How to Develop a New Business Development Team

by Sam Ashe-Edmunds; Updated September 26, 2017
Businesspeople With Digital Tablet Having Meeting In Office

Sales strategies often include a two-tiered approach to increasing revenues. The first centers on attracting new customers and clients while the second focuses on increasing sales among existing customers. In both scenarios, new business development planning can play an important role. Creating the right group of people to expand your sales requires analyzing your needs and finding the employees with the skills to fulfill those needs.

Set Your Strategic Goals

Before you begin creating a new business development team, you must first determine what your new business development goals are. They might include launching new products, diversifying into new marketplaces, going after an additional target audience, creating partnerships with other companies or organizations, finding new customers within your target market, selling new products to existing customers, showing existing customers new uses for your product to get them to buy more of it, or buying another company.

Consider Your Tactics

Once you know your business development strategies, assess what tactics you’ll need to use to pursue these objectives. For example, if you plan on going after a new target audience, you might need to re-brand your product or service for this group. That might include changing the features, price, distribution channels and even selling it under a different name. If your goal is to get existing customers to buy more, your tactics might focus on an expansion of your advertising, promotions and public relations.

Assess Team Member Needs

Once you know your goals and how you might best reach them, decide what type of people you need on your new business development team. You might need sales people who are willing and able to travel to make sales calls. You might need team members with expert knowledge marketing. This means people who understand product development, pricing and distribution strategies. If your plan requires a heavy emphasis on marketing communications, you will need creative people, those who understand social media and team members well-versed in media buying.

Evaluate Potential Team Members

Write job descriptions for each team member you’ll need in your new business development group and begin analyzing who on your staff can fill these roles. Meet with people you think are a good fit and get their feedback on your plans. Determine if you can split their time between their current functions and new business development without short-changing either role. Once you know which positions you can fill in-house, begin advertising for and interviewing external candidates to join your company, either full-time or part-time. You might use a representative of a consulting or marketing firm you retain to join your team. Look for non-specific work skills required for successful participation in a team environment, such as time-management skills, self-confidence in groups and effective communications skills.

Create The Team Structure

Once you have identified your team members, determine who will lead the team, who will take which responsibilities and who will manage the project. Share everyone’s job assignment so each person on the team can understand their role as it applies to the group and project. Have the team determine how it will develop its business development plan and assign tasks to each member to help get the plan rolling. Keep the team structure in front of individual group members by holding weekly update meetings, rather than allowing team members to work on their own for long periods.

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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