Depending on the state of your business and industry, you may be looking to sustain your current growth rate or bounce back from your losses. But growing a business takes significant strategy to ensure you’re nabbing quality, lasting clients that take your business to the next level. And today’s frequently changing business landscape can upset the applecart.

If you want your business to stand the test of time and sustain success, you’ll need to adopt leading industry and consumer trends. To help you form your business development strategy, let’s dive into five trends that will shape the future of business development across all industries.

1. Social Engagement

There’s no question that today’s buyer spends time on social media. According to Social Media Today, the average person spends 116 minutes on social media each day. That equates to nearly a whole month out of the year. And while email may be better at driving traffic to your website or expanding your reach, MailMunch reports that social media has a higher engagement rate than email.

The bottom line is that social networks have become commonplace for consumer and business interactions. And your business cannot afford to stay off of it — you need to place advertisements, participate in industry discussions, and publish content regularly on social networks to expand your reach and pull in new clients.

2. Mobile Optimization

It’s important to reach people where they are, and mobile internet traffic has already surpassed desktop and is expected to grow. Search Engine Journal recently reported that mobile accounts for 57% of all internet search traffic. And if we talk about email, which is a leading form of business development outreach, mobile email clients accounted for 61% of opens in July 2017. If you’re email doesn’t translate well onto a 5-inch mobile screen, your prospect will probably delete it without a second thought.

In the future of business development, you will need to reach people anywhere, anytime to ensure that they see and engage with your messages. This means making sure your communication with clients is built for mobile first and that your attachments, like Word documents or PDFs, are optimized for performance a mobile phone or tablet.

3. Personalized Content

With nearly 90% of all B2B marketers employing content marketing, it has been well established as a leading tool to engage new audiences and bring existing ones close to purchase. And content doesn’t have to be a daunting task, it can be as simple as a social message or email campaign. But where content really shines is in personalization. In fact, studies have found personalized emails to have six times higher transactional rates.

By using relevant, personalized content throughout the buyer journey, you are keeping your brand top of mind for your prospects. Something that will help you reel them in when you make the move to convert them into clients. Personalized content also helps you develop relationships with existing clients, increasing upsell, cross-sell, or even resell opportunities. And for the most accurate personalization for each prospect or client, you need to keep your company’s CRM data clean and up-to-date.

4. Vertical Marketing

Sometimes, it’s tempting to cast a wide net for your business. Who doesn’t want to reach anyone and everyone? Well, the problem with wide-range, horizontal marketing is that it’s shallow. Your marketing is intended for so many different types of people, that you don’t catch many clients. Instead, it’s more effective to narrowly target your marketing towards a unique audience that would actually be interested in your services.

To go after your priority accounts and clients, focus your marketing and development efforts towards the executives and decision makers in the right verticals. Especially for B2B companies, your clients belong to specific business sectors or industries. By targeting those unique sectors, you’re sales and marketing campaigns will attract and engage more qualified leads.

5. Innovative Technology

In the ultra connected world we live in today, there are emerging technologies in every market that enable businesses to create better solutions for their clients. To secure the best future for your company, adopting new technology may be the key to retaining and acquiring more clients. And considering the fact that it’s six times more expensive to acquire a new client, this isn’t something you can ignore.

The technology that you adopt doesn’t have to be customer facing either. For example, you could adopt a new CRM system or a project management platform to improve your team’s productivity. Alternatively, you may decide to invest in developing a mobile app that makes it easier for clients to access your services. The key to embracing technology is to focus on the innovations that add convenience and value to your clients.

Improving client relationships is at the center of many business development trends. Find out how these CRM automation tactics can help empower your marketing and business development teams to create better, more lasting relationships.