O P I N I O N
When firms encourage a hybrid role between business development and sales, the result is often improved collaboration throughout the firm. Business development in AEC firms
B usiness development at an AEC firm is a multi-faceted role, unlike many other markets. At a high level, as business development director for Pennoni’s Energy Region, I am tasked with growing top-line revenue for the firm’s energy services. A traditional BD role entails identifying, attracting, and generating well-researched, qualified leads which would then funnel to a sales team. However, I view my role as a BD/sales hybrid.
This role is fast-paced and requires bouncing back and forth between various tasks. I often split my time based on business needs between sales and BD. It takes discipline to switch tasks and wear different hats, but it brings incredible rewards and benefits as I get the unique pleasure of working on closing business that directly drives revenue today, while also focusing on opportunities and channels that will expand the firm’s future revenues. The varied activities and responsibilities require interaction with every line of business within the firm and promote breaking down silos that often exist within large multidisciplinary professional services firms.
In the BD capacity of my role, I’m focused on leveraging and establishing relationships both externally and internally. Key activities revolve around finding and qualifying prospects and developing relationships with key partners to pursue joint sales opportunities including: ❚ ❚ Identifying the business problem for prospects and teaming partners and determining whether we can help them solve this (i.e. do they use the services we offer?) ❚ ❚ Collaborating with key stakeholders internally to ensure we have appropriate marketing collateral, business development and marketing plan
See LIZ MCCORMICK, page 12
THE ZWEIG LETTER JULY 6, 2020, ISSUE 1351
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