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It's not what you call it...

Author: Mark West

In the 80s it was: Sales…In the 90s, we called it: Marketing….Today, we seem to like the phrase: Business Development…whatever we call it, simply put it all means getting more business for your company.

Whether you have a line of hard products or a less physically tangible line of services…your business will thrive, if someone pays you for whatever you have to offer. So far, I haven’t told you anything new. What many of us do tend to forget is that it is not just that simple. Yes, your product is the best ever. Everyone should be flocking , no stampeding to your door, leaving your offices look like it was victim to a respectfully stronger Hurricane. But, instead you stand there in your pristine office, scratching your head thinking…what’s wrong.

The good news is…nothing. Your product is most likely very good and there is also most likely a market for it. Today, it’s just simply not as easy as when the Fuller Brush people started the idea of door-to-door marketing. As the old saying went…to sell a few brushes, you need to knock on lots of doors. Today, we are inundated with the proverbial “knock on the door.” In the B2B market, there is 3 distinct phases for any and all purchases: Discovery, Consideration, Decision. As much as you would like without going through all 3 there is little chance for a sale.

So starting with Discovery, no one will buy from you if they don’t know you exist. Moreover, knowing you exist is only the beginning. With all the options available to us we are more likely to gravitate towards someone we already have a relationship with instead of taking chances with someone new. Finding ways to create that trusting first impression is infinitely important today than ever before. Getting in front of the right person at the right moment is ultimately important to reduce wasted time and expense.

Moving on to Consideration, you think: “Ok, they know about us, where are the sales?” Well, it’s not so easy. Whether this is a purchase of a personal product or something for a business, there is a consideration process. For you personally, it may be much easier. Maybe it lasts all of 30 seconds, because you can make all the considerations standing in the high street store: is it right for me, do I have the budget, will I be satisfied with my decision, what will happen if it is not good. These questions become more complex when you are a company. In fact, the bigger the company, the more complex. So it’s important for you to know where that prospect is in the purchasing process…something I call Filter Marketing. Reducing your need to contact those that are only in the Discovery phase and not ready to purchase, or have already gone to the Decision phase because they do not currently need your product. This way you can concentrate on those “considering”.

Finally we reach the Decision phase. Also sounding very simple, but has two specific component: Justification, Selection. Justification can run the gamut of…do we really need this product or service…to…is this supplier trustworthy. Only then comes the process of weighing one over the other to finalize the decision.

One option is to use INNOVO for bettering your business development. Not only can INNOVO make the Discovery, Consideration, and even the Decision phases simpler and more effective, there are other options to further develop your existing relationships as well as opportunities for expansion and ancillary revenues. INNOVO has a convenient list of 5 Steps To Business Development which explains the processes and solutions.

The key is whatever you call it and however you chose to accomplish the task, without all three steps of the process you can’t reach the ultimate goal of more sales and bigger profits.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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