Business Development and the “New Normal”

Reduction of Full Time Business Development Staff (Government Contractors)

So many highly experienced and successful business developers have hit the street this past year – cut from long time employers over money, a perception that Business Development is overhead.  Yes Business Development can become overhead if not managed correctly.  Ultimately BD even in a tough market should be about lead generation, target research, needs analysis, moving the prospect through the pipeline to pre-close and ultimately proposal and closing.  Yes things are taking longer and yes, some government agencies have no money to spend right now but is cutting BD an effective tool right now?  The answer is…it depends.

Do you have a unique solution or a solution that we know is needed right now and can we go after year end money or upcoming projects?  Do you solve a pressing issue; do you eliminate butts in seats?  Are you a sub or a prime?  A number of questions need to be answered to know for sure what the correct answer is but in the end there’s really only one question to answer and for that you’ll need to read the entire blog!

Each agency is different as you well know; they have different budgets and different needs.  Efficiency is king right now so if you’re selling bodies business development can definitely be tough however it’s not impossible.  Being a sub is a challenge right now as large primes are removing subs from contracts to keep the seats for their own people.  Here’s what we know right now – the cuts are real, we have no agreed upon budget and haven’t for years and quite frankly no one really knows what’s going to happen.  Budget constraints are here to stay so I hate to put it like this but you simply need to get over it.  We’ve seen some amazing talent let go this past year and eventually, typically after 6 months of searching they find a new position at a lower salary, one that more accurately reflects today’s environment of lowest cost technically acceptable.  Be proactive – talk with your employees about the situation at hand – it’s not a surprise to anyone.  There is a choice – allow top talent to leave or work to restructure compensation so it fits the new normal.

Full time business development leaving companies is definitely an opportunity for us at Springboard however we feel that if business development isn’t taken seriously it’s not really an opportunity for anyone.  Some companies need full time BD at a high level while others can grow dramatically with outsourced support – it just depends on what fits.  While we tend to be 1/3-1/2 the cost of full time BD help we aren’t always the right fit, sometimes full time is needed – especially with very large firms.

Meet the Springboard Team – Don Goff, Ph.D.

Don has recently joined the Springboard team and we’d like to welcome him and share with you are excitement – Don brings amazing capabilities to our clients looking to expand in the Intelligence Community.

Dr. Goff has over forty years experience in business, education and the military. Nationally recognized for superior, innovative, and profitable approaches in cyber security, he built the first remote access laboratories for network security, intrusion detection, and forensics, and developed curriculum for Information Assurance and Homeland Security masters degrees which were designated a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. He has successfully developed profitable marketing programs for small businesses and has served as a Proxy Director for a foreign-owned cyber security company that grew its EBITDA from negative 1% to positive 10% in 5 quarters.

As a practitioner, he has experience in Information Assurance, Computer Network Operations, Certification & Accreditation, FISMA, NIST-800 series, DoD Instruction 8570.1 and other federal standards. He has written agency-level security policies and plans and provided written reports and chaired or participated in blue ribbon studies.

Dr. Goff works with his clients to identify and develop markets for its cyber security services, including SharePoint development and maintenance. He understands his client’s goals and works to build on current service offerings in the Department of Defense and other sectors including but not limited to healthcare and financial,as identified.  Dr. Goff will advise on federal and commercial market potential and access beyond his client’s current customer base; identify and evaluate potential markets and new customers; provide consulting services to interact with potential customers and clients to identify their needs; review technical and pricing volumes; assist in drafting technical and pricing volumes; introduce clients to potential additional target-specific marketers, as desired; and secure meetings with potential customers.

In addition, Dr Goff will provide subject matter expertise in cyber security and critical information protection in developing a strategic marketing plan for Springboard clients.  Actions may include identifying specific target clients from government agencies.  Deliverables will include developing a meeting and presentation schedule within the designated agencies and assisting in the preparation and development of meeting-specific marketing collateral.

Dr. Goff is a well know expert in and around the Intelligence Community, his expertise and ability to communicate with prospects is a true asset to Springboard clients.  If you’re looking to increase your opportunities at Fort Meade, NSA, the Intelligence Community or in the Department of Defense, Don may be an excellent fit to help you win business.  Call 410-832-7560 and ask for Karin.