The way companies and professionals undertake business development and prospecting for new clients is changing. For those in a B2C environment there is a major technological and demographic shift to adapt to. When it comes to professionals, and those in a B2B environment, the way we go about business development is being transformed by the digital transformation. We have three experts to offer their insight on this topic.

Digital pigs in a trough: Digital workflow disruption in real time

Technology is at a stage where information can now be shared and used by any person in the workforce, at anytime, in any place. This can have a drastic effect on the way people and individuals can interact with consumers. Understandings from previous experiences, and having insight into buying behaviours of specific customers will help increase customer loyalty and brand advocacy. Keith Holdt, Investment Director at Lloyds Development Capital appreciates that this can’t happen in a paper-based organisation, however, as businesses use digital tools more often for processes this can make the whole way of performing individual tasks more automated and effective.

How generational theory changes how we sell

Graeme Codrington, futurist and founder of TomorrowToday talks about generational theory and how this should impact the approaches taken when selling to different age groups. Codrington uses the example of selling equity release, to the “baby boomer” generation versus the older, “silent generation.” Using this theory, and demographic insights, you can avoid making mistakes which could harm business development strategies. The same can be applied to younger generations and the approaches used, which is important to consider when engaging on social media platforms.

What’s the secrets of better business development?

We have James Potter, The Linked In Man, with his advice about how to sell more, using LinkedIn. If you are already on LinkedIn you are part of a community of 162 million professionals globally, which is growing by 1 million every week. It is changing the way companies recruit as well as how individuals interact with work colleagues and their extended business network. The tool is disrupting the way many do business by building trust, staying connected, and being helpful to specific networks.

Inbound marketing: holy grail of business development

Really effective business development is not about reaching out, it’s about people coming to you. This happens when you are good enough at what you do that new clients come to you. However, this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. As Bob Barker, VP of Corporate Marketing and Digital Engagement, explains, it means having great websites, SEO, a social strategy, and content people want to read or watch online. These strategies will drive new clients to you.

 
Business development in the digital age

Winning new clients and customers is different in the digital age. It is no longer about putting a message out, traditional marketing, or cold calling. The ‘zero moments of truth’ often happen outside an organisation, where opinions are formed by what prospects they read and find online. Business development has to adapt to these facts. The digital transformation is making reputations, engagement, and content key to whether prospects turn into clients.