Problem: We’re not meeting our sales or win-rate goals
Each opportunity is different, has requirements that deviate from the last, and the process can start to feel ad hoc and unorganized.
Solution: Strengthen your business development framework
Organizations with an effective and documented business development framework will reduce costs, increase productivity, improve forecasting, and increase management visibility and control.
Defining, building, and sustaining an effective business development framework requires management focus and continuous effort. Barriers include corporate inertia, individual resistance to change, and constantly changing priorities that blur focus and erode commitment.
While senior business leaders or other upper management will generally establish a business development framework, understanding each phase is necessary to fulfill your role within that framework.
The need to reengineer an organization’s business development process often stems from one of the following situations:
- Merged or reorganized organizations
- Changes in management
- Staffing fluctuations
- Sale of the organization
- Analyst’s concerns affecting stock price
- Maturing markets
- Loss of key customer or contracts
Businesses with an organized business development framework see increased capture success because proven best tactics are repeated.
Follow these guidelines when developing or reengineering your framework:
- Commit to a single, flexible, scalable business development framework based on industry best practices and championed at the executive level.
- Align your business development framework with your customers’ buying cycles.
- Define framework phases broadly, delineated by clear decision gates with verifiable inputs and outputs.
- Use consistent reviews at decision gates to control and add value to the process.
- Adapt your process to individual opportunities by using flexible support tools.
- Define business development roles, responsibilities, and levels of authority, including thresholds by types of opportunities.
- Align your business development framework with corporate policies, strategies, practices, and other processes.
- Document your business development framework to make it consistent, repeatable, and agile.
- Train team members to give them the understanding and skills to follow the framework.
- Designate a process owner to collect metrics, foster continuous improvement, and maintain tools and infrastructure.