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Keys To A Successful Business Development Plan


by Jose Capelo, founder and editor of  Marketingquery

About 60% of the business development plans fail to achieve their goals, and what is worse, many fail to materialize within the first year. These days, business development has become one of the main activities of the organizations, which continuously prospect the market looking for new niches to expand further growth.

Many are the departments that sponsor these initiatives within large organizations. Sales, marketing and Presales teams are areas where plans begin to forge, and business develops with responsibility for implementation.

The monitoring varies depending on the type of organization and its internal structure. Despite its strategic importance and the resources devoted , both in the design phase of the plan and its subsequent execution, the fact is that about 60% of the business development plans do not meet the initial objectives, and many of them are still invalid even if approved annually by the managing director.

Some of the keys that will help ensure, at least in part, the successful implementation of a business plan are:

Appoint a responsible person for the plan.

Regardless of the department to which the business development plan belongs, and from what office it should be implemented (BDM, Product Manager, Entrepreneur, Principal Development Manager…), this is key to success or a failure factor. The person appointed must be an expert on a technical level, the person in charge for the solution for the product must have market insight, dedication to sales, and to communicate effectively.

The main functions during the plan execution will be to coordinate the various actions set out therein, to establish competitive positioning, develop the plan target accounts with the Account Managers, manage the projects in the pipeline and the forecast associated, and actively participate in the work communication and marketing programs, among others.

Given their responsibilities will be most appropriate to establish a full-time and agree a variable associated with the pursuit of opportunities and / or sales related to the program.

Set ambitious goals.

Almost all business development plans are designed to be approved and not focus exclusively on market realities.

The objectives set to achieve should be measurable but above all attainable. Having unrealistic objectives can impede the proper growth of the company, and can become a real burden that can derail the overall plan. A good idea is to use external consultants to test, not only market analysis, but also our positioning and value proposition. If we detect a real business opportunity, the best plan is the one that never began.

Choosing good travel companions.

Few plans are based solely on internal resources. Something very common is design solutions with strategic partners to strengthen our position and help us penetrate the market faster. For example, a cloud storage solution with a specific third-party application, the new server with the new Intel processor, service mobility management with leading MDM tools, etc. It is therefore essential to involve our partners and set them into a “commitment” of resources, exclusivity, scaled, etc. and a clear allocation of responsibilities.

The importance of the going to the markets.

Fixing a correct marketing strategy is key to get as quickly as possible to our target audience and maximize the resources we are devoting to the development of the plan.

It is necessary therefore to detail in our chart of accounts, which will go live with our sales force and market, and which one will be achieved through other channels. The decision depends on many including factors, such as technical difficulty of solutions to the product, revenue and estimated margin of each transaction, estimation of the target market, and finally the degree of experience in selling through different channels. If part of our approach to the market is through different channels, it is necessary to establish adherence programs, training, co – marketing and finally incentive programs.

Communication among Departments.

Finding the most qualified person to lead the plan is not enough. During the launch of the plan itself a myriad of obstacles can be found that impede interdepartmental implementation.

Communication, resources and sharing times between departments is a must, so the work runs smoothly. All areas of the company should be informed about the business plan, so everyone is in the known about the general strategy. Although it seems obvious, one of the most important issues, once the investment is approved by the general manager, is communication between the management plan of the areas involved, with a clear definition of both economic effort as dedication of resources and timing.


Jose Capelo is the founder of MQ, a business blog informing entrepreneurs and small business owners how to achieve great results.  He has been involved with entrepreneurial pursuits for the last 7 years and his writings have featured in high profile websites.