Business development in its purest form is focused on lead generation and the conversion of opportunities into business wins. It is thus concerned with all elements of the sales funnel and of driving profitable business growth.
In the business-to-business (B2B) world, relationships are at the cornerstone of the business development (BD) cycle. In this day and age, the identification and ‘nurturing’ of prospects entails a far greater degree of technology utilisation than was once the case. Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are key tools that underpin the process and management of business development. There are many such tools around; examples include LexisNexis Interaction – used primarily by large organisations, and SalesForce.com, a cloud-based CRM system commonly used by start-ups and SMEs.
I have more than 10 years’ experience of working with CRM systems which includes scoping through to implementation. I have supported smaller organisations including start-ups, and coached individuals and teams to use these systems in a way that underpins their approach to the full life cycle of BD.
My broader experience in BD and sales includes: direct mail shots (both online and print-based), competitor analysis, corporate sponsorship, trade events, and USP (unique selling proposition) consulting.
- Working in marketing & BD roles for more than 10 years, including spending two years in a ring-fenced pure BD role in the public sector practice of a major UK headhunting firm. This was a particularly ‘procurement heavy’ role.
- Coaching and advising fee earners and other colleagues with regard to best practice.
- Leading and winning large, complex, high-value tenders such as the Cabinet Office call-off contract for assessment and recruitment.
- Setting up a ‘one stop shop’ of BD (bid/tender) specific resources and best practice material.
- Managing third party lead generation services.
- Advising on and driving a culture of CRM adoption and best practice.