Business Development Process | 4 mins read

The Steps in the Business Development Process

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to Business Development Process

A business development process is an integral puzzle piece to a company's growth. By definition, the process entails all the steps a business owner takes to grow, generate profit, and preserve customer relationships. These steps include engaging with new customers throughout their buyer's journey and curating company goals. Performing these activities daily enables the company to steadily attain goals and successfully expand.

The Key Steps in the Business Development Process

A business development process will set company-wide goals and targets in stone. This enables employees and management teams to have a clearer idea of their consumer base and sales objectives. They will also better understand what actions or strategies they need to adopt to reach their goals. New business owners can follow the steps of the development process to fuel their growth initiatives.

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1. Establish Company Mission

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Company leaders can create elevator pitches, which are concise statements that describe an individual's goals, to showcase their mission. Communicating the business's purpose and how its goods can solve customer's pain points will attract leads. Documenting an elevator pitch as a part of the new business development process will also help with converting prospects and strategizing.

2. Have SMART Goals

SMART goals refer to specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely objectives. Setting these types of goals will ensure a company is aligned with its mission and is able to make progress. A SMART goal that a small business tech retailer would have, for example, is to increase prospects by 6% for the quarter. For specificity, the company will target leads in the millennial demographic. They would measure this goal by looking at how many leads communicate with a sales representative.

The company owner decided this goal was attainable because the previous quarter's leads had increased by 3%. They also determined it was relevant and timely because it helps with the business's growth. Additionally, it is has a set time frame - a quarter.

3. Perform a SWOT Analysis

SWOT represents a business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Executives need to assess their strengths so that they can effectively leverage what they do well. Identifying weaknesses will allow for strategies on what the company can do better. Reviewing business opportunities will highlight what the brand can accomplish and how it can grow. Finally, pinpointing threats enables management to mitigate risks and stay ahead of the competition.

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4. Set Up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

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With the SMART goals established and SWOT analysis performed, development teams can create KPIs. Key performance indicators are measurable values that businesses use to assess goal achievement progress and performance. It also helps leaders look at how well their business is developing and make informed decisions. The most common KPIs that are used include the following.

  • Customer reach - What percentage of the target audience is reached?
  • Company growth - How much has the company grown in terms of locations, employees, or size?
  • Revenue - What percentage of revenue is the business generating each quarter?
  • Customer satisfaction - How many customers are happy with the products or services?
  • Leads generated - How many leads were generated within the month or quarter?
  • Lead conversion - What is the rate at which leads become customers?

5. Create a Budget

Certain goals for a business development strategy will require a budget to ensure a company's bottom line is intact. To facilitate this step, executives will need to evaluate their resources, historical spending for development projects, and overall expenses. They also have to delineate the tools and processes they need for goals, such as recruitment and software. These insights will enable informed budget creations and prioritization.

6. Focus on Target Consumers

Serving target consumers is the foundational goal for most business development plans. Management should make sure to refer to their ideal prospects and their needs when creating goals and strategies. This ensures the brand is effectively addressing consumers and pain points, which will increase the likelihood of boosting conversion rates.

7. Strategize Ways to Reach Customers

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A key component of business growth is identifying potential customers and building a loyal consumer base. Generally, this entails creating marketing campaigns and advertisements to promote brand awareness and product education. Many modern companies will also use digital tools, such as content curation on their website to reach prospects. Other important outreach strategies businesses utilize include the following.

  • Social Media - Businesses will oftentimes have accounts on social media and publish pictures, infographics, and videos to raise brand awareness and lead generation.
  • Customer Referrals - Brands can incentivize existing customers to refer their loved ones to the business.
  • Advertisements - Traditional forms of advertisement include billboards, television broadcasts, and print ads.
  • Online Advertisements - Companies can purchase advertising space on websites, Google, and social media platforms.

Key Takeaways to Business Development Process

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  • A business development process is a set of steps that will help a company effectively grow and generate revenue.
  • Having an established process will clarify business goals and guide teams to success.
  • A process will also ensure companies are addressing their consumer base and its needs.
  • Critical steps of the business development process include establishing a mission, creating key performance indicators, and setting a budget.

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