Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101

 Holger Luedorf

Don’t just run off and randomly approach partners.  Once the goals are set, the first thing the BD team or person should do is set priorities in terms of who your ideal partners are.  

 



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

How to Find Corporate Phone Numbers

Scott Britton 

I’ve been doing some smiling and dialing recently and thought I’d share some free resources to find corporate phone numbers. I’m listing these in the order of how I approach finding one. The hierarchy of this list is determined by a combination of accuracy and speed.

 



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

Awesome LinkedIn Hack: Part Dos

Scott Britton

I previously wrote about how to find prospect’s full name when you encounter a private profile. Unfortunately, this trick doesn’t always work because some people choose not to display their public profile…sigh. Fear not! I found a work-around that almost always solves this problem. Check out the brief video below to learn this tactic.

 



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

Guerilla Tactics: How to Find A Decision Maker Part 1

Scott Britton 

Calling into an 1000+ person company and asking the operator who manages a particular initiative (i.e. digital marketing) often results into getting routed to a department voicemail that never gets checked. Why you ask? Because you’re signaling that you’re a salesperson whose unfamiliar with the company. 

 



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

How to Ask Someone if They’re A Decision Maker

Scott Britton  

One of the first mistakes I made when I initially started doing BD was how’d I’d ask if someone if they were the decision maker. “So X, would you say that you’re the decision maker for this.” “Yes” was the answer I received 95% of the time. I’d say the number of actual decision makers I was talking too was probably closer to 50%. The incongruence emanated from the fact that I was asking all wrong.




Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

One Mistake that Can Crush (BD) Pipeline Dreams

Scott Britton

For those foreign to the concept, a hitlist (or pipeline) comprises of all of the companies that you could potentially partner with, sell to etc. It’s essentially a list of targets. Inevitably there are going to be some target deals that move the needle for your company more than others. Doing a deal with Google, will probably make your company more valuable than doing a deal with a startup that may not be around in a year. Thus, as you build out your hitlist it’s important to be able to quantify how much value opportunities might drive so that you calibrate your time and effort appropriately.

 



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

A Favorite LinkedIn Hack

Scott Britton 

I’ve been playing LinkedIn like a keyboard this week and thought I’d share one of my favorite LinkedIn hacks. An essential task when building out a hitlist is identifying the first and last name of the decision maker. I’ll use this information to figure out their email address and have a name to call.

 



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

BD Best Practice: Taking A LinkedIn Inventory

Scott Britton

Business Development professionals live and die by their network. Thus, many of us end up living and dieing by our LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s greatest value is that it provides transparency to the personal networks of  my immediate network in the form of 2nd degree connection. This information is often the gateway to the deals, partnerships, and sales we strive for on a continuous basis. Consequently, it’s in all business development practitioners best interest to expand their *true LinkedIn network. After all, the difference between the deal of a lifetime and no-deal could be just one warm introduction. But in order to even identify these opportunities there must be transparency. A best practice to make sure you’re effectively engaging in this is to schedule a periodic “LinkedIn inventory” in order to make sure you’re connected with everyone that may be able to open the door for you.



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

How to Find Email Addresses

Scott Britton 

Business development for me usually means knocking on doors. In the digital world, that door is your inbox. Sometimes targets make my life easy by listing their email on their site. But just like the YellowPages, many people prefer to be “unlisted” online. This requires me to be resourceful to find email addresses. After I have identified the name of the person I need to reach, here is how I find their email address.



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline

3 Sales Tips for Startups – Creating a Burning Platform

Mark Suster

Great sales leaders know that you can only sell effectively when your sales cycle matches the customers buying cycle.  That is why they qualify customers really hard and ask the sort of questions that would make us non-sales-trained people squeamish.  Asking customers directly whether they have budget this quarter for a program like your company offers takes nerve.  Great sales people are also direct about asking whether the individual that they’re speaking with controls the budget.

 



Filed Under:
Collection: Business Development & Sales
Category: Building a Pipeline