Building a Business Development Culture

As the business world becomes ever more competitive, it has become increasingly important to create a business development culture within companies. To achieve this, the whole company must shift its focus from a culture of working “in” the business to also taking some time to work “on” the business.

Everyone has a role to play in business development

Team workThe responsibility for business development shouldn’t just lie with your sales team or your marketing team. Everyone has a role to play in developing new business for your firm. Every employee has a network of friends and associates. Perhaps some of those friends could become customers of your company – you just need your employees to ask them for their business.

Provide training and support

Business development skills can be learned and cultivated. With the right training, feedback and support, your people can learn how to go about effective business development. It can be useful to conduct regular meetings with your people in order to brainstorm ideas and reinforce the message that “everyone can help to bring in a new customer or two”.

Remuneration and reward

Ensure that your business has effective measurement, accountability and reward structures in place for business development activity. Perhaps you can offer a percentage commission to anyone who brings in a new customer. In addition, you can create objectives for each team member, which tie in with an annual bonus structure.

Communicate

Ensure that you communicate the company's business development goals to all team members across the business. Give recognition to those who have contributed to the firm’s business development efforts and celebrate successes. Internal communication channels can also be useful to ask your team members for ideas in terms of improvements that can be made in order to ensure that everyone is invested in the overall objectives of the company.

A company that creates a culture of business development won’t have to rely on a few “rainmakers” to feed the entire business. Instead, everyone can play their part and benefit from creating a client-focused company where everyone can contribute to the success of the business and be rewarded for doing so.