Popular Questions by Functional Role: Business Development, part 1

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Business development teams use Quandora in a fun, fascinating and very practical way. So fun that it spans two action-packed posts. Here’s part 1 where we start with, what do biz devvers actually do?

Most people think that business development is all about partnerships with other companies, whether it’s an integration with another company, a co-sponsorship or co-marketing deal, or a potential merger. That’s all true, but there’s more. Scott Pollack has written a great article in Forbes called What is Business Development? where he gives the following definition: “Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.” He says that it intersects with sales and marketing, and I would argue that it also interfaces with product management. According to Pollack, it touches markets, customers and relationships.

But at it’s heart, biz dev is collaborative.

By definition, you can’t do a deal without another entity.

Here’s a great real world example you’ve probably seen firsthand. You’re in Starbucks at the counter and see iTunes gift certificates promoting the free download of a certain song or app. This is marketing to be sure, but it’s also business development. Apple realized that it wanted to be exposed to the marketplace that is people patronizing Starbucks, and struck up a deal where they give them something free and thus, are allowed counterspace in Starbucks.

There are a ton more examples. So how do biz dev folks use Quandora? There are two ways: internally and externally.

1) It’s like a way of keeping notes, viewable by your entire team.

Biz Dev professionals tell us that a lot of their Quandora entries are most useful classified around a potential partner’s company name because often the question will be, “What do we have in place, if anything, with Company X?” We’ve seen Biz Dev knowledge bases where the question is simply, “Company X” – a potential partner – and then a lot of answers or even just comments about progress, contacts and ideas around working with Company X. Start the ball rolling on that Apple partnership….

Apple biz dev

Then, when deals are reached and a contract of some sort is put in place, the answer can be “Finalized deals” and each biz dev person who has a contract can add a link and description by commenting on the answer. It’s an effective way to get a full up-to-date download on your relationship with a partner.

Biz Dev teams also tag techniques and ask questions around them such as, “Does our enterprise version have a referral program?” The tag can be “referral program.” Or, “who are our best sponsorships with?” where the tag is “sponsorships.” You can also tag “Company X” if they fall into the answer to this question as we did with “Apple” in the screenshot above.

Stay tuned for part 2 about the external way Biz Dev teams use Quandora, coming soon.

Continue reading Popular Questions by Functional Role: Business Development, part 2

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