As the business environment becomes more competitive, corporate development is a strategic necessity. Corporate development encompasses the strategic actions a company adopts to drive growth. These actions fuel expansion and improve sales, revenue, and return on investment.
Companies must anticipate competitive disruption and growth opportunities to stay vital and maintain customer interest and loyalty. Several notable trends are driving corporate development today.
The traditional approaches to corporate dealmaking may no longer be sufficient to create the desired customer value and meet changing user expectations. Companies need fresh thinking, agility, and a high level of disruption tolerance to seize market opportunities in areas where new business models are not fully developed. These include sectors such as emerging technology, artificial intelligence, and automation. Risky as such areas might be, they also represent areas of huge potential.
The rapid development of software, for example, can help a sales team quickly scale up efficiency and productivity across the entire sales cycle. Emerging technologies such as robotics and automation are the norm in nearly every market. These technologies help companies create better, faster client solutions.
The new technology does not necessarily have to be customer-facing. For example, a new project management software or customer relations management (CRM) platform that can make a sales team more efficient or productive can impact customer relations. Improving client relationships through CRM should be at the center of business development strategies. The goal is to focus on technological developments that add value and convenience for clients.
In marketing, the temptation is high to cast a wide net. The standard approach is to try to reach everyone in one large horizontal campaign. However, such marketing is often too shallow. To reach more prospects, a company needs to go deep and into the right places, which may mean moving vertically. To reach priority clients companies, particularly business-to-business companies, should direct their marketing efforts to the decision-makers and executives in those verticals that make the decision to purchase the products or services offered.
One of the biggest opportunities in business development lies in outbound marketing. To get the most from an outbound sales strategy, the sales message must be aligned with the broader marketing strategy. Thought creation, lead generation, brand awareness, and marketing initiatives must be united to create consistency in the potential buyer’s mind. Outbound sales and marketing must combine with a value-adding strategy that demonstrates to potential customers why they should become actual customers.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were apprehensive about online financial transactions. The pandemic forced many segments of the population into transacting more business online. In turn, this opened up previously closed markets to create new opportunities for business growth, particularly in the financial technology (FinTech) services sector.
Industries shift, products and services evolve, and many things change, but the bottom line continues to be company positioning, sending the right message, and being proactive. Companies must do something different to set them apart from the competition. Business development should not stop at user conversion or with the customer signing a contract, but should extend to support and new customer onboarding services, teaching customers how to use the product or service to get the most value.