Managing complex multicultural, multidepartmental and multidisciplinary projects and aligning teams, understandings and needs, both in-house and with external parties has become a daily routine for those who manage business development activities with any healthcare company.
Back in 2002, and following the successful CRO model, we decided to develop our own business development methodology based on actual cases to support this complex activity (Learn more about our CBDO story).
Our unique methodology is based on three primary pillars:
- Validated and structured processes developed over our 15-year experience using hundreds of business development projects managed by the trifermedCBDO team and the execution of more than 130 partnership agreements (this is our proprietary know-how).
- Integration of the trifermedCBDO process into an external, collaborative, cloud-based, real-time project management platform with 24/7 access worldwide (called Wrike®)
- Using the terminology provided by the business modelling generation from Strategyzer®.
The combination of the trifermedCBDO internal processes (know-how) together with the communication and coordination platforms (Wrike® and Strategyzer®) generates powerful methodology to address all of the challenges which business development activities are facing today.
It is important to highlight the need to integrate the trifermedCBDO team (outsourced) with the existing business development (internal) team (or a responsible person for that specific activity). The project will be managed as one team working together. When saying “we” throughout the following text, we refer to the integrated in-house and outsourced teams.
The trifermedCBDO process is divided into three distinct steps with differentiated objectives:
Step 1: desk phase/business model design
Starting from business model design (or a review, in the case of an existing one), mentored by the trifermedCBDO experts, we will be able to identify all of the hypotheses around the draft business model and profile the expected targets, varying each one case by case:
- For companies that own an “asset” which needs to be moved towards commercialisation, the business model design will help to profile the kind of activities that are expected to be managed by the third parties, so that we can perfectly understand the partner profile.
- For companies that need “assets” for their portfolio development, the business model design will help to profile the assets that fit their business model or, alternatively, identify a need to pivot to new different assets.
- For investors that need to decide where to allocate their capital, how to manage their investments or when to divest, the business model design will help to understand the company profile.
- For service providers that need to expand their client portfolio, the business model design will help profile the type of client to approach.
Once the profile is complete and the hypothesis to validate is clear, we will start to develop all the documents that will be required for the exchange/validation phase as well as to execute a market research programme based on the profile. The desk phase will normally take between one to three months to be developed, depending on the type of need and markets to approach.
Step 2: exchange phase/business model validation
Having completed the market research, prepared all the necessary documents and properly identified all the hypotheses to be validated, we will move to the exchange phase, meaning that we will begin contacting potential partners in the marketplace. Depending on the needs and objectives, the validation will be performed as a competitive process or case by case, including business model validation and environmental validation. As as an in-out team, we will divide the activities according to the availability of the best know-how. The main objective in this context will be to experiment with actual stakeholders, gaining feedback from them and validating the hypotheses; in other words, learning from the market and having enough information to take the correct decisions based on actual markets.
The exchange phase can take from four to six months, depending on the case and the targeted markets. From the feedback gained, we will be able to see if there is a market for our business model, and then move on to step 3.
Step 3: being consistent and acting according to the outcome of the validation process
What is the market saying?
- If we have positive feedback and no reason to change our goals, we will move towards negotiation to get what we expect from the market: an asset, a partner, a client or a promising opportunity for an investment. In that case, the trifermedCBDO team will also support you, on demand, during the negotiation process bringing our expertise together from more than 130 successfully signed deals.
- If the market gives us negative feedback, we will have two options; pivoting to a better business model or simply stopping our project. The reality of those decisions will depend on the feedback we had gathered and circumstances surrounding the project.
Applying the trifermedCBDO methodology, business development becomes a clear and “simple” (not to be mistaken for “easy”) process where one only has to act consistently with the outcome from the real market. Business development cannot be understood as a promise of making “deals”, or a “deal-making” activity. It must be looked upon as business model design and validation; the rest is about being consistent.
In addition to our methodology, as in any recipe, the right competence and expertise to execute it properly are required.