Sunday, March 4, 2012

Five Business Development Mistakes

Business is not easy to come by. The pressure is on your business development function to produce. How are you going to make sure your sales effort has its very best chance for success? Smart marketing and attention to your brand is more important than ever. Offered here for your review are five common mistakes companies make.

1.      Lack of attention to the Brand – Forgetting to pay attention to the brand is a mistake. You still need to be building something that can be differentiated in the minds of your prospects. The brand attributes set you apart and are things that you want sales to reinforce. They have to be real and true. It is a mistake when sales people have to “wing” it. (A big mistake!)

2.      Lack of Marketing Support – The mistake most often made here is to assume sales and marketing are the same thing. Sure, a good sales person understands marketing but smart marketing starts with careful consideration and understanding of the wants and needs of target prospects. The entire operation needs to be marketing-oriented (not just the sales team).

3.      In-House vs. Outsourcing – A lot of companies are going with in-house resources such as graphic designers and social media experts. This is a good trend, but it can be a mistake to forego outside help. You should still seek objectivity and outside advice.

4.      Penny Wise - The mistake commonly made here is to put so much control on the marketing budget that marketing isn’t given the opportunity to make an impact. You want to influence and persuade. It takes time. It takes money. It is an investment. (It needs time to work - but it also should be measured and understood.)

5.      Faulty Planning – A plan that doesn’t include reasonable measurement tools is a mistake. A plan that is not well understood. A faulty plan will result in disappointing results. Avoid having a plan that is not well conceived. Take the time to put your plans for business development in writing. Make sure you have enough attention on your brand. Think avout marketing support as part of the plan. Don’t be afraid to call on outside resources for input. Budget for success. Plan to win.

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