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In Pursuit

Business Development Life Cycle

The Framework


Business Development practices differ between large and small business.  A typical large business methodology leverages its greatest strengths; their stability and depth of resources.  In fact, there is a Capabilities Maturity Model for Business Development (CMM-BD) which is practiced regularly.  It's characterized by being :

  • Process Driven

  • Extremely Disciplined

  • Process Based Lifecycle

  • Keeps Pipeline in Constant View

  • Keeps Customer in Constant View

  • Qualifies Opportunities Early

  • Well Defined Artifacts

  • Based on Resource Separation of Duties

  • Provides Critical Business Checkpoints (Gate Reviews)

  • Forecasts B&P Costs

  • Strategy is defined in Capture Phases

  • Tactical is defined in Proposal Phases

In contrast, small business leverages their signature strength; agility​.  The methodology is a form of an ancient business phrase known as BONSOP.  BON being strategic side of the practice and SOP being the tactical side.  Actually, BONSOP is the short form of the phrase, "Back of a Napkin, Seat of your Pants".  Unfortunately, small business's greatest strength becomes its greatest weakness. Most businesses understand their capabilities and know that they can do the work. 


The question is not "Can We Do ?" but, "Can We Win ?"

The In Pursuit - Business Development Life Cycle lifts the best from Large Business BD methodologies and tailors them for Small and Mid-Tier firms. The Life Cycle is based on Continuous Capture Improvement and designed to give you the latitude to add, modify, and remove practice areas as needed. The Life Cycle encourages the practitioner to engage the activities cognitively until they come naturally.  Doing nothing, produces nothing, doing some produces little, doing a lot produces some, and doing it right, produces most. The Life Cycle is designed to be adopted corporately or practiced individually. Corporately practiced establishes the firm's business capture rhythm.  Independently practiced increases your skill set as a business development professional, experiencing the enjoyment of successful pursuits and personal wins.

The Life Cycle is based on six Phases of a business development life cycle and provides the ability for Small Business to qualify opportunities quickly.   It encourages the discipline to walk away from opportunities if they don't present a high probability of a win.  



Identify -- To identify opportunities early in their lifecycle worthy of tracking for future pursuit consideration

Qualify -- To collect the data needed to decide whether to invest the resources and effort to pursue an prospective opportunity

Capture -- To further qualify the opportunity through the development of a detailed capture plan, target offer design and supporting financial data

Proposal -- To produce a compliant, compelling and winning proposal.

Post Proposal -- To respond to inquiries and government requests.

Post Award -- To capture proposal outcomes, lessons learned, and archive proposal artifacts for continuous improvement of the Business Development Lifecycle.

Within each of the six Phases, lies seven repeatable Practice Areas.  Repeatable, in that each method has the same seven practices with different elements within each area.


The Objective of the Business Development Life Cycle is to increase your company’s win percentages through processes that manage your pipeline, effectively qualify opportunities, create an exciting offer design, build a compliant and compelling proposal, prepare for orals and leverage lessons learned to tune and improve your capture practice.


CornerStone will join your capture team in support of your pursuits, or we can teach your team to WIN business like large business !

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