Business Builders: Make Business Development a Competitive Advantage
By: Mark Frasco
“Sales is a result—business development is the process!”, Michael Buell wrote in his article, The Entire Business Development Process in 11 Words.
If you are a business leader who is involved in or responsible for strategic growth of your firm, I highly recommend Mr. Buell’s article. (Click here: The Entire Business Development Process in 11 Words). I’m a fan of simple, yet strong messages – his is both.
Strategic growth has a lot more to do with process than it does technique. The world of buying and selling is moving at hyper-speed. Selling success is now more than ever determined by the business development strategies, structures, and processes that are imbedded in your business system. So, are you ready for the shift? It has already happened. Selling is now an outcome, a result, no longer a function, per se. For some time, the core function of strategic growth has been business development.
A definition of business development:
Business development entails processes to develop and implement growth opportunities within and between organizations.
Not unlike other critical functions in your organization, the high-performing function of business development features dedicated people, tools, measurement and feedback, performance management and clear strategies and goals.
Recently, I was watching business news and saw an interview with the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt. It was a far-reaching interview about current events in business and the economy. There was one thing that he said that struck me.
Focus on what you do well. Get rid of the stuff that’s on the side. By focusing on what you are the best at, you will emerge and win as the leader. (You might notice a slight Jim Collins, Good to Great, Hedgehog Concept, in there.)
At COACT, we are taking this advice. We have become stubborn about focusing on our core. Our reason for existence is to supply best-in-market business development strategies, structures, people and processes to our clients, allowing their professional teams to do what they do best, scope and propose solutions, and operationally produce the results their clients expect from them.
Today, competitive advantage is determined by your ability to identify or develop, organize and align best-practices that will create a dramatic difference in the marketplace. Creating competitive parity in the market is useful when demand outstrips supply. In today’s competitive landscape, parity is a slippery slope to irrelevance. Make business development a competitive advantage for your firm, broadcast it as a dramatic difference in the market.