Case Study: Improve Business Development Process

Client: Executive Coaching Firm

Project: Improve Business Development Process

The Business Development Process

A global executive coaching firm wanted to redesign and automate business development and pipeline management across the organization.

Business development had traditionally been the responsibility of individual coaches. This often meant that senior management had limited information on the complete sales pipeline across the organization. Business development was also hindered by the lack of shared awareness of contacts within a client organization and often resulted in multiple executives independently selling to different divisions of a corporation without any central coordination. The sales process also lacked metrics to determine performance and any capability to identify insights into the winning / losing of sales.

The executive coaches had often operated as independent contractors in the past and viewed their rolodex of contacts as proprietary information. Although the organization as a whole would benefit, they were extremely reluctant to share customer information with other coaches. Any successful solution would need to ensure that data security concerns were addressed while encouraging the responsible sharing of information.

Some attempts had been made in the past to track business development opportunities on multiple spreadsheets. However, inconsistent data definitions meant that it was difficult to view the pipeline for the entire organization and it was also found that processing & data needs quickly expanded beyond the functionality of Excel spreadsheets.

The Solution

Intellilink identified that the unique organization structure of the firm would require a customized solution involving process improvement and organization redesign as well as the development and implementation of a web based software tool.

Process Definition & Organization Redesign – It was determined that a major redesign of existing processes was not required. Rather, the existing process simply needed to be standardized utilizing standard terms and a controlled status & activity reporting procedure. This provided much needed transparency to the process. Existing organization redesign efforts were enhanced and a dedicated team of business development professionals was setup. This team directed business development activities across coaches and followed clearly defined protocols for sharing client contact information.

Tool Development & Implementation – Intellilink developed a customized & cost effective application to support the new business development and pipeline management process. The application supported multiple users from all across the country and provided a single database of business opportunities and sales activities. The application allowed the business development group to control the vocabulary used in the pipeline management process and data security was implemented based on opportunity ownership to securely limit which users received access to certain sales information.