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General Dynamics Relationship Rescue

Some previous employees at the company had underperformed on a contract and violated the customer's trust. The customer “blackballed” the company. I was charged by the VP/GM to repair the relationship and regain the customer's trust. I developed and executed a re-penetration plan.

My initiative successfully reversed a strained business relationship with key customer GD Electric Boat, unlocking a $100M funnel, increasing the bid volume by 1000%, resulting in the highest single award in 5 years. My project included redirecting resources to reacquire a supplier quality rating and vendor test certifications. The project lasted over 18 months and included multiple on-site quality audits by a joint team which included GDEB, Huntington Ingalls, and U.S. Government personnel.

I met with virtually everyone on this chart. The most important relationship was Mike; sales were at a standstill until Mike gave Brian the ‘okay’ to buy.

Briefly describe your Business Development experience as it relates to C4ISR and DoD intel.

I have worked 15+ years supporting the Warfighter via C4ISR. I have supported TACPs, JTACs, and Special Operators whose lives depend on C4ISR. I sold secure radios (NSA Type 1) to the AFSOC Big Safari U28/PC-12 platform, which has SIGINT, close air support, communication relay, dismounted soldier, and ISR missions. I have sold secure radios (NSA Type 1) to airborne drone manufacturers whose primary missions were ISR, communication relay, and battlespace preparation.

I worked on programs supporting the NGA and NRO IMINT missions. For the DCGS systems, I sold or marketed Full Motion Video (FMV) and secure (NSA Type 1) communications.

I have spent 15+ years selling to the US Government Labs, Warfare Centers and Rapid Transition Organizations, e.g. RRTO, CTTSO. Within DARPA I have won multiple contracts.

How do you use customer relationships with senior level officials and program stakeholders?

Once I have identified and established the key customer relationships, then I use these relationships to develop trust as a supplier. Once I develop trust the customers begin to reveal their true challenges, issues, and desires. Trusting relationships help me discover the lines of influence, to understand who may be a champion for my cause or an anti-sponsor, and to understand who is a decision maker versus who is an influencer. I develop trust in each stakeholder organization because the lines of Influence often cross boundaries between the stakeholder organizations which control funding, requirements, and the user inputs.

The following describe two examples of how I worked the org chart from top to bottom to gain an understanding all of these customer roles.

Describe your most significant accomplishment within Business Development.

I created a new program of record from a hallway conversation with a customer. This program is known internally as Hammerhead.
While at Sparton I was assigned by the VP/GM to diversify the customer base and market space. Sparton was busily manufacturing several products but they had not acquired a new program of record in over twenty years. I was attending a conference, the Joint Undersea Warfare Conference. My colleague Bob was giving a presentation but instead I attended an alternate session and listened to a government customer describe how his home grown C4ISR system was not reliable and failing too often to be considered fieldable to the Warfighter.

The program was dead in the water without a reliable system. After he finished his presentation, I waited patiently to speak with him and persuaded him to allow us to take over the design for his system. He provided us with some seed money to build a prototype that my team demonstrated to him several months later. From there we received additional funding and performed additional field testing to raise the TRL and send the system downrange.

After the successful tests we began lobbying the Pentagon, program offices, and Congress to create a requirement for this system. All efforts were successful and this hallway conversation evolved to the first new program of record in over twenty years! The system will be deployed to every submarine in the US fleet and will enjoy many years of production. The overall lifetime value will likely exceed $100M. There have also been follow on opportunities generated from this key win.


US to Test 'Submarine' Drone That Can Launch from Ocean Floor

USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is testing a drone that can hibernate on the ocean floor for years at a time before being launched to the surface and into the air at the push of a button. https://www.marinetechnologynews.com/news/submarine-drone-launch-ocean-511682

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Last update: March 23 2023 20:42:36