What brought you into the world of sales?
For many people, the answer comes down to passion. They found something they love to do and decided to dedicate their lives to doing it. Or maybe you were just tired of your previous career and wanted a change. Whatever the reason, at some point, all sales professionals face the same challenge — trying to figure out how to increase profits.
Hiring a business development consultant can eliminate a lot of the guesswork and help you invest money and resources more efficiently. But, what exactly, does the position entail? How do you know if it’s time to get one? And how can you make sure you’re hiring the right person for your business needs?
What Is a Business Development Consultant?
A business development consultant will take a detailed look at your company’s operations to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Their main goal is to find opportunities for growth.They can help you develop a viable business strategy and advise you on how to proceed with marketing campaigns and sales initiatives.
What a Business Development Consultant Does
The role of a business development consultant will vary depending on your industry, whether you’re B2B or B2C, and on your company’s specific goals. Generally, their duties include:
- Creating a buyer persona
- Narrowing down your target market’s demographics
- Creating awareness about your products or services
- Helping you generate leads
- Advising you on how to nurture relationships with leads and customers
- Identifying resources that will make the user experience better for your target market
- Studying what’s going on in the market — trends, competition, and/or possible niches
- Analyzing data to determine where your marketing efforts need to be improved
- Helping you close deals
- Following up with clients to ensure they’re happy with their service — and that they come back for more
A good business development consultant will design a narrowly tailored strategy to help you overcome the challenges your business is facing. And if your company is already successful, they can help you identify additional growth opportunities. In other words, they show you the money.
When Do You Need a Business Development Consultant?
While it’s common for a business to barely break even during its early stages, you want to make sure you’re doing everything within your control to bring in revenue. Or maybe you have a business that’s been successful in the past, but new technologies and the way consumers do business have evolved while your business model has remained outdated. Signs that you would benefit from hiring a business development consultant include:
You Have an Unhealthy Sales Pipeline.
Your sales pipeline refers to where in the sales process a lead or prospect is currently located. The reason why this is important is that your approach when communicating with that prospect will depend on where they are in their buyer’s journey. If you don’t have enough people in the pipeline to begin with, you will never hit your marketing goals.
You Are Attracting Low Quality Leads.
Speaking of marketing goals, you want to focus your efforts on high quality leads. This is one of the biggest challenges businesses face.
For your efforts to stand a chance, you need to create awareness of your goods or services to people who are ready, willing, and able to open their wallets. A good business development consultant will help you identify the right leads, determine the best way to connect with them, and be proactive about closing that sale.
Your Processes Are Outdated.
Once upon a time, door-to-door salesmen could sell vacuum cleaners. Would that approach work for you today?
You could have the crème de la crème of sales people, but if your marketing efforts are reminiscent of rotary phones and ordering by catalogue, you will always fall short. A good business development consultant will know which cutting-edge processes work best for your specific industry and help you implement them.
Your Marketing and Sales Teams Aren’t Aligned.
A marketing strategy has to be cohesive. Team members need to be communicating with each other so that they can act in concert.
Everyone has to have the same buyer persona in mind, keep consistent messaging, and follow up with each other as a lead moves through the sales funnel. This can be achieved by regular team meetings and by using an effective customer relationship management (CRM) system. A business development consultant can walk you through the process of how to maximize these tools.
Your Sales Team Is Underperforming.
If your sales team is consistently underperforming, maybe the problem is that they’re either poorly trained or are using old sales tactics that are obsolete today. While it’s important to hire the right people, it’s also crucial to provide them with effective sales tools.
A business development consultant can provide one-on-one training designed to leverage technology for your type of business and your specific goals.
You Are Not Tracking Key Performance Indicators.
In order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you’re standing right now. And the only way to do that is by measuring key performance indicators — such as traffic to your website, the sources of traffic, engagement data, lead conversion rates, and sales, to name a few.
These analytics show you how and where you’re underperforming, so that you can invest your time and energy in improving them.
5 Ways Business Development Consultants Accelerate Revenue
A business development consultant will accelerate your company’s revenue by providing you with a marketing and sales plan that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. They do so by:
1. Creating Awareness of Your Brand
You can provide the best services or products in your industry, but if your target market isn’t aware of them, nobody’s going to buy them. A business development consultant will ensure that your marketing efforts end up in front of the right people — those who have a pain point you can solve.
2. Engaging Visitors and Leads
Engaging with visitors and leads shows them you are listening to them — you know what ails them and you’re proactively moving the needle to make things better for them.
Engaging also helps you establish relationships with prospects. But you want to make sure you’re fostering the right kind of relationship — one that’s not salesy, annoying, or tone deaf. A business development consultant will provide you with a plan to do this effectively.
3. Nurturing Relationships
Sometimes, a person isn’t ready yet to buy your product. But they’re interested in what you have to offer and are educating themselves for future reference.
Nurturing your relationship with them can include providing them with relevant information, useful free content, and timely follow-ups. But who has the time to come up with all of this when you have a business to run? A business development consultant, that’s who.
4. Personalizing Touchpoints
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t exist in marketing or sales. Not only do you need to customize your campaigns to your buyer persona, you also need to communicate with contacts within the context of their buyer's journey.
Are they a visitor researching their options? A qualified lead? An existing customer? A business development consultant will help you personalize each communication and exceed the recipient’s expectations.
5. Analyzing Data
A business development consultant will analyze data throughout all stages of your marketing and sales campaigns. This process will highlight what works well and help them identify areas that can be improved in the future. It also helps you better understand user behavior and how to keep them interested.
How to Hire a Business Development Consultant
You can either hire a business development consultant to work in-house at your company, or you can contact a marketing agency to outsource the services.
The pricing will depend on your business needs, the scope of the services, and whether you agree to an hourly rate or a service package. Scheduling an initial call can be as simple as booking one online. Once you work out the kinks and sign that contract, get back to doing what you love, and watch your business grow.