Programme business development 25 March 2011 Amsterdam (Schiphol airport) - the Netherlands Session leaders: by Christian Smock, consultant - TTO a/s - Denmark & Peter Nissen Jorgensen, consultant TTO a/s - Denmark
The role of the ‘Business Developer’ in a university context. Defining objectives, coping with multiple priorities and expectations, generating business with limited authority – what success looks like and what are the common obstacles and problems faced by those developing new business opportunities? Ice breaker and facilitated group discussion
Developing the business opportunity. What is it that we have to ‘sell’ to business and why do we think they will invest in it? Thinking about the opportunity from the different ‘sides of the market’ (academic, university/BDM & external) and using these insights to create a possible roadmap for the ‘selling’ the opportunity. Developing a pitch that sets out a clear value proposition – and then market testing that proposition, arguing: The problem that you believe is solved by your technology (why should they want it?) What success looks like (where are you headed, strategically). What next, and why – what to do with your proposal? Why this is a good use of yours and the academic time, energy and resource? Group exercise (based on opportunities brought by participants) with group discussion and summary, conclusions.
Finding contacts, developing leads Techniques and tools for finding the right company (and person within that company) to talk to, how to approach the company, where to find background information on the company, market and industry; how to reduce your effort by linking effectively with other parts of the university and by using account management techniques. Use of databases, business development colleagues, academic colleagues and networking events. Presentation and discussion.
Networking: Practical demonstration Working a room – making the most of events – a room, tips for being a successful networker. Practical demonstration & role play.
Managing the relationship – keeping the deal on track. Dealing with (and avoiding) the complexities that emerge once the relationship between the academic group and a company develops and the opportunity takes on a life of its own – the business developer’s role in structuring the relationship and guiding the process towards a contractual deal. The business developer’s role as project manager, negotiator and communicator with the university’s contracts unit. Case study (distributed beforehand) based on a real business development opportunity.
The process of closing a deal Selling techniques – introducing a framework that allows you to structure sales ‘conversations’ with potential clients - moving beyond discussion and the exchange of information towards an initial deal. Techniques for encouraging potential clients to understand their own needs and, by creating and amplifying dissatisfaction, encourage them to work with you to explore your (better)recognise the merit of exploring your (potentially better) way. Developing insights into: the more common bottlenecks and obstacles that get in the way of collaboration – the various types of organisational ‘baggage’ The fundamental difference between ‘small’ and ‘large’ sales, recognising the likelihood that sprats are needed to catch mackerels (but are not an end in themselves) The need to end every meeting with a balanced (but non-zero) commitment. Presentation of framework, role play, group practice, wrap-up.
What have we learned – what will we do differently in the future?