There are two main areas which every sales activity falls under. Creating opportunities and seizing the existing ones. They are two separate things and two different issues.
If there is anything business developers can improve, it is surely the active creation of sales opportunities. Creating sales opportunities requires an active approach in searching for clients, defining the ideal client, catching their attention with valuable information and constant follow-ups.
Creating sales opportunities seems to be neglected, maybe because it is taxing. It is hard work relying on opening a relation (which many people find difficult) and building it arduously. In a digital world we are often reminded that such activity is costly and ineffective in comparison with inbound marketing or social media activities. This is because creating sales opportunities is difficult to automatize via any kind of software.
Meanwhile, without a proactive approach to creating sales opportunities there is no chance of building market advantage. The created sales opportunity is a result of dialogue and discussion between the business developer and a potential client. It is imbued with the expectations of both sides and mutual agreements. The existing sales opportunity is available to everyone, in a sense it is impersonal. It is easy to connect with it, thus it is easy to become someone’s competitor and create competition.
Winning requires creating an advantage from the start, so without actively creating sales opportunities it is difficult to win. Creating sales opportunities requires other skills than seizing the ones that already exist. Those only need a network of contacts, subscribing to the right source of information, and making good offers (obviously, these activities also require a substantial effort).
When building an opportunity, one needs to be constantly in contact, constantly seeking value for the client, asking questions and calibrating the offer. Creating opportunities has one more advantage, if done properly – it poses the seller as a trusty advisor, providing the opportunity for a completely different position in the relation.