The role of a Business Development Manager is quite simple to explain: build long term value for your organisation by developing lasting relationships with prospective new clients that could benefit from your organisations value proposition, with the aim of identifying new business sales leads.
As a Business Development Manager, achieving set targets and delivering upon the desired goals is no simple task. It takes both time and effort to source relevant contacts and find their up-to-date information. Followed by the daily routine of phone calls and emails to prospects; chasing after those meaningful conversations that just might uncover a project or possible lead opportunity.
The direct approach is and always has been a successful route to market, however, it is an approach that is time consuming as there is a significant amount of data, intelligence and tasks to organise which can be a constant challenge; particularly if you are working from a large data set.
However, a direct approach is not the only method of b2b lead generation. Recent years have seen digital strategy and tactics grow in popularity and use. For some, this new approach has replaced the traditional direct approach but, I believe that the best approach is one that uses both direct and digital marketing to optimise the business development role.
The implementation of a marketing automation platform has radically altered the way I approach my Business Development duties. Through its use I now find that I am having a greater number of successes and an increased number of conversations; this is also in-part due to the bridge that the platform has built between us, in sales, and the marketing team - SMarketing.
As my Sales & Business Development duties have grown I have been able to improve the way I manage and perform them by applying SMarketing principles based on an Inbound methodlology. Personally, I believe that this has made my role much more efficient; as I am now able to speak with the relevant prospects at more relevant times in their review cycle and provide them with marketing content that I believe they will find insightful.
Not only this, but the increased communication between sales and marketing means I am much better placed to influence the type of content produced by marketing; making the impact of my efforts stronger.
HubSpot, the marketing automation platform, enables both a direct and digital lead generation approach which is providing me with new sales tools and insight to assist me undertake my role. Using HubSpot provides me with the insight to know who to target via web and email tracking and access to the marketing content I require to engage my prospective clients such as BASHO emails; blog series and downloadable content on landing pages. This intelligent approach to business development has increased my effectiveness by over 50% in the last six months and a direct and digital lead generation methodology is now a core part of my working day.
This increased number of engagement opportunities allows me to optimise how and where my prospects are engaging with the content we share. From the tracking insight I can gain information about a prospects interests and challenges before even speaking to them.
By incorporating these digital insights into my direct approach I have been able to make my conversations with potential prospects much more consultative; by turning cold calls into warm and engaging conversations.
By doing this, I am now able to engage much earlier in the sales funnel and generate conversations that have a much higher conversion rate by managing their journey along the funnel.
The introduction and use of the marketing automation platform HubSpot into my day-to-day activities has not only increased the number of leads I close but also the quality of them. My ability to fill the sales pipeline with a higher volume of high quality leads means that my VP of Sales and his team are engaging with more active prospective clients, bringing the business greater successes and ROI on the business development and marketing investment.
While a direct approach to b2b lead generation is undoubtedly successful the benefits that can be achieved by incorporating both direct AND digital through the use of a marketing automation platform are unparalleled.
To learn more about how a Direct & Digital Lead Generation approach can supplement your Business Development roles take a look at our Infographic and accompanying guide for the 13 Most Powerful Tips & Techniques for 2017.