3 Key Insights: Growing a Corporate Development Team

Insights from Elliot Yunger, VP of Corporate Development at Lumine Group

May 2024

Elliot Yunger, VP of Corporate Development at Lumine Group, joined the company nearly ten years ago. Throughout his decade-long career at Lumine, Elliot has been instrumental in building relationships within the industry to drive acquisitions and support Lumine's growing ecosystem of businesses.

Today, Elliot oversees Corporate Development, which includes a global team of corporate development and marketing professionals. We asked Elliot to share insights on his leadership journey with Lumine, reflecting on the key learnings he's experienced firsthand while building and enabling corporate development and marketing teams. 

Elliot Yunger: Over the last ten years, it has been incredible to be part of Lumine Group’s growth journey. I started working with David [Nyland, CEO & Founder of Lumine Group] as a sole business development person. I would spend my evenings reading about the communications and media industry, speaking to business owners, and trying to understand the industry.  

Fast forward ten years, we have corporate development and marketing team members around the world, all working together to build strong relationships within the communications and media software space and educating people about the Lumine story. I am proud to work with these great people and watch them succeed in their roles. 

Across the board, we have a great team at Lumine; our Corporate Development team is one piece of a larger puzzle. An effective, well-structured Corporate Development team plays a pivotal role in driving engagement and educating business owners who could one day see themselves as part of the Lumine Group ecosystem.  

Below, I share three takeaways from building and growing a Corporate Development team. 

All About Mindset: Nurture Talent and Look for Positive Mindset Potential

The foundation of a great Corporate Development team is its people. It must start with recruiting and identifying the roles and skills required. Our ideal candidate is a great communicator and aligns with Lumine’s values as a company, which are humility, numeracy, intensity, and curiosity.                   

M&A cycles can be long. As we grew the team, this was top of mind. How can we ensure intense, curious, hard-working individuals stay engaged during a long sales cycle? 

For me, it is important to understand what motivates employees and how as a manager, you can create an environment for them to feel continuously motivated. In interviews, I try to ask situational questions that demonstrate how they feel motivated and maintain a positive mindset amidst setbacks or long sales cycles.  

Questions like:

  • If you were to receive an award for something other than work-related achievements, what would it be for? 
  • Can you share a story about a time when you felt particularly proud of your work, even if it wasn't recognized by others? 
  • If you could give your younger self advice about career choices, what would you say?
"Every team environment is different. In building the Lumine team, I look for team members who align with Lumine’s values and will contribute to a positive, motivating environment. Also, I aim to identify top talent beyond conventional markers like prior experience."


Provide Comprehensive Tools & Support

When we know we have brought on the right candidates to take part in the Corporate Development team, we can’t just throw them into the deep end and see if they’ll swim. We ensure that we have a comprehensive onboarding process and give them the tools necessary to succeed. 

At the beginning of each year, we set specific benchmarks for each team member to foster accountability and ensure everyone is aligned on goals. We offer software and tools to support their productivity, and we never surprise our team with unrealistic expectations. We also continuously review our tech stack and ensure we’re up to date on the latest offerings.  

We create touchpoints, from one-on-ones to planning for success at year-end, with goal setting linked to organizational goals. Additionally, industry learning opportunities like trade shows continue to educate us all on industry trends and remain ahead of the curve. 

The greatest part of building a Corporate Development team is seeing everyone win. One thing I believe is important is that we all cheer each other on. There isn’t one “teacher” we can learn from. As a manager, it’s important to set the example of celebrating wins, big and small, and giving people recognition.  

"Equip team members with the necessary tools for success. Goal setting, continuous education, and maintaining open lines of communication build a collaborative environment to drive success for your team."


Don't Automate, Navigate

You’ve recruited the top talent for the job, you’ve trained them, and they’re successful. Don’t let the team get too comfortable on cruise control.   

Building a successful Corporate Development team means having a proactive approach to team management. Ensure you stay connected through weekly meetings, shared best practices, and other forms of internal communication. How can you know what’s working (or not) if you don’t keep the lines of communication open? Remain connected, to maintain an objective view to grow. 

Other ways to be proactive could be ensuring there are frequent feedback opportunities or asking questions about specific projects or client meetings. By better understanding any challenges or areas they may feel stagnant, you can help them find opportunities to continuously push the boundaries and feel accomplished. 

We encourage everyone on the team to be a proactive problem solver. We are consistently looking to optimize our results, analyze what we could be doing differently, and adapt our strategies to ensure we’re working towards our end goals, rather than being satisfied with the status quo. 


"Maintain a pro-active approach to team management, steering away from automation and staying connected to drive continuous learning, growth, and development for your team."

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Lumine Group acquires, strengthens, and builds, communications and media software companies. If you would like to learn more about Lumine Group, let's connect.