Business Monetisation vs Business Development
Is the role of the Business Development Manager living up to its expectation? Does the required deliverable of monetisation fit the current sales mandate? Are early-stage CEO’s leaving the responsibility to execute on a complex, financially driven commercial deliverables under the helm of the sales function?
There is no doubt that the business development function in an early-stage entrepreneurial business has grown in popularity over the years, along with the increased funding available to founder teams. Once funded to develop market traction to substantiate the investment received, there is an immediate need to validate “proof of concept” by way of generating initial revenue streams. On the surface, this is a function of signing up customers and often the result of the sales team led by the business development manager concluding B2B partnerships.
Business Development Managers Fail To Convert
In most instances, founder teams find that these business development managers fail to convert leads and partnerships into successful economic, commercial opportunities. It is my opinion that this is the result of fundamentally misunderstanding the business development managers mandate in the context of an emerging digital platform. In traditional companies, the role of the sales team was one of selling a widget and service to an identified customer base at an agreed price point resulting in a confirmed margin for the business.
To execute in this regard required sales savviness and people skills to engage, develop trust and consummate a “win-win” partnership leading to a sale.
Business Monetisation Executives
In today’s digitally-driven marketplaces to gain traction and to drive sales, one has to engage with platforms commercially, as opposed to buyers, these platforms represent communities of potential customers. To convert these platforms requires a commercially biased origination, structuring and negotiation strategy with a focus on the financial economics for both parties assuming a range of metrics, and agreed on milestones. Enter the role of the Business Monetisation Executive.
An experienced commercial as opposed to a savvy sales executive, mandated to implement a corporate finance and transaction execution based function as opposed to vanilla customer acquisition role and directly responsible to the CEO (or CFO ) and not the Sales Director.
As the business grows, the natural path would be for the Business Monetisation Executive responsible for delivering on business monetisation to slip into the CFO role. The CFO would then recruit a commercial manager with a robust corporate advisory and financial background to oversee business monetisation.
It is no longer sufficient for founder teams to emphasise customer acquisition and implementing partnerships. To remain relevant CEO’s and executive teams need to focus on customer and product monetisation strategies focused on customer acquisition, and sustainable growth focused partnerships.