In the simplest terms, what is business development? Business development can be summarized as ideas, initiatives, and activities that help improve t
In the simplest terms, what is business development? Business development can be summarized as ideas, initiatives, and activities that help improve the company. This includes revenue growth, business expansion growth, increased profitability through the establishment of strategic partnerships, and strategic business decisions.
Sales, strategic planning, trading partnerships, market development, business expansion, and marketing-all these areas involve. But they are often confused and mistakenly regarded as the only function of business development.
Basics of Business Development
Business development activities are divided into different departments, including sales, marketing, project management, product management, and supplier management. It also involves networking, negotiation, partnership, and cost-saving efforts.
For example, a company’s products or services have been successful in regions such as the United States. The team evaluates the potential for further growth. After all due diligence, research, and research, you discover that the product or service can be expanded to new areas.
Salespeople focus on a specific market or specific (group of) customers, usually for a specific revenue figure. In this case, Business Development evaluated the US market and concluded. It could achieve sales worth US$9.5 billion in three years. After setting these goals, the sales department will target the customer base in the new market through its sales strategy.
Marketing is a name of promotion and advertising aimed at successfully selling products to end customers. So Marketing plays an important role in achieving sales goals. The business development plan can associate with the estimated marketing budget.
Higher budgets allow for aggressive marketing strategies such as telephone consultations, personal visits, roadshows, and free sample distribution. Lower budgets often lead to passive marketing strategies, such as limited online advertising, print advertising, social media advertising, and billboards.
Strategic Initiatives or Partnerships
To enter a new market, is it worth doing all the necessary paperwork alone, or is it wiser to form a strategic alliance or partnership with a local company already operating in the region? With the assistance of the legal and financial teams, the business development team will weigh the pros and cons of all available options and choose the most suitable option for the business.
Project Management/Business Planning
Do you need new market reforms to expand your business, or will all your products be manufactured domestically before reaching your target market?
Does the last option require additional installation in the base country/region? These decisions are made by the business development team based on their time and cost assessments. Then the project management/implementation team starts to act to achieve the desired goals.
Do you need to create a new facility in a new business development market, or are all your products manufactured and used locally? Need more gear for the latest options in major countries/regions?
These decisions are based on time and cost estimates made by the business development team. The project management/implementation team then begins to take the necessary actions to achieve the goal.
Does the new company need external suppliers? For example, does the delivery of products require a special courier service? Will the company cooperate with any established retail chains for retail? What are the costs associated with these commitments? The business development team handles these issues.
Negotiations, Networking, and Lobbying
Certain business plans may require experience in soft skills. For example, lobbying is legal in some places and may be necessary to penetrate the market.
Other soft skills may be required, such as establishing contacts and negotiations with different third parties (such as suppliers, agencies, government authorities, and regulatory agencies). All these initiatives are part of business development.
Growing your business isn’t just about expanding your sales, product, and market reach. Strategic decisions to improve outcomes, such as cost savings, must also be made.
For example, internal assessments that show high travel expenditures may lead to changes in travel policies, such as conducting video conference calls instead of on-site meetings or choosing cheaper modes of transportation.
Management can implement similar cost-saving programs by outsourcing non-core tasks such as billing, accounting, finance, technical operations, and customer service. The strategic alliances required for these initiatives are part of business development.
Skills required for Business Development
If you want to play a role in business development, you can find several common skills in the job description. Setting personal goals to improve these skills can help you become a more competitive candidate. Here are some skills that need to be emphasized in resumes and business development interviews:
1. Sales skills
Although the sales and business development roles have different purposes, they share some similar tasks and responsibilities. For this reason, basic sales skills can help you succeed in this role.
To identify growth opportunities, business development professionals must be able to identify members of the company’s target audience and find and effectively track opportunities.
Business developers must have the skills to build relationships with potential partners or potential customers, which may involve tasks such as cold calling or setting up face-to-face meetings to discuss potential opportunities and promote a concept of cooperation that is beneficial to all parties.
Every company must acquire customers in order to grow, but not all potential customers are suitable customers. The ability to assess whether potential customers are qualified or whether partners can access target audience members is a necessary condition for business development. Other sales skills include:
- Finding opportunities
- Upgrading the sales funnel or customer management platform
- Qualified prospects
- Establishing relationships with customers
Business developers often work closely with sales team members to drive qualified potential customers through the sales funnel and take them to the next level
. After the handover, members of the sales team will showcase the product, negotiate, and finally conclude the deal. Although business development professionals are involved in the sales process, they rarely complete transactions or convert potential customers into customers.
In the end, these responsibilities fell on the sales team. However, the ability to streamline the sales process can enhance the company’s success, which is why business development professionals and sales team members work closely together in this capacity.
2. Communication skills
If you don’t have strong communication skills, it is difficult to succeed in the field of business development. Business developers must be able to write and speak with confidence and clarity, and listen to the responses and concerns of potential customers.
The duties of the business development director include calling potential customers, maintaining long-term relationships, and sharing valuable information with business stakeholders. In addition to these communication skills, business developers must also be able to negotiate.
Although they may not be the ones who complete the transaction, they are responsible for generating potential customers and maintaining their interest as they go through the sales channel. To be successful in negotiations, you need to be able to think creatively, understand the needs of others and prioritize them.
Most importantly, your communication methods should be sincere and careful. You can also improve your communication skills by practicing introductions and referrals to make yourself more confident.
3. Marketing skills
In many companies, the relationship between the business development department and the marketing department is often closer than the relationship between the sales department.
Although business developers must have some specific sales skills, they must also understand the basic model of marketing and apply them to their roles. Ultimately the goal of business development and marketing manager is to expand the business, although the methods of doing so may vary.
Smaller businesses may not have the resources to hire a complete marketing team, so some tasks that are usually related to marketing may be different. It depends on the commercial developer.
These tasks include finding ways to promote the brand, expand the market, acquire new users, and increase visibility. In addition, many business development executives look for opportunities to build partnerships instead of selling directly to end customers. Therefore, the ability to effectively promote a brand is relevant.
4. Business intelligence skills
Business intelligence is gaining knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the market. In business development, even these skills involve studying the needs of the business and its competitors to gain a broader understanding of the target market.
Data collection and analysis are also included in business intelligence. The most common types of data that benefit business developers include the size of the potential market, any changes that affect it, the types of activities that generate positive responses from certain market segments. To develop this skill, you can start by conducting research, collecting data, and learning more about the target market.
5. ROI and data analysis skills
Business development managers must be able to track return on investment (ROI) and get data support. when presenting to owner and supervisors. The performance metrics tracked by business developers will vary depending on the sales cycle, business needs, and industry.
Some standard measures include revenue, the number of transactions generated through partnerships and other channels, sales flow, and the impact of the business development team on that flow. Keeping track of the work you do to drive business growth will go a long way to your success in this career.
6. Project management skills
Growing a large business is a complex project; managing it closely is critical to the overall success of business developers. Some of the skills required to become a good project manager will carry over to the business development industry.
These skills include leadership, team management, the ability to monitor and manage risk, and personal organizational skills. When managing a project, the ability to lead a team is important because you may not handle all tasks alone.
Managing the team involves supporting teamwork, resolving conflicts, and evaluating performance. These same skills apply to your performance as a business developer.
Every company or industry has its own specific development needs, but getting the right professionals can generate this growth potential. If you are really interested in business development and want to make your carrier in it then identifying and developing these necessary skills can help you succeed.