We talked to Business Development & Community Outreach Coordinator, Anjelo Pina, to find out how our projects start with business development.
Let’s start at the beginning: how do we find out about potential projects?
There are a few ways we discover potential projects! The most common way is connecting with our current and past clients or the referred organizations they introduce us to. Often, they’ll express pain points related to their technology stack, internal process, or online presence. Occasionally, we’ll discover opportunities through our Client Success team via the strategy sessions they hold with our clients. Relationships built through our community engagement efforts have also guided us to project opportunities.
What is your role, specifically? And what’s your favorite thing about what you do?
Generally speaking, meeting with our business development team is the first step to becoming a Buckeye Innovation client. We take time to learn about our client’s organizations and their challenges. Then we collaborate to strategize ways our team’s collective skills can develop valuable solutions to achieve their business goals. This typically takes place during our early discovery conversations, but we always seem to learn more as our relationship grows.
Once we reach a good understanding of what services the project needs, we communicate those needs to our experts who produce estimates for completing the redesign. Using the estimates provided, the business development team generates a proposal tailored to the specific project for our client to review.
We’re actively engaged as a bridge of communication between our client and our internal team throughout the estimation and proposal process. We work to ensure alignment in understanding between our client’s needs and expectations and Buckeye Innovation’s capabilities. Once a mutual agreement is reached with our proposal, we’re ready to transition into the kickoff phase of the project.
We love connecting with clients and learning about how they’re leaving a positive imprint on the community with their innovative ideas. A favorite part of the job is knowledge sharing with these organizations to brainstorm how we can use technology to amplify their impact!
What does the proposal process look like? What information do we need, and what information do we provide?
After we’ve gained a solid grasp of our client’s needs and secured estimates from our team, we use that information to generate a proposal. Within the proposal, we’ll revisit the challenge at hand and state our team’s ability to solve it through an explanation of our process, proven experience, and breakdown of deliverables expected to launch a finished product. You can also expect to find details about the cost breakdown, expectations for client involvement during the process, and general details on the anticipated timeline given the project scope.
Since we’re communicating information on behalf of our client and our internal team, it’s important to convey all relevant information in a clear manner so both parties are in alignment with the project scope and can reach an agreement. If anything requires editing to add, remove, or refine details within the proposal (deliverables, cost, timeline, etc.), we’ll perform those updates and reconvene to review for approval. Generating a proposal for a website redesign (or any project, really) can be an iterative process; However, our goal is to get it right on the first try!
What does Buckeye do to help potential clients make their decisions?
When we meet with clients, they may not be fully aware of the technologies and services we provide to help them succeed. During each client interaction, we keep a lookout for opportunities where we know our team can deliver value. We help by being a source of information, educating clients on how our team’s ingenuity helps others and how they can utilize our innovative solutions to new challenges. To provide guidance, we engage in constructive conversations to help them weigh out options and considerations given their organizational goals, timeline, and budget; When necessary, we’ll facilitate conversations between our experts and clients directly.
How might our process be both similar to and different from other organizations?
We’re likely similar in the aspect of when we’re involved; Mostly at the very beginning of the client journey, which seems fairly standard. How do we differ? Our principles for approaching business development and relationship building. During discovery, we do our best to understand our client’s vision and needs to help them along their journey; Even if that journey doesn’t include us working together on a project. If the project doesn’t feel like a great fit, we’ll do our best to pay it forward and guide clients to their next step with a referral.
What is business development’s involvement after a project kickoff?
We participate in internal and external kick-off meetings to help ensure a seamless client handoff to the project team. We’re available to help ensure the deliverables outlined in our proposal are understood by the project team and provide any assistance in clarifying questions or needs along the way.
Once a project is completed, then what?
Clients can expect to hear from us again! Whether it’s checking in later down the road, joining a strategy session facilitated by Client Success, or answering the next call to help another idea achieve liftoff.
Anything else you want to add about business development?
Communication is a significant part of our day-to-day role. Between client-facing activities, briefing our internal team regularly, and community engagement – we do lots of talking and writing! The biggest perk of this: we have the opportunity to grow relationships with our team and other innovative businesses and organizations by sharing challenges, goals, and ideas!