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When should the sales team support business development efforts?

Posted in Business Development on November 10, 2011
There are (3) comments permalink


Jack is a business development manager at a high-end paint manufacturer.  Their sales are primarily very customized color pallets sold to designers in bulk container packaging for high-end commercial properties.  Jack was hired to develop a new type of business model focused on the do-it yourself market.   Jack needs to define the target customer base, entry barriers, pricing model, packaging, products, production requirements and logistics.  The marketing group has already defined the competition, pricing requirements and target end use market.  Now it is up to Jack to pull it all together.

  • What should Jack do first?  
  • What internal resources should he include in his study?  
  • At what stage should he align himself with the sales team?


Comments (3)

Senior_Exec posted on: April 19, 2012

I would just add that in addition to the above you really need to understand your production process. Your going from bulk high end production to smaller market participants. Can your organization handle the new process, packaging and production.

From there, how does your organization integrate productions capabilities into the niche your targeting. How can you differentiate your product to be unique from others in the space.

This is the exciting part of business development. What separates good to mediocre business development individuals from great ones is their ability to scan the situation (production, logistics, pricing, gap in the market, marketing the product and sales) and then very clearly communicate that in an easily digestible form within the organization.

If your business developer does that, never let them go. Business development is about strategy, creativity, a ton of hard work and endless communication.

BizDev posted on: April 2, 2012

I think that is right. You need to understand what the situation truly is, and the only way to do that is by really talking with and understanding both external and internal stakeholders.

One good tool I have used is SurveyMonkey to create surveys. Its easy and works quite well.

I would also focus some considerable time with the plants, etc understanding their challenges and what they feel the business is. In the end you will need to wrap this all up with an effective training program to bring it all together and focus the team on success.

djw2012 posted on: March 31, 2012

Personally I would start with listening from two important groups. The internal stakeholders associated with the business and individuals in our target market. A good way to do this is with a survey, etc. The goal is to:

1. Get an understanding from those who are in the company on what truly is the business and/or what can it be.
2. Listen to those in our target market to understand what needs to they have that are not currently being met.

As part of this I would want to talk to sales, marketing, manufacturing, customer service, etc. My philosophy on talking with the sales team when looking to roll out something new is "early and often".

I would love to hear from someone else on what they might do.

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How well does your sales team support business development efforts?