Business development (BD) is where all your hard work turns into revenue. In its most primitive form; it is SALES.
This is the toughest part of any business and it is the place where most of the ethical dilemmas occur. The key to a successful BD organization begins with the core values of the business. Everyone that works in BD must clearly understand, agree with, and adhere to the company core values. At KistlerGroup we have a methodology to help the leadership of any business establish their core values and a process for evaluating every employee and in particular, every BD employee to ensure they clearly understand, agree with, and adhere to the company core values.
A business that can be trusted is a business that people will want to do business with. Your customers need to know what your core values are and they need to understand that your company stands behind these core values and expects all your employees to abide by them. Your BD strategy builds from this starting point. Your methods of how you prospect, create a pipeline, monitor forecasts, close deals, and handle post sales communication builds from your core values. Accountability in a BD organization is crucial. Every person in the BD organization should have accountability metrics and those metrics should be visible to the entire organization. This includes management and executive metrics. Visible accountability metrics creates an organization of trust which is fundamental to a functioning BD organization.
Accountability metrics need to be carefully created. What you measure will drive how what a person does. The old adage of "Be careful what you ask for." is magnified when it comes to accountability metrics. BD people will always do what maximizes there personal income regardless of how it impacts the company. That is just what great BD people do; they perform. If they get a bonus for who has the most deals in the pipeline then they will add lots of deals (regardless if they are real or not). BD organizations are notorious for creating lots of metrics to glean sales forecast information only to find out that their forecast was skewed due to measuring the wrong thing.
We work with the BD organization to compile a few key metrics that will drive sales while adhering to the company core values, which is really all a BD organization should be focused on.