Business development means cultivating a company’s business activities, fostering its growth and creating new opportunities.
Through this exploration and discovery, the company moves ahead and grows while shaping its own future.
Prospecting is a process, like innovation, that leads to success. To reach the goal, the company’s vision must be clear so that its strategy, organization and business development all follow the same direction.
Prospecting for customers:
Customers and their degree of satisfaction gauge the quality of the company’s work.
Satisfying them and building loyalty is an everyday duty. Sales development is achieved mainly by increasing the number of customers, by actively prospecting and through recommendations from existing customers. Recommendation is the greatest reward a company can receive from its customers. B2B prospecting is mainly carried out through trade shows, while B2C prospecting involves fairs and exhibitions, digital networking (social networks) and physical networking through clubs, conferences, events etc.
Telephone prospecting is definitely the most difficult form: why take time for a stranger in a world where there’s already too much information and too many players vying for your attention?
Prospecting for suppliers:
To increase sales, you can also increase your customers’ average shopping basket size. How can this be done? By offering complementary solutions that meet their needs. To do this, prospecting for new products and potential suppliers empowers the company to constantly build its offer. Technology watching at trade fairs enables us to get to know the players involved, the solutions they offer and to discover new products.
Market research and competition analysis:
Before buying, a customer will compare what’s available on the market and then make a decision. A company’s offer must therefore be equal to or better than the competition’s in order to be competitive and achieve the desired success.
Market research and competitive analysis provide a snapshot of where your company’s offer is positioned and help you to fine tune it and pick up on trends that will influence tomorrow’s markets. Be the first to act and stay ahead: don’t be the last to react in an effort to catch up with the competition. For exporting to a country like Germany, which differs in many ways from France, market research and competition analysis empower you to judge the potential positioning and competitiveness of your offer before entering the market. Research highlights the consumer habits out there and the adaptations, however small, it would take to promote sales and achieve business success.
New countries mean new customers, and both the offer and the products must be adapted to them.
Prospecting for business partners:
Outside the parent company’s country, the rules are different, the culture changes, and consumer expectations differ. To save time and adapt more quickly to the market, relying on the right local partners is essential. This starts with your lawyers, accountants, tax specialists, bankers and insurers. After establishing the “administrative framework” as a first step, adapting the business strategy and company organization to the customers is the second step. The third step consists in sourcing the right people, i.e. the individuals who will be implementing the business strategy in the field and applying the organisational structure as defined. Additions will be required to existing human resources. The team can be bolstered and strengthened by new people internally through recruitment, and externally through agents or distributors. Mergers and acquisitions make it possible to internalise an existing local organisation and thereby gain local know-how. The challenge then is to manage the change arising from one company being taken over by another, which alters the culture of the company taken over, and is made more complex in the international arena by the inter-cultural aspect, such as French-German cultural differences.