Situation: A company survived the recession by cutting back and using cash reserves. Business is now on the upswing with significant new opportunities. However, the company has limited resources to invest landing new opportunities. How do you ramp up sales and business development on a constrained budget?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Identify and focus on your niche market, and invest your limited resources closing qualified clients. This is a rifle shot approach, not shotgun. While seeing new business, make sure that you have sufficient production capacity to handle new business. You want your clients to be satisfied so that they will refer others to you
- Cash is the most critical resource. Spend carefully and get the most from your investment in business development.
- While marketing materials are important, they may not be essential if you have and can leverage excellent referral sources. Word of mouth and referrals from trusted clients are your top assets.
- Leverage Linkedin as a free or low cost resource to identify key contacts in your top 100 customer prospects.
- You can also use Linked-in.com to recruit additional sales resources who may be amenable to a pure commission sale. This can help you to augment your efforts so that you only pay for success.
- Your most important current unused resource is leads and referrals from existing satisfied customers. Let them know that you are looking to grow and ask whether they know of contacts in other companies who could use your product. It is surprising how frequently they will share their contacts with you. Ask whether they would call the contact and provide a personal introduction.