The 5 Fundamentals for a Successful Business Development Team

Your company has just created a business development team or there has been one in place for a while, but the results just don’t seem to be up to par with your expectations?

If you are like most sales people, you have done your research on how to gain customers and hit the sales quota that you have looming over your head. Like me, you probably did an internet search and realized that there are thousands of tips that you can use to be successful and were instantly overwhelmed.

We live in a culture now where our society has forgotten that fundamentals are still the first step in creating a strong base to a successful career. We want everything now and have issues with being patient. We “go big or go home” as they say. So below, I have listed five tips that I believe are the fundamentals in creating an outstanding business development team. The foundation of the house, to picture it visually.

Five tips:

1. Personal Communication Isn’t Dead.

People still talk to each other? 

YES! But nowadays, it seems like a crazy idea to pick up the phone and actually dial someone’s number because it is so easy to text, email, or direct message via our never-ending social media accounts. Don’t get me wrong, all of these other avenues are still important, but when you actually call that person and talk to them directly, you are able to build a relationship that impersonal contact methods cannot provide.

A business development team should know that the first call is not meant to be a sales call, it is meant to build that trusting relationship. People buy from people that they trust. This means: ask questions that are important to them, do your research, don’t make the call all about you and your business.

Important sub-tip: There are individuals who you contact that only want to be contacted via email, please respect their wishes or you will annoy them by continuing to call. The benefit that you now have, though, is you made a personal connection first and they are now more willing to open your emails.


2. Follow-up!

It seems obvious doesn’t it? Make a connection and follow-up afterwards; but you would be surprised at how many leads become forgotten after making an initial connection. Sales follow-ups are an absolute MUST if your goal is to convert leads into customers.

Check out this follow-up email template if you are having would like a little help.

Make the follow-up personalized and be sure to recap their main pain point or points that they shared with you. This proves that you actually listened to what they had to say. Also, be sure to include the date and time of when you will talk next.

Now comes the hard part, the wait. These people are busy. If they don’t get back to you in a couple of days, that is alright. Don’t stress. Big decisions take time. You wouldn’t buy a house the day after you start thinking you need one, would you? Well, maybe you would, but that’s not typically recommended.


3. Prospecting is Still Your Friend.

Okay, I will admit, I have a bit of a traditional streak in me, which was probably easy to tell after the first tip. I still believe that prospecting does provide value. Everyday I contact people who have not heard of our company. This means they are in the intial phase of buyers journey. Think about it, we have the world at our fingertips with the internet. Now, there are websites selling any type of service for $15, but either way, there are so many resources that may capture a possible lead before they are even aware of your business.

There is an art to it, though. In the effort to modernize, combining the traditional with the modern way, the business development team must be aware of the company’s buyer persona. By knowing this, it is easy to do research and tailor a more personalized approach to the first contact.

Remember: One of the most important tasks the BD Team should know is that research is key. When making the first call, like Tip #1, knowing what grabs the prospect’s attention, will automatically set your company apart from the other ten calls they received that day.


4. Be Personable!

Ever talked to somebody and can feel right away that they have had a bad day? Guess what, so can the person you are calling! When calling on the phone, it is obvious by the tone of voice used and enthusiasm portrayed how that day has gone for you.

So be personable! When calling, SMILE. The person on the other end of that phone can feel the warmth and positivity that shines through the phone. You would be surprised at the change in response that you will receive by doing that. People will want to talk to you! It’s all part of building trust.

Make sure you start the conversation with something about them and be excited about it! Show that you care…and actually care. People can tell when you are overdoing it. Remember the waiter/waitress that seemed to be overly nice in order to get tips? As a previous waitress myself, I can tell you that people see right through the phoney business.

If you are not feeling the positivity because the day has gone bad, then don’t call. You will be wasting your time and creating a bad name for your company. Take this opportunity to prospect or do research on potential and current clients.


5. It’s Not All About You…

Last but not least and one of my personal favorite tips: it’s not all about you. We get it, your business is AWESOME! You can do it all; in fact, you have pigs in the backyard behind the building that actually do fly!

How many times have we heard this? Maybe not quite to that extent, but I think you get the idea.

Let’s take a moment and put ourselves in the prospects or leads shoes. Your phone rings and you get a call from someone who starts the conversation by telling you that their business can fix all your problems and then some. Let me guess, your rolling your eyes at this point? So why would you do that to YOUR prospects or leads?! This is why the previous tips are so important. Be personable, learn about their business and them through prospecting and researching, call them directly and set up a meeting to talk further to learn more about them, not to sell your company, and follow up with a personalized email. Put it all together and the results will astound yode


So learn how to talk on the phone again and make sure you follow up with a personalize email, prospect and do your homework, use that to be personable, they should enjoy talking to you, and make sure you remember that it’s all about them, no matter how great your pigs are.


Now remember, these are 5 fundamentals for a successful business development team. You have to build the foundation before putting up the walls or your house will fall apart.  Same goes for your sales strategy and your website. Are you utilizing your website as a sales and lead generation tool for your business? If not, take a look at the free e-book we’re offering below.

Gaslight 25-Must Haves for Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales and making an Awesome Website