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Research organizations and universities are unique in terms of their product and focus. They are at the forefront of innovation, often playing a role in inventing the solutions necessary for new products to enter the market. Historically, these organizations have relied on inbound interest from external partners to grow their business.
As universities and research organizations think about the future, they are beginning to include outbound sales and marketing into their strategic plans. In order to achieve audacious goals like growing corporate sponsored research by $60M over 5 years, it’s important that these organizations begin to think and act like a sales organization.
The first step to operating like a “sales organization ” instead of a “research organization” is to implement a sales development strategy.
What is sales development? Sales development is a method that helps tech companies scale from $0 in revenue to $100M or more in revenue. To achieve this level of growth, organizations must build a sales machine that creates ongoing and predictable revenue.
Universities have a product that can scale revenue growth across patents, core facilities, and sponsored research, but to achieve continued revenue growth we must implement three key steps:
- Predictable Lead Generation: The most important item. Constant new leads for all of your areas of excellence.
- A Sales Development Team: This group uses leads to run cold outreach and book appointments for the “sales team”.
- Sales Professionals: Known as licensing managers and corporate relations officers at universities. These team members nurture relationships and close deals.
We’ve found that the most immediate impact on a university’s predictable revenue is creating an outbound sales development team (basically junior salespeople). This team focuses 100% on prospecting new leads and managing the cold outreach via email, phone, and LinkedIn to book appointments for managers.
FirstIgnite assumes this role in the prospecting and cold outreach on behalf of research universities. We market research and book appointments for corporate relations officers to meet with companies interested in partnering.
When corporate relations and licensing managers no longer have to focus on prospecting and cold outreach, they can focus 100% of their efforts on building relationships and moving warm leads down the pipeline to a fruitful relationships.
FirstIgnite helps universities across the globe book more appointments with industry than ever before. Customers such as Stanford’s AI Laboratory, Johns Hopkins APL Tech Transfer office, and many others are working with FirstIgnite and implementing these strategies every day.
It might sound crazy, but a certain peace of mind comes with knowing your organization will be generating new leads and booking appointments with industry without your constant focus and attention.
Connecting Industry and Academia