In business, most people aren’t looking for surprises. They’re looking for that elusive quality known as predictability. Predictability is the Holy Grail of business. Everyone wants it, but actually difficult to find.
That’s why we want to talk to you about the Discipline of Business Development, which creates predictability for future results.
Wouldn’t you do just about anything to be able to predict future sales, growth rates, or profits in our company, even if they were negative? If you could, then you’d be able to act to make the most of the opportunities you create or prevent any potential calamities.
It stands to reason that the more a business focuses on testing and measuring our actions, and on understanding data response and behavior, the more it will succeed. That’s because you increase predictability when you focus on behavior instead of profit.
When you focus on your relationship with your customers, you learn what led them to buy from you in the first place, and you also learn what keeps them coming back. In other words, instead of generating random sales through pricing, you’ll add zeros through your growing base of satisfied customers who like you and want to continue their relationship with you.
Predictability is understanding information and actions in order to recognize where we’ve been so that we can determine what your future may look like.
Excellent business development involves three essential components:
- Customer Service
Here, briefly, are how they lead to predictability.
First, marketing. Marketers long for predictability. They want to be certain where they can find the next customer, and when and what the customer buys. But inconsistent and haphazard marketing efforts often prevent this. That’s mainly because many people don’t know that there’s a difference between advertising and marketing. They think marketing is just advertising. It isn’t.
Marketing involves education and communication. Marketing is getting the right message to the right people via the right media and methods. Advertising is a part of marketing. You can’t just throw an ad up and hope people will buy something when they see it. In order to be truly effective at marketing, you need to know the demographics and psychographics of your customer – where they’re from, how they act, and why they do what they do. Understanding your customers’ past behavior is key if you want to grow exponentially.
The next part of business development is sales. Selling is moving somebody else to action. We define sales as, “Professionally helping others to buy.”
That means that everyone in a company should be moving someone else to action every day. The whole organization is involved in selling. Not just the sales department. That’s important to remember because without sales there is no business. Every company needs to have a clear sales process that is predictable. Based on how we ask questions, how we address their concerns, and how we solve their problems. That is sales.
The third part of business development is customer service. Excellent customer service is a mindset that always places the needs of the customer above our own.
An attitude of gratitude reminds everyone that the company appreciates a customer’s business. A mindset centered on appreciation is positive and proactive, making it easy for people to do business with you. You must also establish clear standards that everyone will follow in how they treat your customers so that your customers have consistent and satisfying experiences.
In order to create a process for business development, and for creating predictability through marketing, sales, and customer service, you need to know what drives your company’s results. You need measurements. You must comprehend such things as these:
- the return on investment, or ROI, that you get from your marketing efforts;
- how long it takes to close a typical client;
- your average client retention;
- the lifetime value of your customers,
- and how much your customers spend, on average, every time they make a purchase.
It’s not enough to know these numbers. You also need to use them to educate each person in every department on how their efforts contribute toward the desired result of exponential growth. This means that everyone should be aware of viewing business development in the light of predictability.
A company that adheres to the principles of business development will be able to weather any storm and emerge victorious. Through a focus on marketing, sales, and customer service, businesses can create a system of predictability that leads to sustainability. If your business is struggling in one or more of these areas, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. At our firm, we are dedicated to helping companies succeed. Contact us today to see how we can assist you in creating lasting success for your business.