Is Hybrid Work the Future of Business Development?
An interview with Kevin Grossman, Vice President of Decathlon Capital Management
Traditionally, business development required a significant amount of in-person contact. But the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to reconsider ways of working. Kevin Grossman, vice president of Decathlon Capital Management, a revenue-based finance lender in Denver, Colorado, is one of them.
“The pandemic forced us, especially people like me, who said it would never work to do stuff online, [to reconsider our views],” he recently told me in a Zoom interview, explaining how the future will include a mix of in-person and virtual meetings.
“The customer hybrid work environment is here to stay,” he added.
Grossman’s views are in line with a recent Microsoft report titled “The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready?” The study found that more than 70% of the global workforce wants to maintain their flexible work options.
Before the pandemic, Grossman, a seasoned investor with more than 20 years of expertise building debt portfolios for early-stage through middle-market firms, said his work had entailed a significant amount of traveling to attend conferences and meet people in person.
The pandemic, however, made him realize this approach was impractical not just because of the extra cost associated with traveling but also because of the time wasted traveling.
“This is absurd,” he thought, “that I’m going through all these different things to go do this for one meeting somewhere else.”
Although many companies have adopted remote work, Grossman claims that business development will always necessitate some degree of face-to-face interaction.
“There’s going to be a mix of virtual and virtual stuff,” he said, explaining that certain things such as trust and business relationships, as the backbone of business development, are harder to develop without face-to-face interactions. He added that it’s easier to attend large events in person than online.
“Things that don’t work as well online, in my opinion, because I’ve tried it a couple of times, is the kind of one too many where you have an event that has 500 people in the audience,” he said.
“And even though you tried to schedule the one-on-ones in the blocks that they set up, I just find it much more challenging to manage. I found that many people were bailing out on meetings and rearranging.”
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By Lou Sokolovskiy, Founder & CEO at Opus Connect