Reinventing SMB Business Development - building from Boston

Ed Marsh | Oct 9, 2012

A new "evolution" takes root in Boston

What can a couple guys from Boston do to change the plight of small and medium size American businesses?  You'd be surprised.  With an unusual combination of skills & backgrounds, and boundless optimism and energy, they can achieve a lot!

This week we'll include a couple interviews as blog articles - and you'll hear from Dave Kaupp & Ed Marsh on the radical new approach to business development that they've developed for SMBs.

Needless to say it's not an approach designed to make companies comfortable - the objective is success.  And the increasingly unforgiving and fast moving markets in which companies must compete today require a creativity and inclination to action that many simply lack.

But for those willing to make the hard changes, the future hasn't been brighter!

Stuck on stagnant

The B2B SMB ($0-100M) world of sales and marketing has been pretty stagnant throughout the last couple decades.  

Arguing with me yet?  Probably.  That's a bold statement, I know.  But looking critically, what has fundamentally changed?  Sexier CRM produces colorful pipeline reports now, and fabulous websites have been overlaid upon traditional biz dev approaches.  But tell me what has really, fundamentally changed.  

Companies still have silos of sales & marketing.  The predominant focus is on generating domestic leads for the direct sales force to massage.  But while the structure and tactics have remained largely unchanged, the landscape and environment have changed radically.  That creates a delta between buying and selling realities.  (Register to receive our upcoming report on the state of B2B Sales & Marketing.)

Parallel Paths

Consilium's research has highlighted two critical gaps in the B2B sales & marketing approach of most companies.  

  1. Most build their business development efforts on ineffective, traditional tactics and methods.
  2. Almost all focus solely, or largely, on the domestic market and overlook enormous global growth opportunities.
In both cases the pace and pressure of day to day business contribute to the inclination to hew to known, comfortable approaches.  But the potential benefits of stepping outside those self-imposed constraints are enormous.

Evolutionary marketing - inbound marketing (if it's done right, vigorously and with ongoing commitment) provides SMBs an equalizer to allow them to compete and beat their largest competitors.

New Markets - international sales diversification puts companies that approach exporting strategically in the right markets.  While growth is stagnant, or at best anemic, in the domestic market, other emerging markets with favorable demographics project substantial GDP growth rates and phenomenal consumer and business consumption growth increases.

Unfamiliar isn't an excuse for inaction

Yet many companies hesitate - taking an 'ostrich approach' to the clearly changing conditions around them but hoping that some reversion to the 'good old days' will save them the discomfort of radical change.

In contrast others have cast about unsuccessfully looking for a real answer rather than the routine bromides tossed about casually.  This approach is for those companies that are sincere and committed to change in support of growth.

Consilium offers a variety of resources for companies to understand their options.  In addition to the infographic below, an outline of the model for "Biz Dev Growth in Today's Markets", an eBook "13 Steps to B2B Marketing Success" and numerous eBooks and whitepapers on international business development topics, including "Picking the Best Time to Export" are available on Consilium's website.