Operationalizing Business Development with Social Data: An Interview

Tom Taylor is the Managing Director of Client Development at Blueprint Technologies, a nationwide technology solutions firm. He’s a strategic partner in helping businesses digitally transform, an industry expert in digital marketing operations and a seasoned people manager with experience leading cross-functional teams.

Socedo sat down with Tom to learn how he approaches business development, understanding the needs of both prospective and future customers, and how social media provides useful data.

Socedo:  Tom, you run Business Development for leading technology and consulting firm, Blueprint Technologies.  What exactly does your job entail?

Tom:  My team’s entire mandate is to engage with existing and prospective customers to understand their issues and to identify ways in which we as a company can help them achieve their business objectives.  Our approach is to focus on long-term partnership and positive transformation.

Socedo:  Great, but how do you really get to understand the needs of prospective customers?

Tom:  Really a combination of things.  Our first few meetings are always about dialogue and never about transactions.   We also prepare a lot before the meeting so we don’t waste anyone’s time.  We have deep expertise across a number of industry verticals, combined with thoughtful inquiry around a customer’s specific situation to move the conversation forward.

Socedo:  Excellent.  Our whole company is based on the concept that Social provides great filters by which organizations can gain a good understanding of customers – current and potential—and create real opportunities via this understanding.  Does this resonate with you?

Tom:  Absolutely.  For us, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social “places” contain rich information that helps us separate wheat from the chaff and drives velocity.  Blueprint is committed to developing a deep understanding of each customer’s opportunities and challenges, and we believe this approach is a significant driver of our track record of customer success.

Socedo:  Tom, how do you operationalize this?

Tom:  I think we do it fairly well though there is always room for improvement.  We believe strongly in “omni-channel” presence of which Social is a component.  We take “listening” very seriously and have resources dedicated to the listening side of Marketing.  We also have a great connection between Marketing and Sales.

Socedo: Yes, we find that when organizations integrate Marketing and Sales, that Social can act as a turbocharger.

Tom:  Agree, fully.  We’re glad that we have connections to companies like yours as we attract great people, great customers and partners, and continue to grow.

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