Council Post: 5 Business Development Trends To Watch

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Viktoria Gusyeva is a VP of Marketing at Vue Storefront.

In 2023, what business development trends should we keep an eye on?

Over the past few years, businesses have faced immense challenges and undergone a massive degree of change. Contributing factors include the last effects of the global pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, concerns over inflation and an ever-accelerating technological development affecting the entire global business landscape, to name just a few.

Here are five trends to prepare for as leaders tackle new demands while planning their 2023 business development strategies.

1. Increasing Complexity Of The BDR Role

We are already seeing that the current role of the business development representative (BDR) and sales development representative (SDR) that works with outbound motion are growing ever more complex and technical.

Especially given the way the pandemic seems to have changed the game rules forever, it’s no longer enough to get the database and start calling. A successful BDR is using, on average 10 or more tools to deliver on pipeline targets—and this number is growing.

Besides the usual tools for call, video and social prospecting, outbound teams can also be empowered by leveraging AI and intent, helping them identify sales signals early on. It’s no longer acceptable to overlook the ways in which AI and other modern technologies might impact your business development strategy.

The key to pivotal growth in 2023 will be empowering your outbound team with the right tech stack so they can experiment with thoughtful tool combinations and run plays that cut through the clutter.

2. Connecting The Dots Between Marketing And Sales

It’s time to get away from the “oil and water” view of sales and marketing divisions. I’ve seen businesses where the business development function was in sales, and I’ve managed it as part of marketing. But what will help move your business forward in 2023 is improved alignment and eliminated silos between these departments. Actually, making them allies rather than competitors will bring a lot of value.

Modern account-based marketing is all about seeing prospects through a shared lens, so teams must work hand in hand in defining hypotheses, crafting ICPs and shaping the right messaging for prospecting. Marketing and sales also need to collaborate to deliver social teaching—not social selling.

I’ve seen many successful cases in which sales helped marketing craft outbound messaging and marketing assisted sales by warming up existing leads in the pipeline—so, at the end of the day, it was a win-win for the whole business.

By connecting the dots between sales and marketing, your business will be more effective and aligned with customer needs. And in 2023, streamlined business development processes will be more crucial than ever.

3. Proposing Value Instead Of Direct Selling

What will make a significant impact on changing your pipeline health in 2023?

Ninety-two percent of today’s buyers want to hear a value proposition early on in the sales cycle. More than ever, companies must find ways to educate, engage and excite through all channels—especially for businesses with long sales cycles.

While some biz dev strategies focus heavily on the product itself, these often fail at educating prospects about their own business challenges, which can be crucial to organically reveal the sustainable and unique strengths of their solution.

Finding unrecognized customer needs for your value-based prospecting can make a substantial difference in how prospects will view your business development attempts. In 2023, leaders must build business development systems that account for the critical role of showing value in overcoming customer business challenges and stitching this together with social teaching.

4. Going Local To Scale Globally

In 2023, many businesses will continue accelerating growth by scaling into new markets. In order to do this successfully and holistically, your biz dev strategy should be country-specific.

Bringing local talent and partnerships in respective regions will accelerate your understanding of not only linguistic but also regional nuances. It’s essential to implement country-specific programs that take into account linguistic, cultural and legal differences as well as different competitor landscapes.

Thoughtful testing of localized approaches can empower any strategy. In addition, best-performing approaches can be further cross-pollinated to other markets, which can help scale your global posture even more effectively.

5. Focusing On Systems Instead Of Channels

Most successful companies will not only leverage a variety of tools, tactics and channels but also focus on building predictable growth systems—such as creating a strong growth engine from both inbound and outbound channels.

When companies have a hard time trying to build either inbound or outbound, they end up devoting most of their time to trying to leverage just cold prospects or just warm leads. This can result in a disastrous blow to momentum. Growth posture is best accelerated by leveraging a holistic system.

Once they start seeing channels as complementary parts of a bigger system and putting more effort into balancing their growth, businesses are more capable of multiplying their pipeline targets.

Keeping Ahead Of Trends In Business Development

In an ever-changing economy, it’s critical for savvy business development professionals to ensure they are monitoring current trends in order to ensure their company’s success. I hope this article will provide some valuable takeaways for leaders seeking to leverage the best strategies for success in the coming year.


Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only community for sales and biz dev executives. Do I qualify?




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