Name: Christopher Batio
Title: Assistant Director for Business Development and Competitive Intelligence
Firm: Crowell & Moring, LLP
Since: January 2005
Q: What is your job description at Crowell & Moring?
A: I oversee all business development activity, including proposals, pitches, lateral biz dev planning, biz dev tools, and CI. I also do some training in biz dev planning for young attorneys and am developing a presentation on effective ways for lawyers to use online networking.
Q: Who are your typical CI clients at X?
A: My typical clients are practice group chairs, supervising client partners, young partners and counsel building their book of business, and lateral attorneys working to transition business to Crowell & Moring. I also work with non-attorney professionals in our Public Policy Group and International Trade Consulting Group. When we are trying to win significant new business or retain a long-time client, I am usually at the center of things.
Q: What are three common KITs you’re often asked to address?
A: KITs we often deal with include: 1) developing data on competition decision makers, 2) identifying competitors and their strengths and weaknesses, 3) identifying potential lateral attorney recruits, and 4) developing data on client issues to suggest cross-selling opportunities.
Q: How is the intelligence function organized at your firm? To whom do you report?
A: Our CI function rests within our Marketing and Business Development Department, but we often work with our Library Research Services Team for support. I report to the Director of Marketing and the CMO of our firm.
Q: What experience or training prepared you most for the CI work you do now at Crowell?
A: While managing proposal teams for KPMG and GE, I worked to analyze more than 300 different companies during competitive pursuits. This experience helped teach me more than any other about how to glean useful information from public sources and then analyze it to develop meaningful CI.
Q: What formal CI training have you had?
A: I have read extensively on CI since I first began doing professional services marketing in 1998, focusing on material by Leonard Fuld and Ben Gilad. I have also attended seminars run by Fuld & Company, Ann Lee Gibson, and SCIP over the years.
Q: Where do you go for ongoing CI training and mentoring?
A: Ann Lee Gibson (of course!) and my boss, José Cunningham.