What Makes a Business Development Strategy?
Businesses often wonder what makes a business development strategy, not least because digital transformation projects so often end with disappointing results for many organizations.
In fact, a large number—around 70%—of companies experience digital transformation failure for their project implementations.
Establishing and sticking to a development strategy requires proper assessments for the areas being targeted for transformation and a long-term plan with clear reporting and further consultation in order to stay the course.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at what makes a business development strategy and what’s needed from companies and consultants to ensure a successful ongoing program for development.
Why Is Business Development Strategy an Issue?
Nobody would argue that having a strategy in place for technology implementation is important, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that very few businesses have strategies for their BD and often overlook their long-term tech adoption goals.
The effective and continued use of technology is essential for business development, and organizations must ensure that, firstly; they have a strategy, and, secondly; that they have the expertise to carry it out over several years.
If this sounds obvious to you, then you’d actually find yourself in the minority. Even among businesses described by KPMG as “digital leaders”, just 36% of them self-identify their strategies for data as at least “very effective”. In other words, they don’t rate highly their own abilities to use data to spot growth opportunities.
Among other businesses, this figure falls to an even smaller 8%.
Consider that nearly three-quarters of companies have significant issues with rolling out their digital transformation projects, and you can see how this is a big problem when it comes to the adoption of modern tech by businesses today.
What Approach Should Companies Take to Business Development?
What organizations want to know is how to avoid these pitfalls. There is no company that plans to fail in their digital transformation, but it happens, nonetheless.
What are the ways a business can position themselves to ensure success?
A complete deep dive into the areas that most need development and the technologies required to achieve that development is one of the key aspects for ensuring success in a business development strategy.
Without truly understanding the pain points of a business’ processes (in addition to learning about new, previously undiscovered or unknown pain points), a business simply cannot formulate an effective strategy for improving their operations.
Many MSPs and other tech vendors will offer free or cheap assessments as a sales tactic to entice prospects to their service offering.
While there is no problem with this per se, businesses must make sure that the assessment they are receiving is comprehensive enough for their needs and not simply a tool for a sales proposal.
Plan for data use
Organizations often talk and acknowledge the importance of data without fully understanding why it is it’s important to them.
In 2021, data is vital, and how companies leverage the data sets they have is often key to their business development strategy.
It’s not good enough for businesses to be vague about what they want from digital transformation—businesses should establish their pain points through an assessment and from there determine how they can use recommended solutions and the data associated with them to counter those pain points.
In business operations, this can often mean the establishment of automated workflows for many of the processes that a new digital solution will bring.
If, for example, a company is not responding to its customers as effectively as a competitor, it might be recommended to upgrade or adopt a new CRM with better capabilities. From there, important workflows can be identified and automated if possible to make sure queries meet the right stakeholders at the right time—improving efficiency and the ability of service staff at the same time.
Some organizations fail to understand that business development is as much a commitment as it is a means to strategize growth.
Because so much business development is tied to digital solutions—namely the use of big data—the necessity to plan implementations that have longer-term ambitions is more pronounced.
Generally speaking, there will always be a degree of pushback to changes in operations, particularly if it involves the adoption of new and unfamiliar technology.
If a long-term strategy beyond the adoption and implementation phase hasn’t been planned, there risks the possibility that a lack of support, buy-in, and potential scaling (whether up or down) of the solution can cause issues down the line.
Look no further than the disastrous ERP rollout at brewing giant MillerCoors back in 2017, which led to a $100m lawsuit. This is an extreme example, but businesses—even world-famous brands—have bad implementations that cost them dearly because of a lack of long-term planning and strategy.
Just as long-term goals are important to establish and stick to, it’s just as important to involve stakeholders and strategists who are experienced. This is the primary appeal of companies using MSPs like Impact in the first place.
Businesses should be sure to have consultants on board who have implemented similar projects before, from ideation to execution and ongoing support, so that they can be confident that the plans and procedures they’ve put in place remain in place after adoption.
Whether this is through an in-house hire or a consultant is up to the business, but managed service providers often provide good value in this regard because of their depth-of-knowledge and—in cases of larger MSPs—their extended offerings and the ability to tie-in other services into existing goals.
With ERP for example, a business may want to look for help about how they can integrate their CRM into the solution, and from there consider other options for their marketing like automation made possible because a business development specialist is able to use their experience and spot an opportunity for growth across multiple departments.
In highly specialized MSPs that offer one or two offerings, these chances to grow multiple business operations as part of a wider digital strategy becomes more limited compared to MSPs that offer a variety of different ways to pursue growth.
Ultimately, what makes a business development strategy successful will be the a clear understanding of what needs improving, the implementation of correct tools to counter pain points, the ability to use those tools to spot further opportunities, commitment to a long-term plan for digital transformation, and the inclusion of stakeholders with experience on digital projects in your field.
Without these key aspects of business development and growth with the adoption and implementation of technology, organizations risk their projects failing.
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