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Active growth depends on a viable business development plan. Companies, both large and small, must commit to a strategic growth plan to stay relevant in their respective field. The first step to this strategic development is to understand “business development.” Let’s first take a look at what business development encompasses and where it intersects with other areas of the business.


Business Development vs Sales

Business development, while it includes sales, has the ultimate focus of growing a business or corporation toward a predetermined future. Development entails marketing, advertising, recruiting, and calculating. But the end result is growth. 

The sales team also plays an integral part of business development. In practice rather than theory, sales increase the bottom line. New sales and existing customer reorders are vital to a healthy financial position. The main goal of sales is to build profit. Business development and sales operate like avocado and guacamole, they are intimately entrenched and require a little blending.


Key Performance Indicators

Performance indicators should be based on a benchmark that compares your bottom line to the competition. Choose key performance indicators (KPIs) that make sense for your expected growth. If you are spending most of your advertising and marketing resources on email campaigns, then one of your KPIs should reflect email leads that turned into sales. 


Open Doors for Your Customers

Every business development strategic plan should include a variety of ways for customer communication. New customers are exposed to you through social media, direct mail, email, and other campaigns. Your website must reflect an online presence that mirrors your physical branding as well as your company values. Give customers and new prospects multiple ways to reach you, and make sure they know exactly who they have reached. 


Leverage Customer Data

Once you have a valuable and measurable rapport with your customers, you can utilize this information to evaluate the business development strategy. The customer experience provides useful insight into what the company is doing well and what may need to change. Response times, product quality, and billing options are all crucial factors when it comes to customer retention. How does your company stack up? Customer surveys are an easy way to gauge success and implement feedback.