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Your New Business Development Pipeline Toolkit

By Guest Writer on April 10, 2017

Dimagi has grown quickly in pursuit of our mission to help frontline programs around the world amplify their impact with digital technology.

Over the last 15 years, our team has implemented hundreds of projects, which required managing thousands of business opportunities. As a social enterprise, handling this process efficiently and consistently is a core element of our success and a key factor in why our open source mobile platform, CommCare, is actively used in our 60 countries today.

We are pleased to release our Business Development Toolkit, which describes the approach we honed for managing a pipeline of business opportunities. Our approach tracks opportunities of varying size, timelines, and likelihood of succeeding, and how to use this information to prioritize BD efforts and estimate the future value of current opportunities.

We are excited to share this business process in hopes we can assist other organizations to achieve their missions. And we are also interested in sharing other business processes if this one proves useful. We believe that good business practices are an essential part of being a lean, impact-driven organization that can replicate and scale important innovations in social sectors.

What organizations will benefit from this toolkit?

While this toolkit could help any organization pursuing a new business development process, Dimagi’s approach is most likely relevant to organizations who share similar business development (BD) needs, such as NGOs and social enterprises.

For example, Dimagi’s BD process is characterized by long sales cycles, in which an opportunity can take more than a year to close. Our confidence levels on various opportunities can range significantly as well — from “long shots” (say a five percent chance of success) and others that are very likely (say a 90 percent chance). If your organization can relate to these issues, it is likely that you will find BD toolkit applicable.

What you will learn from the business development toolkit?

Our business development approach is designed to support three key functions:

  1. Tracking the opportunities that need follow-up
  2. Predicting how much money current opportunities will yield
  3. Assessing how much BD has been done month-to-month

The business development toolkit describes our approach to business development and how it accomplishes the above functions. Note that the description is not exactly how Dimagi’s system works now, but a simplified system. Our current system has evolved over many years and this document presents a cleaner version that is more useful to share with others.

We also created a simple business development tool in Excel that can be used to do some of the things mentioned in the BD toolkit overview. The Excel tool has some substantial limitations compared to a system built in Salesforce or another tool that can track changes over-time and automate the workflow and process nudges.

We’d love to know if you find this toolkit useful, and what other business processes you would want similar toolkits for!

Dr. Neal Lesh is the Chief Strategy Officer at Dimagi

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