Whose job is business development and growth?

If you’re in the government market selling professional services, whose job is business development (BD) and growth? Is it the job of sales and BD to fulfill it? Is it the responsibility of executives and senior management to perform it? Is it the job of everyone—including those dedicated to supporting customer contracts full-time—to support it?

Companies have one of three opinions on this question. Some companies never involve their staff members and keep them blinded to the company’s BD and growth activities. Some companies include staff members on an as-needed basis, and some actively engage and reward staff for supporting BD and growth.

While we respect each company’s right to determine the level of staff member involvement, we encourage companies to consider the following scenarios under which staff members can contribute to BD and growth and remind them that all indirect charge BD and growth activities must be given an indirect charge code to prevent time-charging violations.

For companies who never want to include their staff members in BD and growth

For companies who never want to include their staff members in BD and growth activities or who prefer to limit them to “as-needed” duties, consider the following roles your staff members can play to support BD and growth:

  • Maintain high customer satisfaction with exceptional performance.
  • Maintain close and professional business relations with customers.
  • Develop status reports that accurately reflect their accomplishments to exceed expectations and mitigate risks.
  • Serve on integrated project teams with other customers to solve challenges.
  • Conduct demonstrations, brown bag lunches, and training (all customer-approved) to support innovation, improve the customer’s skills, and increase awareness.

Performing these functions can help remind your customer of your staff members’ exceptional performance and demonstrate your ability to innovate, solve customer challenges, and address new requirements. Your excellent reputation and ability to develop technical solutions could add to your contract’s organic growth.

For companies who intentionally involve their staff in new BD and growth

For companies who intentionally involve their staff in new BD and growth, start by assigning all staff members to:

  • Keep their resumes updated (at least annually).
  • Support development of the past performance for their contract(s).
  • Forward any kudos or letters of appreciation from their customer to their project manager.

Expand their roles based on their bandwidth and capability to support:

  1. Information collection (their trusted relationships with customers are more likely to yield information for organic or new business growth).
  2. Solution development.
  3. Staffing estimation.
  4. Solution or proposal reviews.
  5. Oral proposal presentations.


In summary, everyone in the company can have a role in BD and growth suited to their skills, bandwidth, aptitude, and desire to grow the business, given the company’s stance on their involvement.

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals.
As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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