lifecycle.............................................. 13
Mapping business development to the customer lifecycle............. 14
Making Business Development Manageable in a Small Business............. 14
Dealing with overwhelm...................................................................... 14
Anticipating growth and its impact on your business..................... 15
Taking stock of where you are............................................................ 16

Chapter 2: Finding Damaging Gaps in Your Business Development. . . 19
Spotting Patchy Business Development...................................................... 20
Recognizing the tell-tale signs of weak business development...... 20
Looking for the obvious and the not-so-obvious problems............ 21
Thinking like your customers............................................................. 23
Understanding Business Development Challenges for 
Services Firms............................................................................................. 25
Identifying value in a services firm..................................................... 25
‘You’re the top!’ The owner-led sale.................................................. 26
Being proactive rather than reactive................................................. 27
Taking Stock of Where You Are.................................................................... 30
What you’re not doing – and being okay with it............................... 30
It’s a numbers game: How’s your firm really doing?........................ 32

Chapter 3: Diving Inside Your Customer’s Head . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Uncovering Your Customers’ Real Needs................................................... 34
Understanding what customers need today and whether
they know it....................................................................................... 36
Staying current with your customers’ needs.................................... 37


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Powering Growth Using Your Customer’s Viewpoint................................ 39
Focusing on your customer: Why you should care.......................... 39
Mapping your customer’s journey..................................................... 42
Tailoring your solution to your customer’s need
(not vice versa)................................................................................. 46
Using influence to get the outcome you want................................... 48

Chapter 4: Using the Lifecycle to Your Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Clarifying Precisely What You’re Selling — and How................................ 52
Being in control..................................................................................... 52
Keeping your offer fresh...................................................................... 55
Investing to stay up-to-date................................................................. 58
Creating the customer experience..................................................... 59
Considering the Pre-Sales Stage................................................................... 62
Selling without looking like you’re selling......................................... 62
Dating the customer: EDUCATE stage................................................ 62
Courting and proposing: PRESENT and PROPOSE stages............... 65
Confronting reality: CONTRACT stage............................................... 66
Handling the After-the-Sale Process............................................................. 67
Moving from ‘Yes’ to ‘Done’: DELIVER stage..................................... 67
Wrapping up delivery: COMPLETE and EVALUATE stages............. 68

Part II: Planning for Business Development................... 71
Chapter 5: Getting Ready for Business Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Developing an Offer that Sells....................................................................... 73
Ensuring that you’re giving the market what it needs..................... 75
Making your specialty really valuable............................................... 78
Assessing your competition................................................................ 80
Accepting that the grass isn’t always greener.................................. 81
Developing focus – or it’s all over...................................................... 83
‘Really? You do that?’ Articulating your offer................................... 83
Presenting Your Offer.................................................................................... 84
Finding your customer......................................................................... 84
‘Tell me what you want, what you really, really want’..................... 85
Who drives the customer? Engaging effectively............................... 87
Getting to the sale................................................................................. 88
Building your contract process.......................................................... 89
Continuing Your Great Work beyond the Sale............................................ 89
Understanding the importance of relationships............................... 89
Completing the work............................................................................ 91
Learning from Your Customers.................................................................... 92
Gathering intelligence: The importance of data............................... 93
Evaluating your offer............................................................................ 94


Table of Contents
Chapter 6: Building Your Business Development Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Planning for Business Development Success.............................................. 98
Winging business development doesn’t work.................................. 98
Knowing where you’re going............................................................... 99
Creating Your Winning Plan........................................................................ 100
Choosing where to start planning.................................................... 101
Working on metrics............................................................................ 108
Components of your plan: Creating the blueprint.......................... 110
Monitoring progress........................................................................... 113

Chapter 7: Putting Your Plan into Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Checking Your Plan before Lift-off............................................................. 116
Setting milestones, tactics and metrics........................................... 116
Identifying initial tasks....................................................................... 121
Calling on helpers............................................................................... 122
Determining your investment........................................................... 125
Lift-Off! Launching Your Plan...................................................................... 125
Communicating your plan internally................................................ 126
Enrolling ‘friends’................................................................................ 127
Making use of friendly feedback....................................................... 128
Getting the team going....................................................................... 130
Considering a few final thoughts as the plan takes off.................. 131
Managing Risk while Implementing Your Plan.......................................... 132
Thinking the unthinkable: What can possibly go wrong?.............. 132
Dealing with large challenges............................................................ 133

Part III: Making the Most of Marketing....................... 135
Chapter 8: Appreciating the Benefits of Marketing for
Your Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Working Together in Harmony: Marketing and Sales.............................. 138
Enjoying the perfect relationship (not!): Marketing and sales..... 139
Making your marketing sales-oriented............................................. 140
Setting Out Your Stall: Marketing for Services Firms............................... 144
Selecting the best marketing techniques for you........................... 145
Energizing your team......................................................................... 146
Using your network............................................................................ 148
Forming partnerships and alliances................................................. 149
Understanding technology and the online dimension................... 150
Finding some quick wins in marketing............................................. 152
Deciding whether Your Firm Needs Branding.......................................... 154
Understanding the importance of brands....................................... 154
Identifying yourself with a brand...................................................... 155
Marketing your brand........................................................................ 155

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Chapter 9: Driving Sales Success with Effective Marketing . . . . . . . 157
Revving up the Marketing Engine............................................................... 158
Appreciating the differences between sales and marketing......... 159
Ensuring that marketing drives results............................................ 160
Tuning up the marketing engine....................................................... 162
Carrying out the hard work of marketing........................................ 165
Setting Accountabilities between Sales and Marketing........................... 166
What am I striving for? Establishing the goal.................................. 167
‘How will I know that marketing is achieving its goals?’
Measuring marketing...................................................................... 168
Ensuring that Marketing Generates Interest............................................. 170
‘Hey, we’re over here!’ Getting attention......................................... 170
‘Over to you!’ Timing lead handover correctly............................... 172

Chapter 10: Creating Your Marketing Plan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Preparing To Market Your Business.......................................................... 175
Defining your plan.............................................................................. 176
Researching marketing opportunities.............................................. 177
Choosing your channels.................................................................... 179
Brainstorming your tactics................................................................ 182
Putting Marketing into Practice.................................................................. 186
Creating your marketing programs.................................................. 186
Creating your marketing calendar.................................................... 192
Creating and managing collateral and content............................... 194
Making the Most of Your Resources.......................................................... 196
Breaking the plan down to decide on resources............................ 196
Satisfying marketing’s appetite: Who does the marketing?.......... 197
Making marketing accountable......................................................... 198

Chapter 11: Automating Marketing – More Leads with
Less Effort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
Introducing the Automated Demand Generation Game.......................... 200
Understanding the buyer’s journey.................................................. 201
Providing insights for your prospective customers...................... 202
Attracting an audience....................................................................... 202
Asking whether Demand Generation Is Right for You............................. 203
Deciding when to consider automated demand generation......... 203
Gathering the required resources.................................................... 205
Adding Automation to Your Marketing Armory....................................... 206
Choosing your infrastructure tools.................................................. 207
Building your database...................................................................... 210
Designing demand generation programs......................................... 212
Testing and evaluating your programs............................................ 216
Making the phone ring....................................................................... 218


Table of Contents
Chapter 12: Forming a Winning Team: Marketing and Sales
Cohesion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
‘We Can Work It Out’: Sales and Marketing Join Forces.......................... 221
Reassessing roles as your business grows...................................... 222
Laying out the connections between marketing and sales........... 223
Setting common goals and targets................................................... 225
‘Come On, Come On, Let’s Stick Together!’ Marketing and Sales
Can Collaborate......................................................................................... 227
Clearing up misunderstandings that threaten unified
business development.................................................................... 228
Acting to support unified business development.......................... 230
Helping marketing and sales to get on............................................. 231

Part IV: Seeing What Sales Can Do for You.................. 235
Chapter 13: Becoming the Leader of the (Sales) Pack. . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
Appreciating the Importance of Sales Leadership................................... 238
Getting clear what your business sells............................................ 238
Establishing a sales process.............................................................. 240
Tooling up for sales............................................................................ 246
Setting goals and metrics................................................................... 248
Building and Leading Your Sales Dream Team......................................... 249
Creating your pack of sales maestros.............................................. 250
Using people outside the pack.......................................................... 251
Enrolling people to execute your sales strategy............................ 251
Delving Deeper into Leading the Sales Process........................................ 253
‘Put that it your pipe and smoke it!’ Managing a sales
pipeline............................................................................................. 253
Working your sales process.............................................................. 255
Engaging in collaborative selling...................................................... 259
Avoiding knee-jerk reactions to problems...................................... 259
Taking the right action at the right time.......................................... 261

Chapter 14: Taking the Lead: Selling Under Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Okay, You’re In! Qualifying Leads into Prospects.................................... 266
Getting your interactions right with customers............................. 266
Handling leads, whatever the source............................................... 267
Determining who to sell to................................................................ 269
Gathering the tools to help qualifying............................................. 269
Taking the meeting............................................................................. 270
Gating prospects through your sales pipeline................................ 273
Pitching Your Services to Customers........................................................ 274
What prospects want: Understanding customer mentality.......... 275
Limbering up to pitch......................................................................... 279

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Writing good proposals..................................................................... 280
‘Let’s dance’: Pitching on the day..................................................... 282
The inquest: Assessing how the pitch went.................................... 284

Chapter 15: Closing the Sale to Your Satisfaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285
‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’: Closing the Deal............................................ 285
Picking your way through negotiation............................................. 286
Getting to the real ‘yes’ without begging......................................... 286
Contracting for a win-win................................................................... 287
‘This Much I Know’: Managing the Transition from Sales
to Delivery.................................................................................................. 290
Staying on the team............................................................................ 291
Passing on all you know..................................................................... 291
Backing out gracefully........................................................................ 293
Re-engaging with the customer......................................................... 293
‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’: Finishing Up the Sale................................... 294
Tidying up: Capture everything........................................................ 294
Learning from experience: Win/loss reviews.................................. 295
Recognizing the value of evaluation................................................. 295

Part V: Managing Your Customers for
Business Success....................................................... 297
Chapter 16: Generating Success from the Customer
Relationship. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299
Back Off, He’s Mine! Remembering that the Customer Belongs
to Everyone................................................................................................ 300
Sharing the customer relationship................................................... 300
Collaborating for customer success................................................. 302
Creating a lifetime customer............................................................. 307
Tell Me What I Mean To You: Securing Value from Your Customers.... 308
Understanding your value through the customer’s eyes.............. 308
Asking for more................................................................................... 311
Turning the customer into an active advocate............................... 313

Chapter 17: Joining Together to Maximize Business and
Customer Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315
You Know It Makes Sense: Seeing How Business Development
Benefits All................................................................................................. 316
Creating an organization in which everyone sells.......................... 316
Being a motivating business.............................................................. 318
Talking about team communication................................................. 319


Table of Contents
Making the Most of Account Planning....................................................... 322
Analyzing where your revenue will come from.............................. 323
Turning goals into reality.................................................................. 323
Deciding what to include in your account plan.............................. 324
Growing, Growing, Gone! Account Managers’ Role in Your
Growth Plans............................................................................................. 325
Showing account managers how to do business development.... 326
Thinking about monthly, quarterly and annual reviews............... 328
Bringing Delivery to the Feedback Party................................................... 329
Spreading delivery’s tentacles into the market.............................. 330
Gathering new ideas and best practices.......................................... 330
Ensuring that sales learns from delivery......................................... 331
Making delivery feel valued............................................................... 331

Chapter 18: Standing Tall To Get More Customers:
Vertical Industries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
‘The Only Way Is Up!’ Understanding Why Verticals Matter.................. 334
Working with verticals makes sense................................................ 335
Identifying your verticals: Is going vertical right for you?............ 336
Listening to what customers say about their vertical................... 338
Leveraging Your Knowledge for Vertical Success.................................... 340
Understanding similarities and differences between verticals..... 340
Breaking down your services experience from a vertical
perspective...................................................................................... 341
Finding gold in them there vertical hills.......................................... 342
Checking whether you’re ready to go vertical................................ 343
Designing and Executing Vertical Campaigns........................................... 343
Writing vertically based promotional materials............................. 344
Getting your vertical message out there......................................... 344

Part VI: Making Influential Friends: Partnerships........ 345
Chapter 19: Seeking Partners for Mutual Benefit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
Considering the Types of Partnership Available...................................... 348
Sticking to What You Do Best..................................................................... 349
Keeping to your set path................................................................... 350
Going deep not wide........................................................................... 350
Traveling Alone or Partnering Up............................................................... 352
‘We belong together’: Finding reasons to partner – or not........... 352
‘Picture this’: Considering your business with partners............... 354
‘Service Firm WLTM Companion for Business Growth’: Finding
Good Partners........................................................................................... 355
Creating partnership goals................................................................ 355
Getting your criteria together: Profiling ideal partners................. 357

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Chapter 20: Pursuing Your Plans for a Successful Partnership. . . . . 361
Locating Partnerships within Business Development............................. 361
Partnering Up Effectively............................................................................. 362
Dating: Getting to know each other.................................................. 362
Testing the cultural fit: What do you have in common?................ 364
Setting boundaries to stay realistic.................................................. 367
Agreeing shared goals........................................................................ 368
Understanding why partnerships don’t work................................. 369
Going to Market Together........................................................................... 370
Appointing a partner manager.......................................................... 370
Creating a unified go-to-market strategy......................................... 370
Defining roles and responsibilities................................................... 372
Tackling the question of who owns the customer......................... 373
Wondering whether to white label or not....................................... 374
Coping with co-branding.................................................................... 374
Sharing the wealth.............................................................................. 375

Part VII: The Part of Tens............................................ 377
Chapter 21: Ten Regular Actions that Benefit Your Business. . . . . . . 379
Making Five Business Phone Calls.............................................................. 379
Calling Customers and Partners................................................................. 380
Talking to Employees................................................................................... 380
Reading Some Blogs..................................................................................... 380
Sending Out Three Value-Added Emails.................................................... 380
Updating Your CRM/SFA.............................................................................. 380
Making Five New Connections on LinkedIn............................................... 381
Tweeting Something..................................................................................... 381
Reviewing How Your Day Went.................................................................. 381
Planning Tomorrow...................................................................................... 381

Chapter 22: Ten Key Metrics to Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383
Knowing How Big Your Sales Pipeline Needs to Be................................. 383
Maintaining the Right Number of Opportunities...................................... 383
Shortening Your Sales Cycle....................................................................... 384
Planning Projected Revenue....................................................................... 384
Producing the Right Number of New Leads.............................................. 384
Assessing Planned versus Actual Revenue............................................... 384
Checking Profitability by Customer........................................................... 385
Monitoring Cash Flow: Days Sales Outstanding....................................... 385
Keeping the Customer Happy with Satisfaction Scores.......................... 385
Minimizing Staff Attrition............................................................................. 385


Table of Contents
Chapter 23: Ten Great Resources for Business Development . . . . . . 387
Discovering Online For Dummies Resources for Business
Development............................................................................................. 387
Signing up for Business Insider................................................................... 387
Using the Business Training Institute........................................................ 388
Improving with Influence Ecology.............................................................. 388
Casting a Wider Net with the American Marketing Association............. 388
Getting Better with the Sales Management Association.......................... 388
Blogging for Success: Sales Benchmark Index.......................................... 388
Being In with the In-Crowd: LinkedIn Groups........................................... 389
Leading with Confidence: Vistage.............................................................. 389
Contacting the Author: RainMakers US..................................................... 389

Index........................................................................ 391

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Introduction

W

hatever role you play in your company, finding out more about business development gives you a broader perspective on how to make
the firm grow. The purpose of business development is to drive growth, or
whatever form of expansion is important to you right now.
Absolutely everybody in the company can make a contribution to growth,
and this book not only gives you a grounding in business development – it
also shows how people in different areas of the business can do their bit. As
the saying goes, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
People commonly move into business development from other parts of the
company, and leaders often have to manage business development and all its
component parts. This book helps you do that.
The book is intended for small to medium-sized companies that offer services
to other businesses – so-called business-to-business (B2B). Such firms are as
diverse as lawyers and architects, corporate event planners or video specialists, technology implementers, branding and marketing companies. I keep
the content general enough to be applicable to a wide range of people and
organizations. Product companies will also find this book useful, along with
anyone who wants to be expert in business development.

About This Book
After 20 years working in business development, you’d expect that I’ve
learned a thing or two. One fact I discovered is that people are confused
about what business development is. In this book I set out to dispel that confusion and provide a model for business development that anyone can use.
Another thing I found out is that companies go through spurts of growth,
interspersed with periods of flat revenue, or even backsliding. For smaller
companies, say those with less than $10 million in revenue, this variation can
result in periods of severe peril. Therefore, I want to provide ideas as to how
you can mitigate that danger through robust business development.
Also, when company growth stalls, what you did yesterday to get new business probably isn’t going to work for your next phase of expansion. That
pattern keeps recurring and you’ll find that some things from the book are a


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Business Development For Dummies
no-brainer to do today, whereas others may be more relevant in two to three
years’ time. Yes, here is the book that keeps on giving.
I include lots of good advice for executives who need to plan for growth, but
aren’t sure what to prioritize or how to manage people with different capabilities to their own. In the early years, you can’t afford top leaders for every
part of your organization – you have to wear a lot of hats until you have the
money to start handing those areas over to others, who may often be new
employees.
When I started my career in the US, I was in charge of delivery and also
tasked with getting more business. I learned from my then CEO how to be
effective in selling, contract negotiation and customer management. I later
began to dig into and understand marketing and how to make partnerships
pay off. In other words, it all had to be ‘painted on’ – it didn’t come naturally.
Even today, I know the areas that I’m really good at and the ones best left to
someone else. I’ve come to realize that nothing’s wrong with me – the best
leaders know their weaknesses and get help. So if you’re used to going it
alone, this book provides you with a pathway to surrounding yourself with
the right people to take you where you want to be.
I wouldn’t be able to share my experience authentically unless I ’fess up that
I’ve experienced failure as well as success. Every great business leader I’ve
ever known has done the same and has the capacity to handle failure and
learn from it. I’m really excited that you want to join their ranks.
I attended a seminar recently. The leader said, ‘This isn’t television. I’m actually talking to you and I require you to respond.’ Similarly, I don’t see this
book as a leisurely bedtime read – it’s an interactive experience. Study, think,
write. Keep a pad and pen handy throughout. You’re about to reinvent how
you do business.

Foolish Assumptions
I assume that you’re an ambitious business owner or leader who wants
to grow your company, but for whom business development holds some
mystery. Whether you’re directly involved in strategy, marketing, selling,
customer management or working with partners, you need to understand
the strategies and tactics for making your business grow. Marketing folks,
salespeople and customer managers will find this book useful as well, if they
want an overview of business development to improve their own practices or
better understand other disciplines.


Introduction
Perhaps you’ve been dissatisfied with your company’s expansion, or your
revenue growth has slowed down or even halted. If so, this book gives you
a fresh look at how to push forward to the next stage in your company’s
history.
I assume that you don’t want a sit-back-and-relax book but are willing to
commit to active reading, participate in ‘try this’ experiments, use tools to
help you make plans and develop ways to measure your results. I give you
strategic direction and on-the-ground tactical tools and advice and assume
that you’re going to take what’s useful and apply it in your own organization. I
wrote this book to contribute to your success, and that can happen if you use
it and share it.

Icons Used in This Book


This icon highlights techniques or approaches that you can use to improve
your business development.



I use this icon to point out important information you may want to keep in
mind as you apply the techniques and approaches.



I use this icon to point out concepts that are a little more involved.



This icon stresses potential pitfalls and danger spots.



I use this icon to provide you with a task – perhaps something to do in your
armchair or take to the office and work on with others. Think of it as an experiment and see what comes out of it.



This icon provides real-life examples of business development that worked
and, in some cases, didn’t.

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Business Development For Dummies

Beyond the Book
This book is chock-a-block with business-development guidance, tools,
tips and tactics to make you successful. You can find additional tools at
www.dummies.com/go/businessdevelopment and some free bonus
articles at www.dummies.com/extras/businessdevelopment. You
can also access the cheat sheet at www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/
businessdevelopment.

Where to Go from Here
If you’re new to business development, I suggest that you read this book
cover to cover from Chapter 1. If you ever thought that business development was just sales, you’ll change your mind by the time you’re done.
Even experienced business developers probably want to read Chapter 1,
which defines what business development is and ensures that the rest of the
book makes sense. One of the most common issues with business development is that company leaders are overly centered on their own services and
how great they are, but not necessarily on what the customer cares about.
Part I turns that on its head, and so is an important foundation for the rest of
the book.
For Parts II through VII, you can focus on what’s most important to you. If
you want to get to grips with something specific quickly, take a look at the
contents pages and dive right in. I provide plenty of cross-references to help
you find what you need to supplement any chapter.
I encourage you to share the book with your co-workers. Business development takes teamwork, and so if you decide to adopt any of the practices in
this book, pass it on to others who need to be involved. I make clear where
that involvement is important and how everyone can contribute.
As you read this book and work with some of its ideas, I hope that you recreate your view of business development. Above all, being in business is a
game that you play to win; how you do business development determines
whether you win the game.
Digest this book in your own time and I wish you well with your business
growth.


Part I

Getting Started with Business
Development



For Dummies can help to get you started with lots of subjects. Visit www.dummies.
com to discover more and do more with For Dummies books.


In this part . . .


✓ Gain a clear understanding of what business development
encompasses.



✓ Realize why business development can be problematic for
small, growing companies.



✓ Look at business development from the customer’s point
of view.



✓ Align your business development with the customer
lifecycle.



✓ Use business development tools to secure your business
growth.


Chapter 1

Introducing Business Development
for Services Firms
In This Chapter
▶Defining business development
▶Looking through your customer’s eyes
▶Making time for business development

I

f you ask ten people what they think business development is, you probably get ten different answers. Chances are that even your own view of
business development isn’t completely aligned with others in your organization, unless you’ve taken special and unusual steps to make it so.
Whether you’re a business owner, involved in business development or just
interested in discovering more, you probably inherited your view of business
development from your business experiences, gleaned it from Google, created it yourself or perhaps used a mix of all these influences.
In this chapter, I set the scene for the whole book, providing a clear definition of business development, which involves strategy (see the chapters in
Part II), marketing (Part III), sales (Part IV), customer management (Part V)
and partnerships (Part VI) – and I set out why business development matters.
I also describe the central role of your customers and tackle the problem of
becoming overwhelmed, discussing how and why you need to find time for
business development in your company.

Answering the Question: So What Is
Business Development Anyway?
Here’s the $64,000 question: What is business development? Is it something
to do with sales? For sure. Is it related to business growth? It had better be!
Does is have anything to do with your business strategy? Probably.


8

Part I: Getting Started with Business Development


When you set out to create something, say, a new company, a growth plan or
a new service, nothing says how it ought to be: in other words, your ‘something’ is what you create it to be. You may have noticed, however, that in business what gets created soon becomes the norm, the accepted way, the way it
has to be. So that when you try to change something, someone always says,
‘but we’ve always done it this way’. Boy, don’t some people take themselves
seriously!
When this happens, you can find yourself forgetting that you created it, whatever it is, and that therefore you can recreate it. Successful businesses take
recreation seriously – recreation is built into their DNA. Recreating is how they
keep their offer (the service they bring to the marketplace and something I
discuss in detail in Chapter 5) fresh, how they assimilate new ways to market
themselves, how they reduce their sales cycles and how they find great partners to help them grow their businesses.
Check out Chapter 2 for lots more on the importance of business development.

Recognizing that business
is a serious business


If you’re thinking that business is a serious matter, I agree with you. Professional
football is a serious game (and a big money business). It has a purpose (get
that ball over the touchline – or in the goal if you’re thinking soccer), it has
rules and it’s clear what winning looks like (and the winners receive prizes!).
Think about business like that and it becomes fun; well, some of the time.
Given the different ideas people hold about business development, having a
definition is useful. Here’s mine:



Business development is the discipline required to achieve growth through the
acquisition of profitable net new customers and expansion of existing customers.
Clearly business development is concerned with growth and most companies
achieve growth by getting new customers. Even if you grow by acquisition,
you’re still, at the root of it, acquiring new customers (though note that,
unless they’re profitable to you, you really don’t want them). You also have
existing customers and many firms neglect the opportunity for growth that
lies within those existing (or historical) customers.
Discipline is required to acquire, keep and grow customers. Discipline has
two meanings here:


Chapter 1: Introducing Business Development for Services Firms


✓Discipline is the serious study of business development as a business competence. I’m frequently amazed how many people think that
they can do business development when they’ve never studied it for a
moment. If you think about your offer and the knowledge and experience
it takes to do what you do for your customers, you probably don’t take
that lightly. So start thinking of business development the same way. You
have to study it, become an expert and use the discipline.



✓Discipline is the rigor of doing business development every day. When
small firms have plenty of business, they neglect business development,
and when they’re running out of business they panic and start scurrying
around for new opportunities. This approach is disastrous. Getting new
business takes time. If you’re not looking ahead to where your revenue is
going to come from in three or six months’ time, you’re facing the spectre of horrible revenue swings, which stress your company, your cash
flow and your co-workers/employees.
Business development gives you a disciplined approach to creating your
offer, taking it to the market, acquiring customers, developing them to
enhance your success and partnering with others to grow still further.
The discipline helps you smooth out the bumps in the road. You know – the
bumps that caused you to pick up this book, whatever they were.

Understanding how business development
differs from selling
I need to dispel a myth: a lot of people equate business development with
selling, but in fact selling is just one of its functions, not the whole thing.

Selling is only part of business development
Sales is the art and science of presenting a solution to a prospective customer’s need and getting to a transaction, where the customer ‘buys’ your
solution.


By contrast, business development is much broader. To develop a business,
you have to create solutions to the problems or pains that are sufficiently
common in the marketplace for you to build a viable business. Then you have
to figure out how to take that offer to the marketplace and generate results.
Business development encompasses:



✓Your offer: Creating the solution you have or the reason your business
exists. Move on over to Chapter 5 for more on your offer.

9


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