Business development is to marketing.

While BD is benchmarked by innovative marketing and sales, BD is not synonymous with either (marketing or sales). BD is an abundant integration of varied business considerations, such as acquisition analysis; BI (business intelligence); capture planning; customer service support; CRM (customer relationship management); external | internal analytics; industry knowledge; intuition; 

KE (knowledge engineering); KM (knowledge management); management analysis; marketing forecasting; sales; strategic planning; SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities); trend analysis, etc

As part of the BD landscape, marketing and sales are not interchangeable descriptors of BD; unfortunately, a common industry misnomer is that BD = Sales; this is inaccurate.

At the onset of a BD Center of Excellence Proforma, an organization should ensure fluidity in team comprehension of marketing and sales as “vital composites of BD” while instilling the reality that successful development practices also include a myriad of techniques and business practices. Making sure this is an accepted framework is prudent in commerce.

Some of the Primary factors for BD (business development) may require:

  • Enterprise-wide G&O (goals & objectives) (overall business goals and objectives)
  • Baseline “As-Is” analysis of the enterprise or business (mission statement to a start-up)
  • “To-Be” awareness (vision statement to a start-up)
  • Strategic Plan with traceability and performance milestones (Value Statement to a start-up)

Once a preliminary BD knowledge base and data mining are achieved, strategic vision should focus on actionable items. At this juncture, BI is encouraged.

Engaging visionary processes should be identified; these may include:

  • Emergent trend baseline and trajectory
  • Existing and new product(s) creation and projections
  • Pipeline configuration(s) and analytics
  • Target markets and industry nuances
  • Other

Once a foundation in BI is rendered, an all-encompassing “As-Is” analysis established at the onset of business planning is coupled with “To-Be” projections. This juncture achieves solid comprehension of G&O (goals and objectives), so the enterprise knows where it is, where it is going, what it stands for, and what it wants to achieve in the distant future – perhaps even fifty years ahead.

It results in an ability to develop:

benchmarking,

competitive intelligence,

due diligence,

market strategies (based on research),

product life cycle reports,

sales | marketing intelligence, and

  1. technology assessments.

Each of these BD process documents remains iterative with a change management methodology included, which means these remain living documents because the data shares contained therein are never static.

Continuous Process Improvement:

Since BD process documents are iterative and evolve – CPI (continued process improvement) is introduced to the organization. As organizational G&O drivers or iterative managed content reflect BD R&D (research | development) – the BD process documents establish ever-increasing barometers for enterprise success through CPI.

Raising the Bar:

So, the idea of raising the bar often comes to mind and is canted in business proposals repeatedly for this reason. Because as G&O is met, CPI introduces newer sets of G&O mapping criteria, and the bar is raised again and again. CPI may reflect innovations or industry | enterprise change management; suffice it to say that through the iterative development and CPI, a company’s barometer continues to rise – or at least that is the intention.

As the barometer of success rises, so do performance and growth. Therefore, BD is not a static event or profession. Even in organizations where the status quo or minimization of gain is desired, output change levels over time. If a business wants to maintain an “even performance keel,” BD R&D with CPI is still enacted. As a business continuously develops, even if “growth” is not the G&O, BD is still a commerce requirement. Therefore, every company requires BD.

BD Results Drive Growth:

Attrition is an instead natural component of business and commerce. All companies recognize customers come and go. Attrition and retention ratios do affect BD processes. Engineering and management of proportions are elemental to ensure BD proficiencies. In as far as ratios and observable growth – an external view of the enterprise does not convey a solid understanding of how BD is doing.

For instance, Company A may appear to have “minimal” growth, but the company may experience a significant attrition level by the nature of their product or service. In this case, Company A’s BD successes might be substantial due to high attrition ratios driving down their growth on a routine basis. Their BD is high-end to ensure growth with attrition. However, from an observer’s viewpoint, Company A may “appear” BD disadvantaged.

Conversely, Company B may have a fixed customer retention ratio or “appear” to be advantaged. Perhaps Company B is the “only” oscilloscope firm with a patent to couple widely used complementary products.

Their market is exploding due to international needs, so while the growth Company B demonstrates may appear radically charged from an external observer’s viewpoint, due to their fixed customer base and low BD output – 

Company B’s may be a much lower BD performer than it should be given the international market spikes. Growth is natural for Company B, which does not mean proficient BD is at “rapid a pace as it could” under exceptional circumstances.

Sometimes, Company A BD may work harder to achieve their targets, while Company B may not work nearly as hard as their targets seem inherent. When reviewing BD and statistics, it is wise to investigate multiple layers of efficiency to understand how the BD unit or performance analyst mitigates their organizational role.

BD Excellence Takeaways, BD Should:

  • Secure and maintain a customer base and future opportunities
  • Integrate acquisition analysis; BI (business intelligence); capture planning; customer service support; CRM (customer relationship management); external | internal analytics; industry knowledge; intuition; KE (knowledge engineering); KM (knowledge management); management analysis; marketing forecasting; sales; strategic planning; SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities); trend analysis; etc. into an overarching plan of action with milestones (POA&M)
  • Remain vital BD composites while recognizing successful development practices include a myriad of techniques and business practices
  • Involve G&O: “As-Is” (mission), “To-Be” (vision), Value (strategic fulfillment) considerations
  • Deliver BI while raising the bar through CPI and results-driven growth

 

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