Bill Scheessele

COMMENTARY

6 signs it's time to re-engineer your BD shop

Knowing when to overhaul your business development organization

Bill Scheessele is chairman and chief executive officer of MBDi, a business development professional services firm.

Doing business with the government has never been easy, but winning now is rising to a whole new level of difficulty. Bidding everything that remotely matches your company’s capabilities, taking recompete opportunities for granted, executing routine updates of capture forms or merely re-engineering the proposal process without evaluating your entire business development system can lead to stagnating or declining revenue. Making the workforce lean and tightening the budget belt will take you only so far. Those steps cannot provide the wins required for continuous revenue growth.

To make matters worse, many organizations discovered there is a critical missing link at the front end of their business development/capture process that was not apparent during times of escalating growth. Companies are finding that opportunity identification and qualification is changing the way they allocate precious resources in developing new business.

So when should you risk re-engineering your business development organization? The need for change is evident when you notice these six conditions.

  • Reactive, dependent business development processes. Most of your organization’s business development processes are short term, dependent and reactive to request for proposals announcements in contrast to being proactive, customer-centric and focused on long-term relationships. As a result, business units lose opportunities they should be positioned to win and lose business as the incumbent on a recompete.
  • Lack of synergy among autonomous business units. There’s a tendency for separate business line teams to focus their efforts only on their units. A representative of one group is seldom able to understand and leverage the capability, expertise or product/service delivery capacity of another unit in the same company. That disparity results in an insular culture, internal constraints within the company, external limitations in serving the customer and lost revenue.
  • Different business development methods, processes, procedures and cultures. The in-house systems and processes built around autonomous business lines give rise to a disproportionate number of business development processes, capture management methods and project management procedures that are indicative of diverse business development cultures. Even with the adoption of a systemwide business development process, only the “what to do and when to do it” steps are spelled out. The “how to do” each step is left for individual interpretation. This unwieldy proliferation of disparate systems causes duplication in effort and eventually takes its toll on revenue growth.
  • Lack of shared business development intelligence. Information gleaned about opportunities and people remains embedded within the independent units. There is no central repository of critical business development information or intelligence data. Pressure for business unit growth is so internally focused that critical intelligence is squirreled away, and there is little willingness to share valuable intell resources across the organization. Thus, opportunities for new and add-on revenue evaporate and strategic growth suffers.
  • Targets in unfamiliar territory. With shrinking domestic defense budgets, business development teams are charged with opening other agency opportunities or tackling international and commercial markets with little experience regarding how to work effectively in those unfamiliar environments. Barriers to entry into different arenas can be daunting, particularly in the commercial or international sectors. Doors were easier to open previously because trust was already established in the mind of the customer. In unfamiliar environments, it’s an entirely different scenario.
  • Frustration with work environment. Employees who face increased revenue targets while dealing with an industry in transformation are frustrated. They’re using outdated business acquisition processes that were appropriate for the previous business climate.

If revenue growth in your firm has slowed or is stagnant, it makes sense to invest in an assessment of the company’s revenue-generation effectiveness before tackling reorganization. Such a review provides a clear and comprehensive understanding of the revenue-generating efficacy, business development knowledge and business development capability of the organization. It focuses on business development plans, personnel, processes, organizational structure and leadership across the entire company.

Companies confronting the end of this continuous revenue expansion life cycle would be served well by investing in this evaluation. The resulting recommendations serve as the road map to an intelligent reorganization, ensuring revenue growth.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH
contracts DB

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Read More

  • Is SBA MIA on contractor fraud? Nick Wakeman

    Editor Nick Wakeman explores the puzzle of why SBA has been so silent on the latest contractor fraud scandal when it has been so quick to act in other cases. Read More

Webcasts

  • How Do You Support the Project Lifecycle?

    How do best-in-class project-based companies create and actively mature successful organizations? They find the right mix of people, processes and tools that enable them to effectively manage the project lifecycle. REGISTER for this webinar to hear how properly managing the cycle of capture, bid, accounting, execution, IPM and analysis will allow you to better manage your programs to stay on scope, schedule and budget. Learn More!

  • Sequestration, LPTA and the Top 100

    Join Washington Technology’s Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman as he analyzes the annual Top 100 list and reveals critical insights into how market trends have impacted its composition. You'll learn what movements of individual companies means and how the market overall is being impacted by the current budget environment, how the Top 100 rankings reflect the major trends in the market today and how the biggest companies in the market are adapting to today’s competitive environment. Learn More!