Sometimes I wax nostalgic about my Rolodex. Now, people move around so much that even with the most powerful CRM systems, the information on prospects has changed almost before you’re finished typing it in. With the Internet—first expert blogs, then social media—slowly but surely, everyone had the power to influence others with their individual specialties. Marketing and business development evolved; this evolution requires a strategic reset.

So what works in today’s busy business-development process? Ditch conventional processes and start thinking strategically.

No One Works in a Vacuum: Marketing needs to be a strategic partner. Biz dev needs marketing,  including mass-market strategies driven by public relations in ways it never has been before.

Channels of Communication Go Way Beyond Emails and Sales Calls: The battlefield has changed. In today’s digital world, the new infantry is made of high-demand, individualized marketing channels. Communication has to multi-task.

It’s Not a Brute-Force Effort: Your prospects are marketing and sales-savvy. You can’t show up with just a brochure and hope to get past the gatekeepers, let alone to the decision-maker.

What can be done? Public relations can deliver third-party validation. People will believe customer testimonials, coverage or articles in an industry journal. Third-party validation is only achieved through strategic media outreach.

You’re Probably Using the Wrong Message to Sell: Most companies think they know what clients are worried about and what the industry is thinking about, but often they don’t. Powerful, tight messaging must take into account what prospects and customers are saying.

It’s Wrong to Go it Alone: One principle that has been around for ages is, “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are.” Given the specialization that has taken place in recent years, this could be amended to “surround yourself with people who know things you don’t know how to do.”

In an ever-evolving industry, business-development strategies will have to evolve as well. It is not enough to just have a killer black book or Rolodex. The market demands agile, swift marketing and public relations strategies.