How to Grow Your Business Development Capability

When you are a small business or a brand new department in a larger company, you might start as one person who is responsible for winning government contracts. This is not a problem-you can join the ranks of many who have started at one point or another and are still the only one writing proposals, even as their company has grown to a nice size and they have the capital to afford professionals. We once met the CEO of a 1,200-person business who still was the company’s best proposal writer-he had a 99 percent win rate. (He’d lock himself in a hotel room for a week at a time with a few six packs.) It was possible because the company was focused on a single set of offerings and wrote for the same set of customers.

Many companies reach a point at which they have to start maturing and growing their business development, capture, and proposal capability. It usually happens when they have a constant volume of bids and they are looking for a more efficient way to develop proposals and win consistently. They want to scale up, grow aggressively, and create a true business development engine.

If you are a small company or a small department within a large company, the next phase of the business development team, beyond just you, could consist of one or two people, with technical personnel roped in as needed for subject matter expertise. This formula works when this team has to go after a handful of bids a year, but as you start growing aggressively and you need to crank out four, five, or ten proposals a month, you have to figure out how to scale intelligently.

Your goal is to add the right staff at the right time – be they internal resources or external.

Internal-resources hiring has to be timed to make business sense. First, you have to determine your current and desired proposal volume per month, and staff your organization at 75 percent of the expected throughput. If your proposal volume is lower than one proposal per month, it’s smarter to use consultants for larger bids, and write smaller bids in-house, burning the midnight oil.

When you go after proposals that you must win, hire real consulting professionals. The temptation is to go cheaper on the hourly rate, but if you are just starting to build your capability, you need experts-even if you bring them in just to outline your proposal, and review it mid-process. If you are obsessed with the hourly rate, you may save money on the wages, but may lose even more money and time if you don’t win, or have to rewrite what they have done. Proposal consultants will run you on average $150/hour-some will charge more and some a little less.

After you bring in your internal Business Development manager to find opportunities, and hire a Capture Manager, you may need to bring in an internal proposal manager.

Your next set of hires will likely include a writer and an all-in-one desktop publisher/technical editor/graphic artist. Your technical writer will write and edit proposal sections, while working closely with the SMEs. Your jack-of-all-trades person will serve three roles at once:

Professional graphic artist to transform your graphic concepts into professional-looking, attractive graphics
Editor to ensure your proposals are error-free and polished
Desktop publisher to format your documents for professional appearance
You will need to involve your SMEs in the proposal process as much as possible after you train them in proposal writing. This way, you will be able to cut down on the amount of work you have to do personally as the designated business developer – and reduce your resource costs.

As you grow larger, you may bring in a Price Strategist; a Pricer; a professional Contracts Manager to help you navigate the intricacies of the FAR and other customer requirements and lead your customer negotiations; a Procurement Manager to help you negotiate and manage teaming arrangements and subcontracting agreements; and even a PTW expert to make your bids more competitive from the price standpoint.

Successful companies are careful in adding all these overhead positions, and they don’t try to do everything in-house. They perform careful financial analysis taking all costs into consideration, and use a mix of internal staff and consultants. They bring in external resources for:

Surges
Special expertise
New ideas
Staff mentoring

You will need to carefully track your staff’s performance and efficiency. You will need to decide how efficient and effective they are in their win rates and throughput, and either develop or replace them. Develop a relationship with a trusted consulting firm such as OST, and have the resources on tap when and where you need them.

How to Become a Business Development Executive?

A business development executive (BDE) plays an imperative role in the growth of a company. It is the job of a BDE to promote the product/service segment of the company. At some organisations, business development executives are also called sales executives. If you want to build a career as a business development executive, below career guide would ease your journey.

Some of the duties of a business development executive-
1) As a BDE, you would need to frequently interact with potential clients to establish new business relations.
2) It is the job of an executive to do market analysis. On the basis of these market reports, business strategies would be formulated.

Required education & qualifications
The stream in which you have completed your graduation doesn’t play a crucial role because students from all fields can apply for the job. Moreover, top-notch companies prefer to hire candidates who know two or more foreign languages. In fact, this is a kind of job where your soft skills would be more beneficial than your academic qualifications & degree.

It is advised to gain some good work experience in finance and management by pursuing a business-related course. If you want to work in a technical company then it is important to have some good technical background and sales experience in a particular field.

Some crucial skills
1) Excellent business knowledge
2) Good communication skills
3) Learner
4) Negotiable skills
5) Team player
6) Analytical ability

Scope of business development executive jobs
In the near future, there would be a great rise in the number of BDE job positions, especially in fast developing fields like online commerce and pharma. As more and more companies are vying for the online space, there would be a huge demand of business development executives who can help a company in expanding its online business.

The package
Typically, the salary structure of a business development executive includes basic pay and commission. The basic salary of a BDE can vary anywhere between Rs 2-3 lakh/annum. If you hit the target then you will also earn commission and incentives.

Where to look for BDE jobs in India?
The jobs are available throughout the country. However, there are few Indian cities, like Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune, where you can find booming job opportunities in diversified sectors. Various top-notch companies have opened their offices in these cities and therefore, there is a high demand of BDE in these areas.

The Worth of Business Development Service For Professional Firms

Business development service is always used in a broader sense & enables the professional firms to strengthen ties with their existing customers as well as attracting new customers in other areas of the business market. In order to achieve this objective, the business development service providers go beyond the traditional means of marketing, sales, operations, customer care & business management to help their clients promote the business expansion at multiple levels. It needs the business development strategy maker to have certain level of expertise in different areas of business so that he could easily recognize & utilize the opportunities for business growth.

One of the basic requirements for business development is to evaluate the current business value as it is more related to the growth & maintenance of the business. For this, the development service providers appoint business development specialist who will work along with marketing & sales professionals to develop an effective strategy. This business strategy is based on the degree of popularity that the business is already enjoying in other areas of the customer base.

The business organizing specialist will sought for customer feedback from the customer care executives. These executives will help the strategy maker to gather data from the existing customers on their view about the company & its services. Such type of action often helps the development specialist to find out more effective ways of business promotion that can replace the current marketing strategy & target more number of customers in the market sector where the business is already present. Moreover, the acquisition of client testimonials through the channel of customer care executives will assist the business organizing specialist to identify the areas for the new range of products & develop a suitable marketing strategy for them. This strategy will lead to the quick promotion of new products & services later.

The role of business development service provider is not limited to an increased sales or customer satisfaction. While these things come naturally with the development service, the development strategy maker will have to ensure the best utilization of company fund, refine the operation of management & different departments and address any legal issue that may arise as the business continues to grow. Many professional firms give the business development strategy maker the right to collect business related information from any level of business structure & utilize it to induce more business.

Every small to large scale business organization can opt for development in business service. It brings guaranteed success for every kind of corporate condition. Many small time companies have tried it out & achieved a firm footage in their own sector. In most of the cases, businesses have been able to capture the targeted sector & achieve growth due to the efforts of business development specialist. So, companies need to concentrate more on their development & hire for development professionals if it seems impossible for them.

Corporate maintains their own wing for business growth & development that will deal with all development related activities. But small businesses can’t afford to do that. So, they may ask a development consultant to work for them. The consultant will help them assess the present situations & develop strategies for bringing more business growth in future.

Skills to Focus on in Business Development Coaching Sessions

When you’re a coach who assists businesspeople with developing their company, you’ll help them face challenges, fears and opportunities head on. Regardless of how long you’ve been in the industry, you’ll discover that when you aim to help clients build specific skills, they’ll receive lasting benefits.

Flexibility

A flexible attitude can help members of the corporate world handle tough economic conditions, unsatisfied customers and discouraged employees. However, it’s often a difficult characteristic to cultivate, particularly in entrepreneurs.

Sometimes, a client might feel that if they really want to achieve all they set out to do, they must decide on one way of doing things, and stick to it. Through business development coaching, you can show clients that although dedication is valuable, it must be paired with a willingness to adapt to circumstances.

You’ll also need to strengthen this quality in yourself. Client meetings don’t always go as planned. Often, this is exciting, but it requires inner resilience, too. It’s helpful to have an outline for certain things that you want to accomplish with a client. However, when you go off course, view it as an opportunity. By keeping the conversation flowing, you might uncover new things that a client hadn’t revealed before.

Besides, when a business development coaching client feels that their session isn’t overly structured, they’ll be more open about discussing things that might not always relate to the topic at hand.

Self-Reflection

People must be willing to evaluate themselves. This is something that’s true in all industries, and particularly for people who are involved in leadership roles.

Help your clients see that when they’re willing to engage in self-reflection, they’ll simultaneously become more confident. A fear of failure is an emotion that you’ll likely encounter frequently during business development coaching sessions. However, taking chances is necessary to help a company thrive.

By encouraging clients to practice self-reflection regularly, you’ll assist them in becoming more comfortable with potential setbacks. Offer them a safe environment in which to talk about the positive factors, as well as things that they wish they’d done differently in the course of running their business.

Make sure you practice self-reflection, as well. Get into a routine where you look back on client sessions at least once per day.

Soon, you’ll find that it’s easier to become a more valuable contributor to the world of business development coaching. Clients will depend on you to help them improve themselves. However, you’ll get the best results by suggesting strategies that are very similar to things that you should practice to enrich your own skills.