The Challenges Just Keep Coming

As a business development leader, your role is heavily focused on overcoming challenges and barriers. This spans numerous fronts, including your own sales opportunities, those of your sales team, and even how the team functions. We’ve explored a number of these challenges already, and how leaders can start to address them. Here, we’ll break down several more that can be solved with the right outbound business development approach.

But first, here’s a quick recap of the previous issues explored to give you a sort of framework for the additional problems we’ll explore shortly. These can be categorized based on where they fall in a typical sales cycle and who/what they influence (i.e. your team, the prospect, and the results):




3 Outbound Business Development Challenges

1. Inconsistent Touchpoints with Open Opportunities

You’ve probably been in this situation before, and understandably — it’s an easy trap to fall into. We all get busy, and as we noted before, sales teams today are typically tasked with far more than just revenue generation responsibilities. Unfortunately, that means deals that are in active or qualified stages of your pipeline are likely sitting there without as much attention as they need. This slows down your sales cycle and puts deals at risk.

Consistent touchpoints with prospects are key to moving them forward, especially in manufacturing sectors where the time between the first touch and a meeting can be anywhere from a few to several months or more. While automation can help, people today are now conditioned to receive automated emails and texts. Picking up the phone can have a significant impact, and companies that stay on their game statistically see better results.

2. Keeping Target Lists Fresh and Focused

It’s likely that within the mix of prospect sources you and your team use for new business, there is a list of companies and the contacts that should be targeted. The challenge here is that these lists or databases are often not kept up to date. It’s impossible to know and follow every person on that list, but what you don’t want — especially if the first challenge above is an issue — is to come back to the list after some time only to discover that a significant portion of those targets have moved on. Now your list is dramatically smaller, and you need to dedicate more time to research when you should be selling.

With an outbound business development solution, this important process is reassigned to a front-end sales team to handle. This allows your team to focus on higher-priority tasks and goals while the administrative responsibility of building, maintaining, and nurturing that list is proactively managed on your behalf. The result is a clear picture of who needs to be targeted and time wasted on prospects that won’t receive your message.

3. Leaving Quotes Open Too Long

How many open quotes do you currently have in your pipeline? How many of those quotes are more than 30 days old? Sixty days? Situations like this happen — you get a deal close to the finish line, only for the contact to go dark. But again, your day is likely packed, preventing you from consistently following up on these open deals. And as we’ve highlighted here, the reality is that you and your most experienced salespeople shouldn’t be doing this administrative follow-up anyway.

This is where the division of labor concept comes into play in sales. With a stronger infrastructure that carves out front-end sales and follow-up tasks, your sales team can focus on deals that are actively engaged — compressing the sales cycle and growing revenue faster. Meanwhile, stalled deals are still pursued until a resolution is reached.

No Excuses — Just Measurable Results

We understand that not all of these challenges are avoidable. Sometimes more is asked of team members to serve as a bridge until a new hire comes along or a certain business change can be made. Unfortunately, if revenue growth is a goal for your business, something in this broken cycle needs to change — otherwise, nothing will change.

At Athena, our structured front-end sales methodology streamlines new business development processes and teams. We take on the administrative responsibilities associated with business development — both with marketing best practices and during active sales cycles — so your sales team can spend more time doing what they do best.

The result is a compressed sales cycle, more predictable and scalable sales practices, a better-utilized sales team, larger and more qualified pipelines, and ultimately increased revenue. Connect with us today to learn more about our outbound business development solutions and how we can help you grow.