Lots of business owners ask me for a quick umbrella view of business development planning so they can get a better idea of what's typically involved before we move on to talking about any detail.
So I looked back at which stages were common to most of my B2B clients, and came up with 8 simple steps that typically crop up when I'm drafting a new business (sales and marketing / business development) plan for a customer.
It's worth bearing in mind that this is most typical of B2B SMEs in the South of England, often selling higher value professional services.
Here's what I found:
- Define your ideal customer / prospect
- Articulate yourself clearly for these specific prospects
- Build a clean, qualified, healthy, best fit database of these prospects
- Draw up a marketing plan and aim to grow a healthy, long-term relationship with each prospect
- Start useful communication that continues to develop your relationships, and also re-qualifies your pipeline, to create leads
So, those are the 8 simple steps common to a lot of business development planning that I do.
However, just like great inventions - it always looks simple until you actually come to do it. Doing it is much harder - so here you can find more detail on each of the steps above, to get you started with your own planning.
Warning: it involves legwork, perseverance, imagination and a willingness to get it wrong.
You can visit my blog at to read more about what's involved in the 8 steps, as well as find a host of other useful tips and advice on sales, marketing and new business - handy for anyone responsible or involved in acquiring new clients or growing a business's reputation.