Setting business development goals will help you win clients and influence your team

We all know how important sales are, without sales your business won’t grow, and without growth, your business will collapse. Therefore, it is essential to account for sales and business development within your company.

Whether you’re managing your business development in-house or outsourcing to an agency, implementing a thought-out strategy will help to win you clients and give you the ability to positively influence the individuals within your company.


8 tips that will help you implement a successful business development strategy.


  1. Identify long-term goals:

82% of B2B decision-makers think sales reps are unprepared.

However, have you ever questioned why this might be?


  • Establish what success looks like for your business
  • Ask why you’re deploying a business development strategy. Have you experienced a drop in inbound enquiries, are you lacking qualified leads or are you aiming to make enquires more consistent?
  • Set clear milestones and incentives to achieve the changes needed to reach success and give your team something to work towards


  1. Measure your current performance:

65% of CEOs rated “inclusive growth” as a top-three strategic concern.

Today, businesses are no longer assessed on traditional metrics, instead their relationships with workers and their impact on society is just as important as financial growth and this, in turn, heavily affects success.


  • Combine revenue growth and profit-making with the need to respect and support the people which make up your environment
  • Invest in a performance management tool. The Performance Climate System for example, is a management tool which can extract information on the current productivity, climate and perception gap between your team and the leaders
  • Allow your leaders to implement the changes needed for a more positive environment, a boost in team engagement are highly linked to an increase in sales


  1. Establish what clients you’re looking to win:

42% of start-ups failed in 2017 because there wasn’t a market for their offering.

Not everyone wants to buy what you’re selling, which is why it’s so important that you identify the needs of your target market.


  • Think quality over quantity
  • Create a client profile to give you a clear indication of who needs your product or service, understand their pain points and what long term goals you can help them to achieve

If you’re looking for ‘The Ultimate Guide To B2B Sales Prospecting’, Air’s Group Director, Richard Forrest has all the tips in this world-class book.


  1. Hunt down your next opportunity:

80% of buyers are those which you must go out and find and it may take an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach them.


  • Pick up the phone and be persistent in your efforts to build rapport.
  • Focus on your prospects need and be prepared to objection handle. For 3 killer ways to handle objections, take a read of our blog here.
  • Don’t become a sales robot, your priority is client satisfaction, so don’t let the relationship go cold.


  1. Make sure your new opportunities qualify:

Business Development Executives make between 100 and 500 calls for every lead they qualify.

Setting qualifying criteria is a way of making sure your business is concentrating on leads that can really benefit you.


  • Be clear on the decision makers you need to be talking to and what makes a good meeting
  • Analyse your prospects BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe)

Need more tips on the golden questions you should be asking to qualify leads? Read more here.


  1. Top ‘Sales Professionals’ don’t sell:

1 offline word of mouth impression drives sales 5x more than one paid impression, and as much as 100x more for higher-consideration categories.

Being a sales professional is not actually about selling, it’s about building relationships and solving problems.


  • You must be out there, have a presence and be the expert. Offer guidance, regardless of whether it results in a sale or not. You can guarantee that the person you helped, with no immediate benefit to yourself, will come back or refer your next customer


  1. Use your marketing resources:

Only 54% of professionals across service industries said their marketing and business development activities were strongly aligned.

Lack of integration between the two can result in wasted efforts and lost opportunities.


  • Partner with a marketing agency or department! Events, content and consistent company messages can really help nurture leads through your pipeline and close deals
  • Checkout our sister company, Roots to Market, who can offer a full-service approach to your marketing strategy or aid in bespoke projects such a nurture campaigns


  1. How do you know you’ve achieved success?

Business Development is a long-term investment.


  • Remain realistic when visualising what your success looks like, how much you’re prepared to invest and how long success will take you
  • When you have reached your initial end goal, it’s time to start the process again, establish what success looks like now, set a more ambitions turnover, find new competitors, hunt for more rewarding opportunities and create new milestones in order to progress further up the ladder

Done well, Business Development has the potential to transform the dynamic of your business and get you working with more of the right clients. Whether in-house or outsourced, everyone who touches your Business Development Strategy needs to be fully engaged in your long-term ambitions and understand what needs to be achieved to get there.


Get in touch:

Need help with reaching your audience, increasing your client base and growing your business? Contact #TeamAir today on 03332 581394 or via





Cold Calling Vs Social Selling – Let’s settle the debate.

There is a long-standing debate raging among sales professionals – which is more effective, social selling or cold calling? To me, the answer is simple.

Now, I am not going to bore you to death with stats which, depending on who you speak to, can be validated both ways. Instead, I’m going to give you some insight that I have gained as a Sales Professional who has sat on both sides of the fence, sometimes stuck in the middle, for over a decade.

So, my insight:

Logging into a webinar recently, I watched keenly as the debate in discussion swung from side to side, with each team offering their opinions. On one side, the UK’s top social seller and on the other, a Canadian based CMO from a well-known Sales Engagement Platform provider and advocate of cold calling. Both camps provided stats to back up their arguments, making it a close call. Although either could have come out on top, in my opinion, cold calling won this round. However, was this down to the geographical benefit of the stats, a more engaging presentation or more tangible evidence? I’m still unsure.

Since this debate, I’ve viewed multiple posts, blogs and podcasts to try and determine a winner for myself. I came across a recent Hubspot blog which appeared to settle the debate in favour of social selling, boldly stating that prospective customers and sales people alike “hate” cold calling. The blog consisted of impressive conversion figures, with the origins of these stats referenced, however, what is often left unclear is the industry, target, sales cycle, resource or end result of these stats origin. Without knowing the full picture, how can we possibly judge what is best for our businesses?

My background includes an enjoyable period as an Event Manager, assisting in the growth of the largest sales and marketing expo in Europe. At this event, exhibitors included direct sales people, cold callers and, what appeared to be, the more passive social sellers. All evidenced by the solutions which they were there to present. There has always been one impression that stuck with me after this event. Whilst the direct sellers had a constant sense of energy and approached any delegate who came within talking distance, the social sellers would wait to be approached – usually sat on their mobile phones. I’ll leave it to you to conclude whose stands were busier…

Now, it seems that these characteristics are commonplace, as shown to me by a recent experience. A well-known, international sales trainer recently posted on LinkedIn, “I have an associate looking for support in their telesales process.” The post had received dozens of comments and recommendations, however, with the benefit of having their phone number, I picked up the phone and introduced Air, asking how we could help. I was astounded to find out that from a 2-day old post requesting TELESALES SUPPORT I was the first person to pick up the phone and call. Now, yes, I was connected to and known by this person through social media, we’d swapped some niceties and a few messages which supported our conversation, but I was the only person to call and actually have a conversation! Whilst multiple people had attempted to social sell, guess what? The prospect wanted a conversation and, funnily enough, I was the only one introduced to their associate.

If this doesn’t settle the debate, I don’t know what will… it pays to use both!

Both cold calling and social selling have their place, it’s not really a matter of which one is better. When used together, they maximise the effectiveness, reach, efficiency and quality of your process. Each prospective client will buy in a different way and their more likely to notice your company if you get on their radar in 2 or 3 different ways. Any marketeer or sales professional worth their salt will tell you that a multi-channel, multi-touch approach will always maximise effectiveness.

Here at Air, we have multiple ways to win new business for ourselves and our clients. We run targeted email campaigns, sponsored LinkedIn mails, Facebook ads, engage traffic using IP trackers, networking events and referral channels. I will social sell, but I will still pick up the phone and cold call too. One shameless stat I will give you is that we’ve seen 257% growth in a year. We’re an award-winning company who are about to go through our second office move in less than 12 months due to increasing demand and our work with well-known household brands. And do you know why? Because wherever our clients and their customers are, and however they like to buy, we ensure we’re there too. Simple.

If you would like to discuss how we can help your business, give us a call: 0345 241 3038, or email:

Opinion Piece by Simon Murthwaite, Sales Director, Air Marketing Group

Do you prioritise your customer journey?

How easy do you make it for your customer to purchase from you?

This may sound like a trick question, but it’s not! All businesses exist to attract customers, generate revenue, grow and make profit. Those are the basics to business survival and thriving.

But are you making the customer journey easy and enjoyable? Would you purchase from your company, if you were in your customers shoes?

So, if you are considering your customer journey, where do you start?

Identify gaps and pain points

To develop a successful customer journey map with coherent touchpoints you must first identify the gap between the current journey people would experience, and the journey that the customer would find most beneficial. Understanding how your customers currently feel about their relationship with you and the level of service you’re providing will allow you to identify the pain points in your customer journey.

Key pain points could include:

* Unclear or inconsistent messaging throughout the buying process and touchpoints

* The lack of personalised and relevant content

* The way your sales team approach building relationships and sales with your customers

Involve customer-facing employees in the journey

It’s important to keep in mind that every employee who interacts with your prospects and customers will have a direct impact on your customer journey. For this reason, it’s necessary to collaborate with all employees from all your customer-facing departments when mapping your customer journey and discussing relevant touchpoints. Making employees aware of their impact and giving them the voice to create positive touchpoints will motivate and allow your business to give recognition for outstanding customer service.

Clarify the touchpoints your business should be implementing

When starting your customer journey begin with clarifying touchpoints which everyone in your business can agree upon. Touchpoints include your collateral, brochures, website, social media channels, email nurturing, telemarketing, customer service, appointment setting, customer communications, contact process and telesales. Once your touchpoints

are outlined it’s time to refine the voice you want to convey across every point of customer interaction. This voice should create a coherent, integrated and professional feel throughout your customer journey.

So, is your customer journey good enough?

If you’re struggling to answer this question, then it’s likely that your customer journey could be improved. There are very few companies that have got their customer journey down to a T but giving it the attention and resource it deserves, will see return on that investment.

So how does Air come in?

At Air, we are able to offer outsourced expertise to generate leads, set appointments, and even use our qualified sales team to convert these leads into paying clients. The Air process for partnering with clients opens the conversation around your customer journey and touchpoints. Our aim is to get under the skin of your company so that when we speak to your leads or clients, the experience they receive is aligned to the rest of your customer journey adding to their experience.

Sound interesting? Want to find out more?

Get in touch and let’s discuss how we can help you achieve your goals. Find out more here or call us on 0333 270 6616.

Is lead nurturing worth the investment?

Leads are the lifeblood of any B2B business. Some businesses are extremely talented in generating sales leads, others have expertise in different areas so may outsource this to Business Development companies such as us at Air. Whichever method you use to generate these vital leads, what happens if they aren’t ready to engage with your product or service?


According to Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, up to 95% of qualified prospects on your website are there to research and are not yet ready to talk with a sales rep. Unfortunately, when many companies get a lead that is not ready to buy right away, the lead then tends to get forgotten about, this results in the 70% who would eventually buy from you finding their solution through one of your competitors.


It has become apparent that many marketers are wasting their lead generation efforts by failing to nurture leads which aren’t ready to purchase straight away. This is something that doesn’t make sense, as a marketer you are wasting resource in both time and money doing this.


Today, successful B2B marketers excel by implementing a lead nurturing strategy which grows and retains their business. This strategy is making it harder for your competitors to land the leads that you have worked so hard to generate. The reason behind lead nurturing is that you can’t force a prospect to buy on their first touchpoint, in fact, stats suggest 10 touchpoints are necessary before conversion, as you also can’t afford to lose your prospect from your funnel. Lead nurturing is an investment strategy in which you build a relationship with the leads you’ve generated – this is achieved through the creation of relevant and personalised communication which adds value to your lead.


Lead nurturing may sound like a long game, but the reward is worth the investment…

According to Forrester, CSO Insights, Marketo and many other big players:

  • Lead nurturing generates 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead
  • Reducing the percent of marketing-generated leads being ignored by sales (from as high as 80% to as low as 25%)
  • Raises closings on marketing-generated leads (7% points higher) and reduce “no decisions” (6% points lower).
  • Allows more sales representatives to make their quota (9% higher) and decrease (by 10%) the ramp-up time for new reps


Have you tried lead nurturing for your business? If you like the sound of what this process could bring to your business, but you don’t have the capacity to fulfil the process in-house – talk to us!

We work with companies all over the UK and further afield to make the most of every single opportunity that is available to your business. From lead generation, lead nurturing, follow-up calls and inside sales closing calls – we can look after a section of the process or the whole process for you.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help your business – we look forward to speaking to you.

Our ever-growing expertise

Having come into telemarketing from the construction industry I had a lot to learn! I knew it was going to be a steep learning curve in order to make the most out of my opportunity and I was willing to take it on.

After thorough training, guidance, opportunities and of course learnings taken from mistakes – I worked closer to becoming an expert in telemarketing. But during this journey I came to understand that I can never truly be an expert because of the variance of campaigns, clients, industries, and requirements that I will work on in my telemarketing career.

But in truth, this continual learning, adapting and challenging myself is what motivates me to push even further in my career.

My knowledge on the science behind telemarketing is now strong and I am proud of this. But outside of this my knowledge now stretches from finance and HR services, to vehicle leasing, data analysis, energy consumption and much more!

The reason for this expansive knowledge? Is that all agents within Air Marketing Group are trained on 5 different campaigns (or more). The result of this? Is that agents are kept engaged and challenged with the opportunity to call on different campaigns – they could be working on telesales, appointment setting, events, market research for any B2B client offering any product or service.

But the benefits are also seen for our clients. Having a wide range of experience means that agents have a deeper understanding of responding to varied objections, they understand key pain points for different industries, and they can begin to build an understanding of approaches that work within different sectors to help clients with their campaigns.

We see ourselves as an extension of our client’s team, a partner. Because of this, we want to learn from our clients (who are the experts in their field) to ensure the best chance of success for their campaigns. With this in mind, we work closely with our clients when developing the strategy, our clients train our in-house agents and we encourage communication between all campaign members and all key client team members. Absorbing this knowledge from our client gives us the ability to truly represent their business in the best possible way.

It’s an ongoing journey, with ever-growing expertise that will never end – but that’s all part of the fun. Our aim to continue delivering outstanding services to our clients and the more equipped we are to do this the more we’ll succeed.

Opinion Piece by Ashley Heyworth, Senior Account Manager, Air Marketing Group