Business Development Center – how to establish new business contacts in the “new normal”?

How did you develop your business and conduct sales before COVID struck? You would probably exhibit at expos, organize meetings, and invest time to get closer to your future clients. That is how business relationships were built and sales generated not so long ago. Unfortunately, times have changed and we are now in “the new normal”. But that does mean that businesses are bound to fail? Certainly not. However, smart leaders must adapt to new circumstances to not only survive but to regain momentum and thrive. We present to you the Business Development Center – a structure in your company aimed at pushing your business forward.

Expand your sales funnel with the Business Development Center

 

What exactly is a sales funnel? In short, it’s a sequence of steps you should take to transform a person or a company that has nothing to do with your business into a loyal customer.

Whoever invented the term “sales funnel” was very imaginative. As you think of a funnel, you see a very wide opening – where it is easy to fit many potential customers, without thorough selection, which then narrows downwards – and this is where prospects are converted into actual clients. In simple terms, the aim of your business should be to make the bottom of the funnel as wide as possible. The wider the pipe at the end of the funnel, the more clients convert on consecutive stages, which increases your chances of finalizing more transactions. Let’s take a look at your prospect’s journey through the sales funnel and see how to leverage advanced technology at every stage!

Different sources identify slightly different stages but the basic structure of the sales funnel is as follows:

Business Development CenterLead generation

You build awareness of your brand. Prospects will visit your page, if you’ve positioned it properly in the search engine, or advertised it through paid ads. It pays off – your future clients actively search the internet looking for answers to their business challenges. Also, companies are planning ahead so you might even get a call in 3–5 years and establish fruitful cooperation! The odds of converting the viewer into an actual client increase if they decide to follow you on social media or subscribe to your newsletter.

  • The role of your Business Development Center 

Even though it’s your marketing team that’s responsible for outbound communication at this stage, your Business Development Representatives are an invaluable source of knowledge and expertise for your marketers when it comes to defining target groups that will most likely convert at further stages of the sales funnel. Your BDRs know what might work, so the two teams should work closely together during the lead generation stage.

  • How can technology help?

You can easily create landing pages with intelligent forms with Salesforce Pardot. Personalize the content to suit the needs of your lead base and track the engagement of your prospects and their every interaction with your company, through a user-friendly interface. You can also integrate Pardot with paid media!

Prospect

Now first personal contacts take place. You reach out to a wide audience of potential customers and try to build relationships with them. Your BDRs should search for prospects interested in your products or services, research business opportunities by gathering market intelligence, and contact prospects directly, e.g. on LinkedIn. At that time, you begin to score your prospects – some of them will soon become leads that your BD team will nurture.

  • The role of your Business Development Center

The Business Development Representatives engage prospects through direct communication, such as calls, emails, or messages on social media. They perform scoring to determine the most prospective future clients out of your base.

  • How can technology help?

Pardot allows you to grade your prospects so that you know who to focus your attention on. Get to know your future clients well, and prepare to launch a business offensive, as they become leads.

Lead 

At this stage, you nurture the leads you’ve gathered so far. Your focus should be on building lasting relationships with your future clients. As you get to know your leads better, you learn more about their pain points, needs, and challenges. That way, you can provide them with useful content, thanks to which their business will grow and your company will be perceived as experts. Needless to say, it is very important to define your business goals beforehand, so you know who to concentrate your attention on.

  • The role of your Business Development Center

Your BDRs send out mailings, make calls and send DMs with useful content to your lead base. They are there for your prospective clients – they talk to them, give advice, and simply speaking: invest in future cooperation.

  • How can technology help?

The Salesforce ecosystem lets you acquire a 360-degree of your prospects, leads, and customers. The more you know about them, the better tailored your actions are, and the higher the chances of turning leads into opportunities. You can further improve your sales team’s productivity with High Velocity Sales, a Sales Cloud add-on that allows your reps to streamline their activities thanks to automations and efficient tools.

Would you like to know more about Sales Cloud? Click here!

Opportunity

Typically at this stage, the sales team takes the client over, but of course, it depends on the very unique sales funnel your organization is using. Anyway, at the opportunity stage, your sales team meticulously creates and then sends an offer to your future customers. This is the time when prospects weigh the pros and cons of choosing your product or service. They precisely analyze the personalized product or service offer and then decide. This is also the time when negotiations happen. Now, the future of your cooperation is at stake, and even though everything is in the hands of the sales representatives, the BDRs still have their role to play!

  • The role of your Business Development Center and Sales Team

As your sales team prepares an offer, your BDRs can – not insistently of course – influence prospective clients’ buying decisions. They treat your BDRs more as acquaintances, and not salespeople. If clients have to choose between two similar companies, they are more likely to pick you over the competition if they know you better. Having a good relationship with prospects pays off!

Deal

Business-wise, that’s the most important stage of the funnel. The soon-to-be client’s mind has been made up and now what’s left is their signature on the contract. At this moment it’s the sales team that influences the final decision.

Last but not least, it’s advisable to include one more stage to the (not-only-sales) funnel.

Retention

Now that the prospect has become a client, it’s crucial not to lose them. Keep your customers satisfied – nothing works better for your business than a happy client’s recommendation!

  • The role of your Business Development Center

Your representatives’ actions should focus on making the customer remember and like you. Post and share valuable content on social media and build your brand and product/service awareness. Contact clients directly, to influence their future buying decisions. You don’t sell anything to them that way but it’s always advisable to let them know that your company is just about to launch a new product or service.

  • How can technology help?

This is where marketing automation really comes in handy! Set automations and send personalized mailings and DMs to nurture your leads nearly effortlessly. Pardot guides your BDRs through the whole process so they know exactly where they are, and makes reporting progress easy. Technology will also facilitate planning activities aimed at developing and fostering relationships with your clients. You can create customer journeys in Pardot so that you can share valuable knowledge with clients and keep building your brand awareness.

Make the most of the 360-degree view of the customer that Salesforce offers. Nowadays, having such a view is the only viable option, especially now as we live in the era of the customer. Unless you can suit their needs perfectly, you will not gain a competitive advantage! 

Read more about Salesforce products and our services here.

 

To sum up, what is most important when it comes to pushing leads through the sales funnel? There are two things you should remember.

  • Make sure as many leads as possible reach the bottom of the funnel – that is where you actually earn money and start making loyal clients.
  • Try to maximize conversion at every stage of the sales funnel – this means that you should do your absolute best to push the leads through a given stage to the next until you’ve closed the deal and gained a client.

 

Be sure to register for our upcoming webinar and give your business a boost!

Contact us – we would like to discuss your business needs and show you how Cloudity can help you build an effective Business Development Center in your company.

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