The following is a Q&A with our Customer Success Team around best practices for a Business Development Team setting up and using ProsperWorks.
How will a Business Development Team use leads, people, companies and/or opportunities?
Overall, the business development use case is very similar to the sales team use case.
A business development team will still be qualifying leads and converting them to People/Companies. These leads, people and companies represent potential partners to your business.
Your opportunities may represent potential partners or large strategic deals versus direct customer sales.
How should a Business Development Team think about structuring its pipeline?
The stages of your Business Development pipeline will represent significant milestones, very similar to a standard sales pipeline. Typically the business development process involves milestones like understanding the goals of the potential partner, then comparing those to the goals of your company.
Consider having stages like:
- First Meeting: Understand goals of the potential partner - are they aligned with your company’s goals?
- Scoping: What will the partnership look like?
- Proposal: After scoping, send official proposal
- Negotiation: Resolve any action items following the proposal
From here, if the partnership moves forward, mark the opportunity as 'Won'. If an opportunity doesn’t move past any of the stages above, mark as 'Lost' or 'Abandoned,' depending on what prevents it from moving forward. For example, 'Lost’ may indicate that the timing is not right to do business, but the opportunity could be revisited later. 'Abandoned' may indicate that the potential partnership is not a good fit and isn’t worth resurfacing later.
What custom fields should a Business Development Team add to records?
You will likely use custom fields to segment your partners, so you can answer important questions through reporting later.
What industry are they from? We do let you customize the 'Contact Type' field on people records, but you can alternatively just create a custom drop-down field in addition to using the default contact types.
What vertical are they covering? Create a 'Vertical' drop-down menu.
What is the average company size of our partners? For most accurate reporting results, you could segment this into 1-50 employees, 51-100 employees, etc. and create a drop-down field on companies for each size segment.
What is the average revenue of our partners? You could create a currency field for companies, which is associated with the currency you've set at the account level.
What reports should a Business Development Team pay attention to?
Once you determine what questions you want to be able to answer by tracking your business development opportunities and adding in your custom fields, start brainstorming what reports your team may be interested in.
For example, if you want to be able to see how many business development opportunities are forecasted, you can still leverage the Pipeline reports. This will help you understand where the opportunities are in your business process.
Additionally, if you want to see how many business development opportunities your team has closed, you can look at the Sales reports.
If you’re looking to segment your opportunities by vertical (i.e. which verticals are our business dev opportunities covering), you can take it a step further and plug your opportunities data into Google Data Studio to build out custom reporting.
What integrations should a Business Development Team rely on?
Our RingCentral integration lets you make phone calls from within ProsperWorks, which are then logged as activities.
Our PersistIQ integration lets you send email drip campaigns to nurture partner prospects.