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07
SEP
2017

Why You Should Be Cautious When Hiring A BD Consultant

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The value provided by a business development (BD) consultant is far too often ambiguous. The average consultant tends to be a smooth-talking, strategically minded, expensive, and distracted individual that’s more concerned with increasing personal revenue and signing and retaining clients than they are with assisting their clients in winning business. At AlphaBrook, we have committed ourselves to providing a Business Development Intelligence (BDI) solution that is more tactical, affordable, and self-evidently beneficial than existing BD consultant service providers.

Our BD Intelligence subscription is designed to maintain the benefits of a consultant, while trimming the annoyances and inefficiencies that usually accompany their services. Below are just a few examples of how the AlphaBrook team goes above and beyond the average consultant service.

Breadth. 

Consultants often specialize in a specific agency or service offering, which not only increases the chances of them overlapping their services with their client’s competitors (effectively eliminating the competitive advantage gained from hiring them in the first place), but also puts the client in a position where, if they desire to expand the scope of their work, they will need to hire additional consultants or resign themselves to receiving inferior services from their current provider; neither option comes at a small cost. Additionally, many consultants struggle to reach government officials and rely on spotty information from the web or BD platforms to assist their clients (see our previous blog post to read more). AlphaBrook does not have these limitations. We possess the experience and capability to provide our solution regardless of the government agency and service areas involved; all of which are included as part of our BDI solution package. Also, all of our qualitative information is source directly from government program decision-makers, resulting in real-time and highly accurate intelligence.

Complacency.

Once a consultant has established their retainer of services they sell to clients, they often become comfortable and complacent in the level of support they provide. This complacency manifests itself in many ways, but the most common end result is numerous hours billed for no additional business won. For example, once a consultant has established a network of contacts, they will often set all of their new clients up in meetings with the same people as many previous clients, knowing full well that the meeting is nothing more than a personal favor from the contact and won’t result in any business. However, doing so allows the consultant to “prove the value” of his/her activity or services. Additionally, as consultants take on more and more clients and their attention becomes more divided, they often lose enthusiasm for assisting any one client win work. The path of least resistance for consultants is often to provide the most general service retainer possible, and in doing so, allows the consultant to manage more clients and make more money at the expense of customizing services specifically to their clients’ needs. At AlphaBrook, our BDI solution is yours to control; you guide the research, you pick the opportunities, and you even decide the exact questions you want us to answer in thoroughly developed deliverables. Every activity we perform is measureable and provided to you in professionally written deliverables. We are customizable, comprehensive, and expedient; all of which are characteristics that aid us in avoiding the inherent complacency that often plagues consultants.

Utility.

Consultants are often very strategically minded – they pay attention to the big trends, the macro level of the government contracting market, and advise on how to align yourself to those trends in the long-term. Simply put, they like to draw arrows. While this is beneficial in the right context, this particular type of knowledge is too tertiary and surface-level to be of use when trying to do what businesses must: win work at the tactical level. When it comes to providing the “below-the-surface” information that actually helps businesses write proposals and win awards (e.g. uncovering incumbent performance, key decision-makers’ pain points, confirmed acquisition strategy and timeline), consultants are often sorely lacking in capability. At AlphaBrook, the tactical BD Intelligence is our specialty. We pride ourselves on engaging directly with government to find the most accurate, specific, and up-to-date information regarding the opportunities that are most relevant to you and your business, providing a much more applicable and measurable Business Development Intelligence solution than the average BD consultant.

Cost.

Federal BD consultants often charge for their services hourly, or in hourly groupings, often at rates upward of $300 per hour. This creates a strong incentive to extend the amount of time it takes them to produce any sort of results to their clients, especially when the consultant works in an undocumented environment. Unlike consultants, AlphaBrook’s cost is based on actual work products delivered and opportunities identified, a stark contrast from the “bill more, make more” consulting model. This not only eliminates the incentive to elongate services at the client’s expense, but it also provides four to six times the labor as many consultants in addition to all the benefits previously detailed in this post.

Above and Beyond

The AlphaBrook BDI solution provides a service that is more tactical, applicable, accurate, and affordable than the BD consulting models. Our solution goes above and beyond the industry standard in every regard at a price that exceeds expectations. If you are currently among the many companies that employ BD consultants without a noticeable return on investment, we encourage you to inquire about a 30-minute AlphaBrook BDI demonstration.

 

About the Author
Matt Hastings is the Founder and CEO of AlphaBrook. He is recognized as a Business Development and Marketing Expert and has led successful capture efforts resulting in hundreds of millions in closed business for clients. His experience leading up to AlphaBrook includes time at IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, Kadix Systems, and Octo Consulting. In every role, Matt was successful in developing business and increasing enterprise valuation.

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