You may have heard the term business development, AKA “Biz Dev,” being used in the business world a lot these days. The 2020 Future of Jobs Survey led by the World Economic Forum declared that business development jobs are the sixth most sought-after profession globally.
But what does a business development unit do?
Think of an organization where employees don’t have to worry about the growth and development of their employers. There’s no one to guide them towards new opportunities and detect the inherent shortcomings in business processes. Nobody to help you attract a targeted audience or look into and prepare for the future. How does that sound?
Sounds like a failure, doesn’t it?
Well, this is precisely why companies hire business developers who could help them to focus on growth and success. You can learn better and gain the skills required to become a business developer by enrolling yourself in a business development course in Australia.
What Is Business Development?
There is a business unit in organizations called business development. The job of this unit is to create long-term plans for the growth and profitability of the company. They dedicatedly approach this plan through three main activities, which include setting up business in new markets, forming meaningful partnerships, and growing the value of an existing client base. However, it is not limited to these activities.
Success in business development only comes when you fully understand its concept. It is basically a mix of sales, marketing, project management, networking, contract review, and negotiation expertise.
The business development experts don’t work in isolation. They have the opportunity to work with various departments throughout the company on different projects. That makes the job of business development interesting.
Moreover, they are also allowed to stimulate the growth of every department by giving them the direction to do business. They use current business and market trends to deduce this information.
For instance, if a company wants to expand its SaaS foothold, it will likely implement a cold outreach program to reach new customers. While in a big multinational company, Business Development units may also be responsible for market analysis to launch a new line of products, but the overarching goal is the same across all verticals. They must spot and cater to new growth opportunities.
However, growth opportunities don’t always mean new clients. It may also include getting new partners, developing new products, or entering new markets. Sounds like something the marketing department would do? Then how is business development any different? Well, both might seem to overlap, they have some significant differences.
What’s The Difference Between Marketing and Business Development?
It might be hard to identify the difference between marketing and business development. Moreover, since the business development roles vary from company to company, keeping these two departments separated becomes more challenging.
To simply state the difference, marketing is mainly about drawing new leads and customers. At the same time, business development builds relationships with organizations to produce new opportunities. Need a more detailed explanation? Read ahead to get a basic idea about it. Then, if you want to get a proper insight into this field, you can enrol in a business development course.
The role of every marketing department in any organization is to attract more customers. Hence, it is a customer-facing unit of your org.
The marketing professionals approach this through three ways:
1. Creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) after identifying the ideal customers for your products
2. Helping you get into your ideal consumers’ minds through various channels such as website, social media, ads, etc.
3. Building your brand image and helping your customers know your organization better –its products, what it offers, how it will add value to their lives, etc.
Every marketing effort will direct the audience in one direction that is to buy from you. So, once consumers have gone through the marketing stages, they’ll either call your sales team to book your service or make a purchase on your site. In most business models, especially in B2B organizations, marketing is only the first stage in the journey.
Business Development Activities
The activities of the business development unit revolve around forming relationships. Its main goal is to form strategic partnerships with your targeted organizations. This includes creating an association with a lead founder of that organization to persuade them and bring them closer to a sale. Besides this, it is also responsible for leveraging existing relationships and generating referrals. Doing that helps them develop a new consumer base in different geographic areas.
Skills Required For Business Development
Generally, the business development units work in collaboration with the sales and marketing departments. They deliver their services to support these departments so they can reach their goals more effectively. Hence, to achieve their goals, they require a mix of unique marketing, communication, and sales skills.
You can do a diploma in business development to become a skilled business developer.
As a business developer, you should clearly demonstrate:
Communication And Interpersonal Skills
A professional working in the business development unit must acquire strong communication skills. The reason is that they need to communicate, propose, assert and talk with different stakeholders who are involved in a particular business process. They should also be prepared to have the confidence to cold-call prospects and convert them into new clients.
Working in a business development unit means you need to interact and collaborate with multiple parties. There’s no concept of working solo in business development. These collaborations could be within the company and outside the company. So, you need to keep your collaboration skills polished and ready to use at all times.
A good business developer will be able to form relationships, manage conflicts, influence, and make way through office politics. That will allow them to get things done effectively.
Persuasion And Negotiation Skills
To be able to persuade and negotiate with your customers, you need to be tactful and diplomatic all the time. Moreover, you can only achieve your set goals if you know when to let go and take a stand.
Use the right persuasion techniques at the right time, and you will be able to win your customers’ hearts, minds, and trust, contributing to your company’s business growth.
Project Management Skills
To be a good business developer, you also need to be a good project manager. Business developers need to set goals, plan, and manage projects. Moreover, they are required to manage the risks involved, time, cost, budgets, and teams working on the projects.
Research & Strategy
Being a business developer, you can’t imagine convincing business owners to become partners based on uncertain information. You will require facts and strategy, and you can only acquire that through solid research and strategic analysis skills. These essential skills are standard for getting on top of the competition and keeping your company ahead.
Regardless of which department you’re working in, basic computer skills are essential. So, a Business Development Manager must also be skilled in Microsoft Office and CRM software. These are a must for any business developer.
Also, Check – What is a Business Plan and Why is it Important?
The business developer’s job is to guide the company towards growth opportunities. They can’t do that without knowing all about its business services and products. Moreover, they would also need to know everything about the companies in competition. Only then the company can leverage this information to surpass its competitors.
So, business developers should be able to carry out market analysis to identify the competitive advantage of the company they work for. They should be able to collect data through various strategies and make use of it.
The main job of the business developer must be to focus on building relationships. However, they also need to have the ability to acquire deep intelligence of new markets, promote their brand, identify and understand the competition, and educate new target prospects.
Business developers should also have some mutual skills with sales representatives, including qualifying leads, nurturing relationships with clients, prospecting, and maintaining a sales customer relationship management database on all sales activities.
Some companies recognize business development as a powerful tool for business growth. However, this unit still remains underrated and unappreciated in many companies. As a result, most companies are unable to utilize their true potential and lack in their growth.
In today’s time, changing customer behaviours have made business development vital. Hence, if you’re looking for a career path, business development has quite a lot of scope. But remember, you need to acquire all of the necessary skills first to excel in this career.
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