Inspiring Business Development Growth In 2021 And Beyond

The start of the new year has seen many organizations and business leaders wondering how they can enforce business development growth strategy for 2021 and beyond — especially while continuing to adjust to the uncertainty that the future of our economies, their business and communities holds. We learned in 2020 that businesses that were ready to innovate, shift strategy on a dime and try new directions were able to overcome many of the obstacles from the pandemic and adapt to rapid changes.

Today, many businesses are now looking for ways to recover from the financial losses sustained in the past year and successfully transition into “The Next Normal” — a term that refers to the emerging post-pandemic era coined by McKinsey. This raises the question: How can organizations strategize for growth and prepare their sales teams to better understand and align with their goals? By understanding the fluidity of the situation, companies will be more willing to take leaps of faith in articulating future problems and preparing a business plan by remaining forward-thinking.

In previous Forbes Councils articles, I provided direction for those who sought advice on incentivizing and guiding sales teams and the best way to conduct business forecasting during economic uncertainty. This piece will focus on my top three actionable steps that business leaders can take when putting together a growth strategy for the current year and beyond:

Set Realistic Expectations for your Business

Although we’re still amid the pandemic, the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has given many businesses an optimistic outlook. According to a report conducted by World Bank, 2021 is expected to see the global economy grow by 4%. This is evident as businesses are starting to see positive growth indicators such as budget increases from their customers, hiring starting to pick up and expenses starting to come up. As such, many organizations are looking to begin growing to make up for this gap year. However, businesses should keep in mind that expansion and growth are not going to look like they have historically — even as the numbers begin to rise. We are not going to be 100% back to normal. That’s why it’s important to set realistic expectations among stakeholders, employees and board members so new standards of success can be acknowledged. Ensuring that reasonable expectations are set allows for continued flexibility and adaptability as we continue through 2021. 

The pandemic’s onset caused a high amount of unemployment, resulting in thousands of layoffs that impacted every industry across various roles. As such, there are a lot of eligible and qualified people available on the market. As you’re looking to grow, you need to make sure you have the right talent in place and a clear idea of the strategy you’re going after.

If you’re looking to acquire new logos, then that’s a very different hiring profile for sales. If you’re looking to grow the existing clients you have, that is also a different profile. It’s important to ask yourself: What are the different programs you’re running? What is the strategy of the business? Are you looking to grow new logos? Ensuring that the revenue organization is aligned on the strategy from marketing to sales will allow for fast execution of the right approach to achieve your goals.

Get Clear About Your Goals And Objectives for Business Development

Even though we are getting back to some level of normalcy, things that worked before the pandemic are probably not going to work in the current year and beyond. For example, in-person events are an area that many marketing budgets targeted but have been completely upended by the pandemic as the world has moved towards virtual events. This leaves an extra budget for new and creative ideas.

The entire strategy of revenue for organizations will stay in flux, even after we get through vaccinations. Getting clear on what your new organizational goals and objectives are while continuing to take care of employees is important to keep in mind. As we pass the year mark of employees being effectively stuck in their homes, goals and objectives should include a plan on how to motivate sales and marketing teams. This is needed so they can push for continued growth when more likely than not, they are dealing with the burnout of working from home.

We manage burnout at WhiteHat by doing alternative workweeks where our employees get to work four 10-hour days. This has empowered employees to choose a day they want to take off and has significantly reduced burnout. Being overly communicative and transparent is also key to easing concerns during uncertainty. At the start of the pandemic, we started doing weekly all-hands with the entire company, then transitioned to every other week, and now we’re back to monthly as we get used to being remote. Our goal for holding these meetings has been to inform employees how the business is doing and give them a sense of stability.

2021 will be the year of transition for many, if not all, organizations. This is the time to take a holistic look at your company’s overall vision and growth strategy. Aligning your goals and objectives with realistic expectations and honing in on hiring profiles is a great start to navigating post-pandemic success.

article provided by Forbes

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