The Business Development “Secret Recipe”


March 8, 2017 8:45 am - 10:00 am

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Paula Ryan, FSMPS, CPSM

In 2015, the Society for Marketing Professional Services and SMPS Foundation embarked on a major joint research initiative to look into how A/E/C firms are handling business development. Working with several partner organizations, including the American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, and the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations, researchers surveyed more than 1300 business developers, seller‐doers, principals, and marketing directors to conduct a deep dive into the art and science of business development. Who is responsible for BD? How many firms are using seller‐doers verses dedicated business developers? How do these positions coexist in firms that have both? What are the primary responsibilities? What skills are lacking?

In addition to the extensive quantitative research, the project entailed qualitative research with business developers and seller‐doers as well, adding another layer of depth and insight while complementing the SMPS Foundation’s previous research, which was compiled in the landmark book A/E/C Business Development – The Decade Ahead. The result is the most comprehensive look at design and construction BD ever conducted, focusing on the “who” and painting a very interesting picture of both the present and future of business development.  Roles are changing, and will continue to change as firms evolve and become more sophisticated. So what’s the ideal make‐up of BD in your firm? Attend this session, where the secret recipe will be revealed!

Takeaways/learning outcomes

Attendees will gain business development data that they can use to benchmark with their own firms

Attendees will learn how A/E/C firms are approaching business development from a staffing perspective

Attendees will understand how dedicated business developers and seller‐doers focus their time

Attendees will learn about skills gaps identified by seller‐doers

Attendees will gain insight into how A/E/C firms believe their business development programs will evolve in the coming decade