GUEST COLUMN: Outsourced Business Development-How to Increase Sales and Expand Your Connections

Kavita Verma, Skada Capital

By Kavita Verma, Skada Capital

People often ask what business development really is and while the term is used broadly, few have a full understanding as to what it means. I like to say I’m a B2B matchmaker! Business development is a way to develop business and strategically identifying partners in the marketplace to drive additional business and increase market share. This can be through identifying new agencies to sell to, ways to cross sell to existing agencies and generation of new sales leads and strategic partnerships with government contractors and industry partners.

Outsourced business development can range from offering a full range of consulting services and include partnerships with clients and contacts to provide key introductions with decisions makers in the community.

Small to mid-size businesses can find new clients but often do not have the resources to hire an experienced business development executive. By collaborating with the client, an outsourced business development consultant can create a plan that defines goals and details what the company needs to enter key markets and connect with the right decision makers.

The Benefits of Outsourced Business Development

Whether it is helping a small business develop strategy as they graduate from the 8(a) or strategically helping a large company identify the right decision makers on an upcoming IDIQ, many companies are beginning to turn to outsourced business development firms to determine how they can do this at a lower cost. As a B2B matchmaker and consultant that comes in to do outsourced business development, I try to understand the client’s strategy, long term vision and get a complete understanding of their business. I will also work with the internal BD folks to leverage connections I have and develop strategic goals to identify which partners and connections would make the most sense. Outsourcing increases efficiency, controls operational costs and helps you focus on your core business.

Developing long term relationships is the key to successful business development and opening the doors to key decision makers to help you close the deal.  Dale Powell, Managing Director of Cassidy Turley and Tien Wong, CEO of Lore Systems are two of the most well connected people I know and both mentors to me.   When asked them what makes them well positioned to do business development and make sure their sales team are always out networking, the answer was the same. Be genuine and focus on the long term partnership whether it is outsourced or internal folks.  Partnering with the right players and building out the right team for the next bid is crucial. Sometimes that may happen with someone you have met at event two weeks ago or with a contact you have known for years. Cherish those relationships and not on whether the connection can help you with a proposal you are currently working on.

As a result of having pretty deep ties throughout the business community, I’ve learned that having the right team and resources is essential to deliver effectively to the government.  I spend most of my time connecting CEOs that I’ve worked with in the past and identifying new companies that would be good to connect with.  Working with a sales team or internal business development folks to assist on strategy for putting together the right team or forging meaningful connections is a true advantage.

The potential benefits of outsourced business development outweigh the risks. Outsourced business development creates a lot of opportunities with less time and resources and can be a great extension of your sales team to create a winning bid.

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Skada Capital was co-founded by Kavita Verma.  Kavita heads up the M&A Advisory and outsourced business/corporate development practices in which she helps connects CEOs to buy and sell businesses.  Kavita has over 15 years of business and legal experience and an extensive network of CEOs, venture capitalists, private equity firms and investors in the US and abroad.  Kavita started her career as a lawyer with two major international law firms in New York City, Jones Day and Morrison Foerster where she focused on M&A, Private Equity and other corporate transactions.  Kavita received her law degree at University of Victoria and her LLM in Banking and Securities Regulation through a joint program with Boston University and Harvard University.


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