Since uncertainty in the business world is the norm, doing the right things at the right time is important. To remain ahead of the competition and relevant, companies must keep tabs on the trends shaping business development and adopt them or change accordingly.
A notable trend is the demand for business development professionals. In an October 2020 Future of Jobs report, the World Economic Forum named business developers in the top 10 in-demand business professionals. In addition, country-specific and industry-specific business development professionals are in demand. Most tech-driven companies require business developers familiar with specific technical tools that enhance outcomes and save time.
Critical professional development areas include next-generation sales acceleration tools, client relationship management (CRM) systems, and automation tools. Strong customer relationships form the backbone of business development. Enhancing client relationships is at the core of most business development trends, including the adoption of CRM systems that hold information on each customer that teams can leverage to enhance relationships. The goal of CRM is to create additional value and convenience for clients.
As companies seek new business growth areas, they may be tempted to cast too wide a net to try to reach everyone at once. However, wide-range, horizontal marketing may not be the best solution. To reach more business prospects, companies may need to go deeper into specific spaces — it may be prudent to pursue certain clients and accounts more aggressively than to widen the net. Specifically, companies should focus on decision-makers and executives that align with their unique offerings.
In a highly connected world, the role of emerging technologies in business development is enormous. New technologies help companies in nearly every industry develop better client solutions. More significantly, technology helps companies retain clients, for example, by using personalized loyalty programs with rewards for loyal customers.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are useful tools that help companies reach beyond their current means. M&As consolidate companies or assets through financial transactions between two or more parties. As a business growth strategy, M&As are gaining popularity for companies looking to gain competitive advantages, expand into new markets, or gain access to new skills and technologies.
In addition, gaps may develop in a company’s offerings when the market environment changes in response to new regulations, rules, or external events. These times are opportunities to sustain growth through a suitable and strategic merger. In business development, a strategic merger brings value to both the acquiring and the acquired companies.
COVID-19 may herald the end of free-market globalization as the world has come to know for many years. The pandemic has exposed the serious risks of uncoordinated and independent actions of national governments on the global economy. A new form of globalization is starting to emerge that recognizes global interdependence.
As a result, companies worldwide will change their business management and governance models to focus more on corporate social responsibility. In the future, business development strategy will be driven by community and society good.