The importance of Business Development

Business development can be defined as the ideas, initiatives, and actions that helps assist a company in becoming more successful. Enhancing revenues, expanding the firm, increasing profitability through strategic partnerships, and making strategic business decisions are all examples of this.

One of the important parts of Business Development for me is consultative selling. This is something I am really driven by professionally and I love to encompass this into my team’s training.

What is Consultative Selling?

In the classic book SPIN selling by Neil Rackham published in 1988, Rackham explains in detail that in order to win larger consultative negotiations, salespeople must circumvent traditional sales approaches and establish value as trusted advisors.

SPIN Selling is just one sales methodology that enables sales teams to become more customer-centric almost immediately by asking the questions that need to be addressed to establish rapport, credibility and pave the path for a sale.

Important reasons to nurture leads using consultative selling: -

1. Knowing your customer - Consultative selling is no longer about persuading customers, but rather persuading individuals to persuade themselves. It's all about getting to know them and their needs so they can do a good job of adding value. That hasn't changed, but a few other factors have, making consultative selling more relevant today than it every has in the past.

2. Adapting your style and considering the bigger picture – Often being adaptive and understanding a prospect’s problems can open up the conversation. Questions might be “Are you happy with your current supplier?”, “Does this process work for you?” or “How reliable is your Y…..?”

The principles of consultative selling are useful and worth learning. In many circumstances, they can be used in conjunction with many sales techniques. Consultative selling emphasises on asking the correct questions in the correct order, using active listening, and translating the prospect's wants into the features of your product - all of which are principles that correlate well with inbound sales.

3. Implications are key - Determine the severity of the problem once you've identified it. Implication questions highlight the breadth and scope of your prospect's problem, providing you with crucial information for tailoring your message and instilling urgency in the buyer at the same time. Questions might include “Does this ever prevent you from hitting your goals?” or “When was the last time this didn’t work?”

4. Seeing the larger opportunity – Business Development team members highlight possible areas of opportunity at this point. To put it another way, “what is the gap that isn't being filled?” “What is the source of the prospect's lack of satisfaction?” They may not be aware that they have an issue, therefore look for common areas where your solution offers value.

5. Final value questions - You're simply asking questions to uncover the potential of your offering to help them with their core requirements or challenges. These enquiries are concerned with the solution's worth, significance, or utility. You need final value questions to empower the prospect to express the benefits of your product in their own words, which is significantly more persuasive than listening to you do it.

Every area in your organisation is affected by successful business development, including sales, marketing, production, human resources, accounting, finance, product development and supplier management. This is why I feel so passionate about what I do.

At Ascento, we have created management programmes for managers and leaders at all levels within the business.  Whether someone is in their first management role, or a senior manager within a large organisation we have a programme to suit.  If our standard programmes don’t meet your needs we can also bespoke our programmes for groups of 15 or more.

To find out more about Ascento and our learning programmes in both Management and Marketing, download a copy of our programme prospectus here. We are extremely proud of our educational institution and everything it stands for.

Adrian Davison

Written by Adrian Davison