Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150New growth opportunities rarely pronounce themselves. Most organizations have their heads down, focused on increasing sales of current products or services.

You probably recall a time when you failed to act quickly enough to take advantage of an opportunity. Promptly evaluating and responding to new opportunities is a key growth driver. Here are 3 steps to help ensure that you don’t miss a discovery or fail to develop a novel concept that can fuel your growth.

Define: Which opportunities are worthy of your consideration? Specify parameters that constitute a substantial opportunity. Typical opportunity triggers include:

  • Key/Core customer inquiries regarding new products or services;
  • Inquiries from prospects in targeted growth markets; and
  • New requests that meet defined revenue and contribution profit thresholds.

Assess: Establish a focused, cross-functional response team to evaluate worthy opportunities, independent of the normal proposal development process. A senior business development executive should chair this team. The team’s objectives are to assess why the opportunity is important to the customer (which of their goals does it support), to identify unique, core competencies you can employ to ensure a profitable return on your effort, and to establish a priority for the opportunity based on its value to your business.

Recommend: Develop a primary recommendation, a profitable solution that leverages your strengths to help achieve a customer goal, producing for the customer both a financial benefit and a competitive advantage. If you strive to solve only a customer’s problem or need, without learning why this is important to the customer, you waste the leverage of your expertise and the chance to be distinctive. Create 1 or 2 alternative approaches that scale the primary recommendation to increase (greater return/higher risk) or reduce (lower return/less risk) the value generated for the customer.

How does your organization recognize substantial new opportunities?

What process do you use to promptly evaluate and respond to them?