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2015 is Coming: What’s Your Business Development Plan? Steal Ours.

I’m amazed that there are less than three months left to this year. Where has the time gone? The year 2015 sounds like something from a science fiction novel. Still, here we are at this final countdown, lining up our ducks and wrapping up our goals for the year. Since the majority of my time is spent within business development, the remainder of 2014 may just be my busiest months yet. If you’re an entrepreneur or part of your company’s business development team, the next few months hold abundant potential for the growth and success of your brand in 2015. Companies are

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https://www.dropbox.com/s/ls70efzffb7wxvz/Screenshot%202014-10-09%2011.40.57.png?dl=0I’m amazed that there are less than three months left to this year. Where has the time gone? The year 2015 sounds like something from a science fiction novel. Still, here we are at this final countdown, lining up our ducks and wrapping up our goals for the year.

Since the majority of my time is spent within business development, the remainder of 2014 may just be my busiest months yet. If you’re an entrepreneur or part of your company’s business development team, the next few months hold abundant potential for the growth and success of your brand in 2015.

Companies are reviewing their budgets and evaluating how, where and with whom they will invest their coveted budget dollars. It’s crucial that you and your sales team get in the mix before those decisions are made and today I’m going to share some ideas and resources my team and I are using so you can take and repurpose for your own business development plan.

Call it an early Christmas gift. 😉

Outline Your Game Plan: Tactics, Timelines and Goals

Be Organized. Especially if you are a sales team of one or have a small sales team that doesn’t require an elaborate CRM platform, it can be easy to get a bit disorganized. Clearly establish and communicate which sales tools are to be used by your team and commit to real-time updating to keep your prospect and lead lists current.

This can be a simple as a shared Google Spreadsheet that outlines lead details and contact information that can be edited by your sales team as the leads are worked.

Set Expectations.  Give yourself and your team a clearly defined timeline with goals. We have a weekly pitch goal and monthly pitch and quarterly (monetary) new business goals. Example: 20 new business pitches sent each week, $50,000 in new business each quarter.

Clearly Outline Tactics. Next, you’ll want to clearly define which tactics will support your goals. These can be different for each member of your sales team but it’s important to outline who is responsible for each tactic and what resources and additional team members should be part of that tactic. Here are some tactics we are using / considering this year:

Business development plan
  • Work with current clients to establish needs for 2015 and recommend additional services based on their needs within PR, social and content
  • Reach out to all past prospects
  • Follow up with all outstanding prospects
  • Pitch 40 food and restaurant brands by October 31
  • Ask current clients for referrals
  • Consider targeted LinkedIn advertising
  • Consider targeted Google advertising
  • Assess individual team member networks for prospects
  • Consider LinkedIn messages within industry specific groups and connections
  • Send a informational e-newsletter to email database regarding 2015 planning
  • Consider / develop social media messaging with clear calls to action to be shared (sparingly) with followers
  • Commit one blog post per month with hyper-business development focus
  • Secure target audience specific guest blogging / coverage opportunities

Put Your All of Your Marketing Tactics to Work — Tactfully.

You’ll notice tactics in the above business development list touch on all elements of our marketing mix: Earned Media (PR, guest blogging), Owned Media (blog, website, e-newsletter), Shared Media (social media) and Paid Media (advertising). Consider your own resources. What do you have available within each of those categories? Can you make use of each in some capacity to heighten awareness within your target audiences and network during this crucial time? If so, consider how you can present your message tactic fully without being pushy or sales-y.

Now that you’ve outlined your plan, get your team in the mix and get moving. This year is only going to fly faster and you’ve got a lot of success to achieve before we reach 2015.

Did this blog post help you or give you an idea for improving your business development plan? If so, let me know in the comments below! If you have a tip to share I welcome it.

– Kate

Kate Finley

Founder + CEO of Belle
Currently thriving in Puerto Rico