The benefits of using an independent business development manager
We want to enable you to see how i-BDM can work with your business and to decide for yourself here and now if you feel it is worth getting in touch. To do this please review the Customer Stories based on real customers and real business development projects we have worked on (and continue to do so) but without disclosing specific client names and confidentiality.
A small business of four people spanning technical software development and cyber security created a vulnerability assessment tool for a highly niche area of the broad and sprawling ‘cyber’ sector. The first customers were on board. The feedback was very positive. The team wanted more clients and knew who they were. i-BDM came on board to work with the team to identify those clients and to position the solution to them and increase not only feedback for the technical team but licence sales in the UK and overseas. We facilitated the start of an international reseller/partner network to leverage their existing clients and create more licence-based sales into these territories. Additional software sales in excess of £100k were made and the best part about this – most of these sales were annual renewals creating a long-term revenue stream for the business. What’s not to like about that?
So just how does the ‘little guy’ speak to the ‘big guy’ in business? How does a micro- or small-business grab the ear and capture the imagination of the ‘big beasts’ in industry? And how then do they sell their solutions to them? Good questions and ones that i-BDM are happy to answer by doing just this. We worked with this team (and others) to look at their unique software offering with a view to contact the big players to open dialogue and start looking at ways to engage. Initially we did this by asking lots of questions and really listening to the responses. Was there a theme or pattern emerging? Were there specific challenges across industry that we felt we could address? In this case and many others, yes, there were and so the journey continues to create and maintain relationships so the ‘big guy’ can not only see the ‘little guy’ but can do business with them. We generated sales including rolling annual contracts worth £90k per year for minumum three years and many other smaller contracts from £9k – £15k. It’s really not a case of shouting louder to be heard, listening more will reap rewards.
It’s a big world out there with lots of business potential for those who want to seek out opportunities outside of the UK. This team has such ambition and needs to establish the right relationships to pave the way for sustainable business overseas. i-BDM assisted with the set up of specific market research into these territories including engagement with UK Government Department of International Trade (DiT). The territories were chosen and partnerships engaged. Many SMEs in the UK have something that the rest of the world will want to see if it is positioned correctly. We didn’t advise on what the company could do; we got on and did it. We developed the business by setting processes and partnerships in place to sell overseas. We can do this with most businesses where there’s a product/solution/service that has the potential to be sold overseas. It’s a big world out there and we just helped to make it a little bit smaller, a little bit more manageable to focus on areas where we could capture sales.
Every company has to start somewhere, right? Some just happen and some are just hard graft and pure innovation. We started working with a really small technology startup with massive ambitions. These guys were going to be to the next big thing in digital technology. They had a mission and they were going to stick to it. But, all missions cost money. All new businesses cost money. This is no exception and the company were ‘bootstrapping’ their development and prototyping. i-BDM were called in to take the concept to the marketplace, gather feedback, locate and engage with partners, investors, end-users and to prove the concept. We applied for and won just under £100k Phase 1 R&D money from the Ministry of Defence which was used to test specific use cases and evaluate the solution. The business then changed focus to include commercial and automotive industries and now it is truly flying. The passion is still high and the investment is looming closer. Big things ahead.
Innovate & Speculate
One of the larger teams i-BDM has engaged with focusing on cutting edge technologies from the games industry into more commercial and ‘real life’ sectors. The business was in early stage and post-investment. The passion was running high. The strategy was mostly formed and now the hard work begins: contacting prospects where there is a high likelihood of winning development contracts. The company was burning through money and the pressure was on to convert sales rather than slipping into the age-old pitfall if continual development and prototyping. Focusing on defence, security and emergency services sectors, i-BDM set up and managed the steps into a new business sector by liaising with specialist teams and end users, setting up framework contracts into government, managing bids and tenders (winning an international contract for £2m of which this team realised £600k for their piece of the pie), project managing contract wins (between £30k – £100k) and looking after strategic commercial partnerships for long-term and sustainable business relationships. This engagement also included a lot of at-the-coalface work with prospects and clients to listen to and understand ‘use cases’ and ‘end user feedback’. After all, if you don’t understand the customer’s challenges how are you going to deliver them solutions? Great lessons for all startups in this one.
These are just some of the teams who have been using an independent business development manager to drive sales and strategic business development both in the UK and into other parts of the world. If these stories resonate with your business please get in touch using the Contact Form.
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