Business Development

Make your business development planning more successful

Make your business development planning more successful

Make your business development planning more successful

Having worked with different professional services clients over the years, I’ve seen many try to transform their approach to sales (or business development, if you prefer), says Annabel Miller. Some of these organisations have put together a formal transformation programme, whilst others have simply sought to make a positive shift in their sales efforts.

Whether you are considering a major change or a few tweaks to your approach, I’ve come up with the following key points that you should consider as part of your plans.

1. First, answer the question “Why are we doing this?” There must be a compelling reason for change, with a clearly articulated “what will happen if we do not make these changes” and why the current status is unacceptable.

2. Design your programme. Have a clear vision about what the newly transformed organisation will look like. For example, “In 3 years time we will be working in these sectors, we will have these key clients, we will be known for….”

The vision needs to be supported by 12 month objectives, Here’s an example of key objectives.  Our objectives over the next 12 months are: 

  • To have made our first sale in the Oil & Gas sector
  • To have doubled the number of business development meetings we are having as a business,
  • To have developed a Key Client programme for our top 10 accounts.

It’s then important to clear the KPI’s for those involved, so they can focus on these new objectives.

Business Development Planning

Learn tried and tested strategies to help you unlock more opportunities and win more – and better – work.

A half-day course for up to 12 people

3. Put together the right team to drive the programme. Your team make up will be somewhat dependent on the size of the programme, but to make it work you will need senior sponsorship. One of the firms I worked with had the CEO, CFO, Head of BD/Marketing, Head of HR and the four business unit leaders on the team.

4. Develop skills, process and behaviours. You will need to include training into your programme. Don’t make the mistake that many make and think that a one-off training course will develop sustained behavioural change. It doesn’t! Training works if: a) people know why they are doing it, b) how it will help them do their job better, c) they are given support following the event, and d) there are follow ups and refreshers.

5. Give your best and potential performers access to coaching. This demonstrates a real commitment to improving people through strong, challenging and empathetic coaching. It complements training and allows the recipients to really embed new habits. Coaching should be given to both individuals and teams. High-performing teams, whether they are leadership, key client, market/sector teams, can take the business to new places and turbo-boost business development.

6. Make sure you measure and monitor progress: Track the KPI’s, celebrate successes and make sure to involve, not dictate.

7. Lastly, be very clear about the behaviour you now expect and do not tolerate poor behaviour, regardless of seniority or past performance!

If you would like to know more about how I could help with your sales training and coaching, please get in touch.  This article borrows from research (McKinsey, Hinge Marketing) as well as my own experiences.

Optimise your selling Opportunity

Creating a possitive impact at that first client meeting.
Effective Business Development Meetings - free training guide from Questas Consulting

Get it now

How To Become A Trusted Advisor

On this episode of Work Winning Ways, host Gary Williams of Questas discusses the evolution of the work winning employee and what your client wants from them. Also hear all about what it takes to become a trusted advisor, and just as importantly, how to keep being...

Managing the Client Experience

Managing the client experience is vital, because we all know that a happy client is your best advocate. That is why it’s so important to understand the tools needed to successfully optimise the client experience, and maximise the positive encounters that clients have...

Building Strong Relationships

In this episode of Working Winning Ways Gary Williams talks to Edd Stone of The Technology Partnership. Hear all about how Edd works with, understands, and builds strong relationships with people. These relationships can last over an entire career and span different...

The Psychology of Selling

Did you know that understanding the psychology of selling can help you to win more work? Are you responsible for winning work but not a salesperson?  On the Questas Academy’s Professional Selling programme, we work with candidates to equip them with the tools and...

7 Steps to Winning More Work in 2022

Do you want to win more work in 2022? Here are 7 steps that will help you to win more of the right kind of work from the right kind of clients. These are based on our years of helping consultancy, engineering and professional services firms create opportunities,...

Engineering and Leadership

In this episode of WORK WINNING WAYS we have a fascinating interview with Pat Sweet of the Engineering and Leadership podcast. Pat talks to Questas founder and CEO Gary Williams, as he gives some great insights on what it takes to successfully lead professional...

Building Customer Experience Around Trust, Care and Value.

How To Building Customer Experience Around Trust, Care and Value Building customer experience around trust, care and value is the main theme of this episode of Work Winning Ways. Questas founder and CEO Gary Williams is joined by Paul Adams of The Project Centre, a...

Why Client Services are the Key to Success

WORK WINNING WAYS with Gary Williams In this episode of Work Winning Ways, Gary Williams, (founder and CEO of Questas) reveals why client services are the key to success. He shares insights on what Questas does for companies, how the podcast name came about, and why...

Approaches to Work Winning

WORK WINNING WAYS with Gary Williams. The Questas Podcast: Episode Eight. In this episode of Work Winning Ways, Gary is joined by Mike Reader. Mike is the Head of Work Winning at Mace, leading opportunity management, capturing and bidding across Mace's Consult...

How to Uniquely Connect with Clients

WORK WINNING WAYS with Gary Williams. The Questas Podcast: Episode Seven The Questas podcast with Gary Williams is for engineering and professional services organisations. It has the aim of providing strategies and tactics to unlock your people’s hidden ‘selling’...
Business development training

Business development training

Business Development Planning Live virtual classroom Questas face to face classroom training icon Webinar

According to research, your reputation – and that of your organisation – is the most important factor for clients when choosing who to consider for projects.

Course overview

Most of our clients are time poor and often struggle to find the time to dedicate to growing their business. Exploring the fundamentals of Business Development Planning aims to give technical professionals the understanding and skills to scope out, plan and execute their strategic sales activity much more effectively.

This course focuses on creating successful business development plans and you will learn how to get to the table of target clients and take control of your business development activity.

Who’s it for?

This professional development is highly valuable to anyone who has face-to-face time with clients and those who have a remit to explore opportunities and find work from both new and existing clients.

It would also be a useful reminder for those with more experience who may not have had any formal training – or at least not for a long time!

Course format

Live virtual classroomLive Virtual Classroom: 90 minute facilitated session taking delegates through the steps of putting action-driven BD plans together. Can be general or tailored to a group with specific objectives.

Questas face to face classroom training iconFace to face: In-house half-day workshop. Often working with groups who are focused on specific markets, regions or client types. Results are tailor-made plans designed to help delegates get in front of target clients and maintain a proactive approach to business development.

WebinarWebinar: Live or recorded, this is a 60 minute session aimed at exploring the fundamentals of planning business development activities.


  • Learn how to maximise the time and the resources you have to dedicate to business development
  • Understand the principles clients use to select chosen providers and develop a set of tools to help explore the client’s world
  • Ultimately you will develop increased confidence and will learn to apply tried and tested strategies and tactics to help you unlock more opportunities and win more – and better – work.
Questas Quote Marks Circle

“This course really simplifies the whole approach to business development, I am now very clear what I need to do.”

Engineer, WSP

Content Outline

  • Planning business development activity – The Questas Growth Model ©
  • Learning how clients buy
  • Developing a deep understanding of client needs
  • Preparing for and structuring business development discussions
  • Differentiating your offer – elevate your business’s reputation
  • Introduction to client management

Interested in this course?

Email or click the button below to get in touch.

Questas is based in London, and travels internationally to deliver training.

If desired we can help you design and/or organise your own training courses tailored to your team.

Drop us a line

Optimise your selling Opportunity

Creating a possitive impact at that first client meeting.
Effective Business Development Meetings - free training guide from Questas Consulting

Get it now

Increase your bid-win rate

One of the most important business skills you can acquire is learning how to write a winning bid. The layout, language and style you use may make the difference between a successful bid and one that comes close. Bid less and win more work with our Bids and Tender Training here.

Become a natural sales person

Our Sales Conversations For Non-Sales People training course is the natural next step for engineering and technically minded professionals who are engaged in consultative selling and closing deals. In this training learners will hone their sales skills to boost their closing ratios and improve existing performance.

Free consultation

Have questions for us? Get your team started today and gain a new competitive advantage.