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Evolving your business development goals: from jurassic to futuristic

Evolving your business development goals: from Jurassic to futuristic

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Jurassic Park found the perfect blend of special effects techniques that still hold up today. From the science of SMART to forensic prospecting, here’s how your business development goals can learn from a true movie Megalodon.

“The world has just changed so radically, and we’re all running to catch up.” – Dr. Alan Grant

Who knew this line from cinema’s premier palaeontologist would resonate so much in today’s real world? As Jurassic Park celebrates its 30th anniversary, artificial intelligence and augmented realities have slowly stalked their way into today’s sales function.

But what about those tried-and-tested business development goals? Well, just because technology’s changing, you shouldn’t swap your Panama hat for an AR headset just yet. Instead, here’s how to evolve your business goals with the tools you already have – so (brand) life finds a way.

Set achievable goals that won’t bite back 

So, eccentric billionaire and Father Christmas double John Hammond might have felt pretty clever opening Jurassic Park – but just look where this prehistoric pipedream got him. 

So, what was the problem? 

Well for a start, those lofty company goals just weren’t realistic.

Instead, he should have used the SMART framework. Ideal for both short and long-term goals, it’s perfect for keeping business development on track.

One study revealed that 76% of participants who wrote down their goals, made a list of goal-driven actions and provided weekly progress reports achieved their objectives; for context, that’s 33% higher than those who didn’t.

But what is the SMART framework and, perhaps more importantly, how can it work for biz dev?

Setting a SMARTER sales strategy to snap up the competition 

The SMART framework – which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound – is all about setting realistic and helpful goals. And when you apply SMART criteria to business development goals, it can help ensure clarity, focus and accountability. Here’s how:

  • Specific (S): First, clearly define what your business development goal is and get precise about what you want to achieve. So instead of something vague like “increase sales,” make it specific, e.g. “increase sales by 15%”. Or “…dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth” – whatever floats your boat.
  • Measurable (M): Next, establish concrete criteria for measuring your progress. The best way to do that is by quantifying the goal so you can track your success. For example, “generate 50 new leads per month” is more measurable than “increase lead generation”. As is: hatch 100 eggs in 21 days, with 0 swallowed scientists.
  • Achievable (A): Seriously, though, you’ve got to set achievable goals that feel realistic for you and your team. So always consider the resources, skills and time you have available. Whilst you’re not fretting about feeding a park full of hungry dinosaurs, unrealistic goals lead to frustration and an unmotivated sales department. Essentially, if your current sales team can handle a 10% increase, don’t set a goal for a 50% increase. Well, not without addressing your resources – anyway.
  • Relevant (R): Next, align each business development goal with your overall objectives as an organisation. Try to contribute to the company’s mission and long-term vision, whilst also ensuring it makes sense for your business strategy. We know it’s not rocket science – or dino-DNA extraction – but it’s still worth keeping in mind.
  • Time-Bound (T): Finally, set a specific time frame for achieving your goal. This adds a sense of urgency and helps prevent your long-term goal from becoming a perpetual project. For instance, “achieve a 10% increase in customer retention within the next six months”. Just make sure you’re not opening your park without testing the features, though. Safety first. 

Here’s a quick SMART goal example for your salesperson:

Specific: increase online sales by 20%.

Measurable: achieve a monthly revenue of £10,000 from online channels.

Achievable: invest in our digital marketing strategy and improve the e-commerce platform to strengthen the sales process and increase revenue.

Relevant: Align with our company’s common goal of expanding its online presence, attracting more potential customers and widening our customer base.

Time-Bound: Achieve a 20% increase in online sales within the next three quarters.

Just remember: SMART criteria provide a great framework to work within, but it’s also crucial to regularly review and adjust your goals as you go. 

Stopping your biz dev goals from going extinct 

“If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained.” – Dr Ian Malcolm

Preach, Jeff. 😎 

But when you can’t predict the latest industry trends or how technology’s going to affect the competitive landscape, how can you stop those biz dev goals from going the way of the brachiosaur? 

It’s simple: don’t sweat the chaos theory and keep these business dev best practices in mind.

6 business development best practices to keep you evolving

We don’t have 65 million prehistoric pointers for you, but these business development tips are guaranteed to stand the test of time.

1. Feed sales cycles with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

First and foremost, establish and regularly review KPIs that align with your business development efforts. Ensure these metrics are realistic, adaptable and everyone is aligned. No Dennis Nedrys on this team, please. 

2. Regularly review and update your goals

Did you know that 40% of people who write down goals don’t check whether they’ve achieved them? So try to make time to periodically review your business development goals and make sure you’re on track. 

Beyond what internal teams are doing, though, be sure to take into account any market changes and factors that could be affecting those potential customers. Finally don’t be afraid to change course, adjusting your goals so they align with the current business environment. Progress doesn’t stand still.

Similarly, stay on top of emerging trends, technological advancements and shifts in consumer behaviour. Regularly assess how these changes could affect your business and industry – then adjust your goals accordingly. Just chew on research like a hungry raptor; that’s where the growth opportunities come from.

4. Stay flexible and agile

When it comes to evolving your biz dev goals, you need to be the Gallimimus that outruns the Tyrannosaur. 

So how do you do that? 

By designing your business development goals with flexibility in mind. Try to adopt agile methodologies that allow for quick adjustments and responsiveness to market dynamics. This could involve shorter, iterative planning cycles and regular strategy reassessments. 

The thing is, there’s no guesswork in this DNA strain and data breeds the right kind of monster. 

5. Use customer feedback and market research

Conduct regular market research and regularly check in on customer feedback. To do so, talk to customer service teams who have direct access to day-to-day insight. That’s how you’ll paint a real picture of the pains and preferences of your target audience. You can use this information to adapt your goals and meet any changing demands. Learn to roll with the punches and life will find a way.

6. Continuously learn and train

Research from Salesforce suggests that 26% of high-performing sales reps get weekly coaching; only 20% of low-performing reps say the same. So invest in continuous learning and training for your business development representatives and sales reps. 

Equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate any market changes, adapting alongside your business goals – not brushing against them. This is especially important for the next generation of sales professionals. According to L&D research, 76% of Gen Zers believe learning is key to a successful career and they watch 50% more hours of online courses than any generation before them. 

So keep adding to your brand’s DNA sequence and watch it bloom for years to come.

The thing is: business development goals are all well and good, but they’re extinct on arrival if your team doesn’t execute them properly. And as any palaeontologist worth their salt will tell you, you can’t dig up a dinosaur skeleton without the right set of tools. Something like that, anyway.

Tools for prospecting like a palaeontologist 

Despite coming out the same year as the dire dino flick Carnosaur, Jurassic Park has stood the test of time.

That’s because instead of relying on a single trick – one that could end up ageing horribly – Spielberg used a blend of techniques to bring his vision to life. Realising your biz dev goals is no different. From digging for clues to putting it all together, it takes multiple tools to make gold out of amber. 

Excavate with email 

We’re not biased when we say that email prospecting is still a great way to reach potential customers. In fact, our prospecting research found that 77% of B2B marketing decision-makers wanted to hear from suppliers via email – the most popular channel by far.

However, without the specialist software and expertise of an agency, prospecting can be time-consuming and inefficient. Sopro takes care of cold prospecting, so you can focus on the other stuff: building relationships with key prospects, chasing growth opportunities and reaching those lofty financial goals.

Pickaxe the platforms

While featherless raptors are the stuff of make-believe, social selling is very much a reality. In fact, as many as 70% of sales reps are now actively using LinkedIn in their roles. That’s because the network allows you to quickly reach a wide audience via specific targeting that can find your ideal customers.

But like piecing together a stegosaurus skeleton by yourself, manual LinkedIn outreach is hard work. Sure, it’s great for small businesses that don’t need lots of leads, but it doesn’t scale well at all. Worse still, success rates can be low because InMail messages often feel spammy and easy to ignore. 

But using LinkedIn as part of your multichannel outreach means that email and LinkedIn support each other, along with a blend of inbound marketing. Increasing the personal nature of your outreach and putting your face to your name can help boost results.

And the hard work? We can take care of that for you. After all, like a T Rex and an occupied toilet; we eat LinkedIn outreach for breakfast. 

Call for clues

The upside of cold calling is you have direct conversations with potential clients. In today’s clinical world of Zoom calls and chatbots, it’s just a more natural, personal way of building relationships. 

The downside is people don’t like it, and don’t tend to answer: it takes eight attempts to get through to a prospect on average, and it is reported that only 1% of cold calls lead to appointments.

But with a Sopro campaign you can have the best of both worlds. We unlock phone numbers once a prospect has shown some interest in your campaign. So you get the advantage of speaking in person, but only when you know they are already looking to learn a little more.

Read more

The ultimate guide to sales prospecting

A complete deep-dive on prospecting, including an actionable outreach plan for engaging your ideal customers.

Read the guide

The future of business development

There’s no talking raptors or ropey sequels with Sopro. When it comes to biz dev and multichannel prospecting, our software is more Spielberg than Spinosaurus. 

How’s that, exactly?

Well, Sopro offers a fully managed B2B business development service that drives new sales enquiries from your ideal customer and a sales engagement platform packed with innovative features; tools that are all laser-focused on optimising outreach and nurturing leads.

So how do we do it?

By combining cutting-edge technology, world-class data and an unrivalled prospecting experience. And that means you can concentrate on what’s truly important: closing deals and growing your business.

Book a demo to find out more.

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