Why do you see Business Development as important
If you want to stay in business or grow your business, then BD, or Biz Dev to Americans, is key. It’s about more than marketing and sales, it is about leading the company in the direction it wants to go.
As a BD Manager your role is to be the outward looking person; the scout if you like. Go find the opportunities, evaluate them, shape them a bit and then bring that home as a set of decisions to be made.
In what world is it likely that you, the BD manager, is the only person from your company potential customers will talk to.
First off, your networks should be those of all the staff. I learned this when after spending 2 months with a fellow BD manager trying to get into a company, the PA to the CEO came by at morning tea and said, “Hey, my uncle who is a senior manager with company XYZ is in town for the week, and when we caught up on the weekend for lunch he said he’d like to know more about what we do.”
That was a real face-palm moment right there. If you, as an organisation, are trying to get a warm introduction to a potential client, then let the rest of the organisation know.
Secondly, provide people with a bit of basic product information and let them know how to refer a query. Once your people know that it is new jobs coming in, or even better, queries about additional services for existing customers, that keep the company going, then they will refer them.
You have a different take on relationship based marketing to many others. Can you explain?
To use an analogy - as a BD manager, you are effectively a matchmaker, not the person getting married.
The people delivering on the deal are the ones who need to have the relationships. For example, the CEO, CFO, head of engineering, customer relations team, etc. are the ones who will be forming and carrying that relationship forward.
When I line up a good match, I make sure to invite the CEO or other appropriate senior management to come meet their counterparts.
Of course, you can’t fill a CEO’s diary with Biz Dev meet and greet events, but there are key meetings they should attend.
I also like to remind senior management that it is they who will cement and sign the deal, so they need to form and maintain the relationships.
Why do you think business development can improve?
All the BD types I know, including myself, have learned the hard way. You pick up different approaches, tools and systems everywhere you work. If you are lucky, you may even get some training.
However, for most people, they are thrown in the deep end and expected to just swim. Now, how is that effective. These people are key to your company staying in business and you just expect them to somehow be effective.
That’s why here at Lazuli Consulting we have put together a 2 day course on what we know works, called BizDevEssentials. It covers off the basics of sustaining your business, implementation methodologies, tendering and some personal skills.
We think it will be great for companies in the B2B space who want to upskill their BD team, and help them be more effective.
For more information, please check out our BizDevEssentials.com website.