Top Business Growth Methods

Virtual sales team –  what’s most effective for business development?

An increasing number of businesses are choosing to use a virtual sales team. From digital marketing to cold calling, there are a variety of way for business owners to drive growth and connect with new customers.

In this blog, we talk to Vicky McKenna, regional director of Get Ahead Oxfordshire, who shares her insights into our most popular business development services and which one might work for you.

Why are so many businesses choosing to use a virtual sales team?

Vicky: One of the most interesting statistics to come out of a recent Get Ahead survey is the 11% increase in clients choosing our business development services. This indicates two interesting business trends:

Firstly, more businesses are aware of the need to put their energy into business growth – they’re actively pursuing it instead of just accepting the status quo and crossing their fingers. This is good news – it raises the bar for business leadership, as well as meaning that more businesses are likely to succeed in the long term. I’ve always been horrified that 50% of businesses fail in the first three years – active business development could reduce that figure considerably.

Secondly, the increase in outsourcing business development shows that business owners are looking at what the competition is doing. We’ve already seen this race in social media, which has gone from being a nice-to-have to a business essential. In the same way, strategic business development is becoming the norm. More business owners are realising that what they have is worth shouting about, as long as they shout louder than the competition!

What are the most popular business development services?

Vicky: Our survey of clients – who have businesses of all shapes and sizes and are located all over the country – shows that 38% come to us for digital marketing to drive their business growth. This includes email marketing, SEO, pay per click and more. We don’t know exactly why this is, but we are aware there are many aspects of digital marketing that make sense to outsource. For example, I couldn’t jump straight on Mailchimp and send out a marketing email – my role is talking to clients on an individual level and matching them to virtual experts. If I need to send out a marketing email, I outsource it to one of our team who’ll put it together in less than an hour.

The second most popular is social media, which 28% of our clients ask for. While most of us know how to write a post and share it on Facebook or LinkedIn, we also know what a drain on time social media can be, and how hard it is to post consistently. For this reason, our clients find it’s more efficient to outsource social media for business development.

In third place is customer relationship management and sales campaigns. As with digital marketing, these are areas where it’s useful to have an expert take the lead, which would account for their popularity among Get Ahead clients.

What’s the best business development approach?

Vicky: We’ve seen that digital marketing is the most popular, followed by social media and CRM. However, the best business development approach is the one that works for your business and delivers the best return on your investment.

Different businesses grow in different ways. Some gain more customers, while others evolve, improve or find their niche. Each of these approaches needs strategy behind it to be effective – the strategy will also highlight what business development approach will be the best for your organisation.

If you’re ready to develop your business but you don’t know where to start, Get Ahead can help. I’m part of a team of regional directors – each of one of us helps clients identify the right solution for their unique business and we can help you too. Explore our site to find out more and get in touch whenever you’re ready!

Find out more about our services or call 01483 332 220 to discuss in more detail.