What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

Don’t over-commit, internally or externally – With many partnership opportunities, you only have a few potentially only one shot at getting it right, so it is critical that what you commit to towards the partner is actually something that your company can deliver.

What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

Create clear BD targets – This goes without saying, but it is worth repeating. Without clear targets, a BD team will aimlessly chase deals and in the worst case have a distracting effect on the rest of the organization by creating deals that are not core to the company but take up valuable executive, product, and engineering resources. Ideally, BD targets are a subset of the overall company goals (e.g. grow the user base, expand internationally… (read more)

What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

This includes market sizing, market and competitive analysis, and a clear timeline. If you are new to the industry you better start researching yesterday. There is nothing worse than being pitched by someone who did not make the effort to understand your business and the challenges you are facing. Secondly, you need to put a lot of work into figuring out how to approach these partners. Finally, you have to make sure you have all the necessary … (read more)

What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

Solve problems, help partners reach their goals – This is one of the most critical business development tasks. Partnerships never work when the benefits are one-sided. In addition to helping you reach your own targets, you really have to figure out how your proposal helps the potential partner reach their goals. Again, you would think this is a total no-brainer, but this does not seem to be the case judging by the large amounts of proposals th… (read more)

What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

Be prepared, research the companies you want to partner with – In addition to a well thought out, mutually beneficial proposal, it is important to research your target partners. To me this is like prepping for an interview. Nothing worse than realizing that the person you are interviewing knows nothing about your company or the issues you are facing but at the same time tells you how “passionate” s/he is about your business.

What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

Who are the decision-makers, which teams or managers are heavily weighing in, who is responsible for the long-term execution of the partnership etc. This organizational understanding will help you address the right people in the partner organization and help you identify additional contacts you might want to connect or back-channel with.

What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

For high-value partnerships, I always try to build a relationship on multiple levels, e.g. between the two day-to-day partnership managers, between the two VP-level managers responsible for those partnership, and ideally also between two or more C-level execs. Having these multi-level relationships gives you more flexibility in dealing with your partners. In certain scenarios bottoms-up approaches might work better and you want to convince the … (read more)

What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

Always be responsive – A pet peeve of mine. I think it is disrespectful not to respond to companies or people reaching out for various reasons. The only things I usually do not respond to are blatantly obvious sales pitches.

What’s the best way to do effective business development?

Holger Luedorf (SVP Business @ Postmates)
Guest Post: Startup Business Development 101 – AVC

Don’t rush, don’t annoy – Always remember that you are working in a dynamic start-up while some of the bigger organizations you are trying to partner with have heaps of processes and check-points that decisions have to go through. I remember from my time at two of those large organizations, in my case Deutsche Telekom and Yahoo!, that people in those organizations could get frustrated with impatient partners banging on their doors all the time.