SUMOS vs. 800LB GORILLAS
Entrepreneurs and business owners alike constantly seek advantage over the competition when creating their business development strategy. For most, “winning” means gaining market dominance, product superiority or increased sales. The stated goal is often to land “the 800-pound gorilla,” the implication being that such a coup would alter the company’s future. But is a gorilla the right target? Maybe not. A gorilla provides power but has no “X factor” to accelerate market dominance. Instead, consider pursuing a “sumo,” who is always focused on beating the competition and who leverages his enormous weight and muscle to force competitors out of the ring. The gorilla is raw muscle and can exert enormous strength but is not at all strategic. It is instinctive and lacks self-awareness, imagination, and independent will. The sumo, on the other hand, is interested in out-positioning, outsmarting and even out-psyching the competition, using all means available. The Sumo Advantage provides the strategies and tactics to help you find and partner with sumos. If you are unaware of the distinctions between sales and BD, then your sales-only focus may be what is holding you back. Once you understand and really believe that sales strategy and business development strategy can, and should be, very different, the sky’s the limit on growth.
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- You want to grow your revenue at a faster pace
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- You want to help your sales people close faster
- You want to assess whether your your partnership strategy is the right one
- You want to determine if you have the right people on your team
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True business development professionals know how to “connect the dots” in order to get things accomplished. Bernie on the other hand, has the unbelievable ability to line up “the BD dots” so everything points towards a mutually beneficial and successful outcome!
Managing Partner, FMC and McCombs Partners
The Sumo Advantage is an invaluable insider’s guide to structuring and executing partner relationships that can create substantial enterprise value for the long term. It is a must read for every entrepreneur in the 21st century.
Partner, Wilson Sonsini
Bernie runs business development in a way I haven’t seen before. I’ve rarely in all my time out in corporate America as both an executive and a journalist met someone with as much vision and talent.
Contributing Editor, Fortune Magazine
Former GM, Jaguar N.A.
Author, What Would Jackie Do?
I’ve worked with hundreds of advisors as an entrepreneur and as an investor, and Bernie was easily the most valuable. He passionately evangelized the product and lined up key partnerships that we had thought were impossible. Bernie is the best at what he does.
Founding CEO, Epinions, Inc.
Co-author, Venture Hacks
Most executives I encounter think that sales growth is driven most effectively by marketing and or advertising. Wrong! Business Development is the key to long term value creation. Brenner lays out the principles, techniques, and processes of Business Development far better than any book I’ve ever seen. It’s simply a must read for any leader.
CEO, Route 66 Ventures
Intimidated by how to close those initial, foundational strategic partnerships? Feeling too small to close the big guys? I’ve seen Bernie do it repeatedly, building companies on the backs of these early strategic partnerships that everyone thought were impossible to get.
General Manager, BlackLocus, A Home Depot Innovation Lab
The Sumo Advantage is an innovative and powerful approach to business development that can propel a company to greatness. For early stage tech companies Bernie’s philosophy on strategic relationships can pave the way for incredible success. This book is at the top of the recommended reading list for all of our portfolio companies.
Simon Rakoff, Ph.D.
General Partner, Fortify Ventures
One does not know it while it’s happening but if Bernie ever comes knocking on your door to do a deal, you can privately thank your lucky stars it happened.
Chief Marketing Officer, Chase Auto Finance
I’ve seen these business development principals in action. They work! At CARFAX, Bernie and his business development team made a substantial strategic impact on the company and its successful growth in a very short period of time.
President, CARFAX, Inc.
You may think you understand business development, but won’t truly appreciate how to approach partnerships until you’ve spent some time with Bernie. Every time we meet, he blows us away with new insights on how to pitch an opportunity, negotiate a deal, or unlock more value in a partnership.
EVP of Business Development, Sparefoot.com
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