Digging the Business Development Ditch

Digging the Business Development Ditch…Are You Turning It Around or Digging Deeper?

Do you constantly struggle to reach growth targets or achieve revenue quotas? Does it seem like you’re sinking deeper into a ditch, while working hard to climb your way out? Turning around an average or sub-standard Business Development organization requires that you stop doing the same thing with the same people while expecting different results.

Every year threatens to be a tougher business climate for revenue growth. Given this information, it’s going to be harder to close deals and win business with greater competition vying for limited opportunities. Average performers will not make an impact in this climate. Have you evaluated your team in preparation for this change? If not, now is the time to do it.

We are often asked to assist companies by performing an objective third-party view of their Business Development organization. Over the years we have found three key items that can affect change in almost any organization. The bottom line with making any permanent change in the behavior of a team is to change not only individual thinking, but also to collectively change the organizational culture. To do this there needs to be a strategic realignment of Business Development planning, process and personnel (the 3 Ps).


Planning is the first step in any restructuring. Be careful not to confuse a laundry list of objectives with a well-developed operational and tactical Business Development plan.


Process drives behavior; without a solid, customized Business Development process, which your team not only buys into but uses, you might as well aim low and continue digging.


Ultimately, without people capable of closing the deal, you will never achieve your goals. The personnel area covers two critical components, leadership and staff.

Without leaders who can integrate or turn around a Business Development organization, you will battle to make the transformation. You need to understand both the mechanical and conceptual limitations that may be hindering your team’s success in developing business. A good leader knows how to overcome these limitations and understands when to cut loose those individuals who will never make any changes.

Successful Business Development organizations master these critical components and keep them in alignment. Without a Business Development plan—along with clear leadership and direction on how to execute it—and motivated, capable personnel, you will never climb out of the ditch. Stop digging. Take a hard look at your situation and then make a determination about whether or not you are moving in the right direction.

With a good, objective understanding of your organization’s present state, you will be able to recognize the challenges, address the shortcomings and strategically align plans, process and personnel to be prepared for whatever the future brings.