How will you invest your business development dollars?
The business world has experienced many shifts and turns in 2020, and your goals might look a bit different than you had initially expected. However, having goals set and ready (and understanding they may change) is important as we head into 2021.
With the pandemic, the election, and other uncertainties that have occurred (and many that still are), organizations may have chosen to pause lead generation efforts or to focus on sales that were farther along the pipeline. This is entirely understandable when considering the circumstances, but luckily there is a new year on the horizon that will bring new opportunities.
How will you invest your business development dollars in 2021?
Most companies will not be able to stick to a business-as-usual plan. Sales opportunities will likely look different for the near future, but it is also likely that your business will have a budget in place to limit your options to invest in business development and pursue future sales opportunities.
So how can you maximize your limited budget for 2021? The following are 3 areas you can invest your efforts to ensure your dollars are making a difference.
1. Customer Retention
How are your current customers faring? Have you checked in on them? Understanding what your customers are experiencing and taking the time to reconnect with them can make all the difference in retention.
In fact, 80% of a company’s future profits come from 20% of its existing customers, and repeat customers spend 33% more than new clients. Keeping in touch with your established connections can uncover new sales opportunities that prove to be even more successful than new business.
Plus, there is a unique chance to drum up new business with current customers who already have an established relationship with you.
Your current customers are already familiar with your brand and are satisfied with their experience working with your company. The chance to continue working with the same company on a new project is often easier to digest from a business standpoint. Checking in with your customers and keeping them informed about what you have to offer can spark interest and encourage new business opportunities from current clients.
Uncovering your current customers’ pain points, needs, and hopes for the upcoming year is important. Utilizing interactive content like surveys, polls, calculators, and calling can gauge their status and possibly unearth opportunities that would otherwise have remained unknown. Find out what your clients want and need, and then follow up with them with your fitting solutions.
Resources for improving your customer retention:
- 4 Ways to Drive Opportunity with Your Current Client Base – JMS Elite
- B2B Lead Nurturing – Find The Leads Your Competition Is Missing – JMS Elite
- B2B Lead Nurturing – JMS Elite
2. Virtual Sales Shows & Conventions
In-person shows, conventions, and conferences have adapted in the past year, and your sales processes surrounding them should be too. If most of your sales come from trade shows, you must pivot to keep the sales flowing in virtually.
Reinvesting funds formerly allocated to in-person trade shows towards practices like calling and increased pre-show outreach and post-show follow-up allows you to connect with virtual trade show attendees even though you are not speaking with them face-to-face. It can also increase your trade show ROI.
It is practically impossible to establish a connection and begin a relationship with clients through virtual events without outreach. Implementing practices like targeted calling can make your attendance at virtual events all the more fruitful. Reallocating previous trade show funds provides the dollars you need to implement these new processes and ensure that valuable connections are made.
If you have a now-defunct travel budget, you can reallocate that money to optimize your performance at virtual trade shows. If you are not equipped with an experienced team, you can advocate for some outsourcing and make sure you don’t get lost in the virtual maze. Everyone is adapting – if you can do it right, you can get ahead of the competition in 2021.
Resources for adapting your trade show sales processes:
- How B2B Marketers Can Effectively Reinvest Trade Show & Travel Budgets – JMS Elite
- Proven Methods to Increase Your Trade Show ROI – JMS Elite
- B2B Appointment Setting – JMS Elite
- B2B Teleprospecting – JMS Elite
47% of businesses aimed to prioritize personalization over all other strategies in 2020, and with customers increasingly demanding personalized efforts, this number is expected to increase in the upcoming year.
Keep your 2021 lead generation program focused on personalization and customer service, not just on leads that can close now. It is just as important to consider long-term sales. A healthy pipeline includes A, B, and C leads.
Many pipelines have been shaken up or have had to start from scratch. Provide your customers with the time they need to resettle in their pipeline positions. Spend time understanding their business pains—new or old—to offer tailored solutions that will truly work. Some sales may take longer to occur than others. Remain flexible and remember that lengthy sales are just as valuable, if not more so, compared to quicker ones.
The phone game has changed in the past year, becoming a more effective way to reach customers. Due to the pandemic, people are more physically distant but also more emotionally close to others. With online communications being the norm, people may appreciate a call from a real person during this time. Put your best people on the phone and aim to connect.
Resources to assist in your personalization efforts:
- The State of Cold Calling Since COVID-19
- B2B Sales in 2020 – JMS Elite
- What is Your ABM Strategy Missing? – JMS Elite
- B2B Teleprospecting – JMS Elite
- B2B Outsourced Inside Sales – JMS Elite
Investing in customer retention, virtual sales shows and conferences, and personalization are great areas to keep in mind when setting up your business development goals for the upcoming year.
2020 was uncharted territory, and we can expect that 2021 will bring its own set of changes and challenges. We are lucky to have years of experience and knowledge to share with clients, colleagues, and friends that may help us fly over any hurdles that 2021 will bring.
We wish everyone good tidings and the best of luck for this season and beyond.