What Does a Business Development Specialist Do?

Job titles continually evolve based on the changing needs of companies. An evolution of a sales function could look like: sales person, account manager, business development specialist.

A job of a sales person is to sell to customers and prospective customers. An account manager makes sure that existing accounts are taken care of and services. A business development specialist might also work on specific accounts to help develop the business to its full potential.

Business development specialists might work on accounts but they might also work with the executive team of a company to develop the business in general. This can be done through several methods, such as:

  • Gathering Business Intelligence – A specialist can help you learn about things going on in business and in your industry that can help you strategise.
  • Generating Leads – Lead generation and follow-up are vital aspects of making money. A specialist can help you uncover new leads and ensure that you are taking full advantage of every hot and warm lead you get.
  • Strategic Planning – Are you planning for the future based on business intelligence and competitive analysis? A consultant or specialist can help.
  • Marketing – Your marketing strategy will have a direct impact on your success. A specialist can help you market effectively and measure your success to help you continue to plan and grow.

A business development specialist is typically a cross between a marketing and a sales person. In many cases this role is a liaison between sales, marketing, procurement, and management. They’ll sometimes work internally and at times they’ll work directly with clients as well.

Should You Develop Your Business?

Companies that choose to hire people in these roles (or that choose to hire a consultant) want to ensure that not only are they servicing existing customer needs but that they capitalize on opportunities as well. Those opportunities can exist based on existing customers, prospects, and industry changes, such as new products and / or services.

It’s no longer enough to simply manage your business. It needs to continually evolve with the changing tide of business in general as well as the changes in your specific industry. So many things need to be considered when trying to service your existing customer base and grow. Some business development specialists are worth their weight in gold; working with your customers, your sales force, your management team, and even with your vendors to ensure that you’re best able to position their products as well.

Business Development 101

In my 25 years of being in and around sales, marketing and advertising, it surprises me how many small business owners don’t have someone working on business development. Many owners and managers I’ve met should be the “biz dev” person but just don’t have the desire or truly understand what to do. I think this comes back to a few things, fear of sales, pride, and/or social interaction. In other words they look at themselves as the President of their small business and are unwilling to go out and pound the pavement for a few hours every week. Some even use the excuse of being tooo busy, but constantly whine about how bad business is.

Many a sales person I come across is caught up in chasing after the next sale, wasting so much time during the day instead of constantly developing and cultivating a large pipeline of prospects. I see them reading the paper, surfing the internet or standing around yackin’ about the weather and recession. These actions show laziness, lack of focus, and desire or unwillingness to venture out. In other words they aren’t hungry enough. If you work around people like this, I would recommend that you step away from the pack and make a positive change.

Whether your business is online or offline, business development should be an integral part of your sales and marketing plans.

What can you do to enhance your business development skills? Consider implementing these 6 steps:

  1. Learn the art of cultivating relationships. Read books, listen to MP3’s and then take what you learn to polish your people skills. Develop and use personal relationship marketing to better your relationships.
  2. Get involved in the industry, not just the companies you are looking to engage with. If you are tuned in, the opportunities might come your way. If you’re tuned out, then they’ll pass you by.
  3. When an opportunity comes your way, take action immediately. Communicate. Pick up the phone, send an email, and get the process moving in a positive direction.
  4. Learn and engage in different kinds of online social media. It’s great for networking, market research and keeping a pulse on what’s happening in your industry. But make sure to test what you do and don’t get too caught up in socializing.
  5. Plan the work and work the business development plan on a weekly basis. This way you stay consistent and persistent all year long. To many people give up or don’t stay at it long enough to get traction.
  6. Find a mentor to guide and counsel you. This last step is crucial and I believe will truly make a difference if you’ll find someone who is willing to help you in your endeavors. It might take a month or even up to a year to find the right person and/or persons.

The bottom line with business development is that it starts with you. So start where you are, make a plan, take action, and stay focused on a daily and weekly basis.

Business Development – The Priority That Often Isn’t and 3 Keys to Fixing This

Often it seems that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Although this is a problem that most can relate to, it is especially costly for business owners. For those who write their own paycheck, the situation is like a catch 22. Without investing time in pursuit of business development, things will stay as they are. However, although business development takes time and won’t immediately contribute to your bank account, it is essential for being in control of the direction your business is going and proactively creating your future. Let’s look at 3 keys for making progress in your own business development, even when your schedule is full.

Schedule Blocks of time

The first step is to set aside time to focus on the fundamental task of shaping the future of your business. Even an hour a week will be a step in the right direction. Ideally you’re investing 4 – 8 hours each week in business development, but you’ve got to walk before you run, so start by picking a number that is realistic for you and your situation. Even more important than the number of hours you devote, is the consistency with which you do this. Don’t put this off until the end of the day when your energy is low and your mind is tired; schedule this business development time for when you will be fresh and alert.

Develop a business development plan

During your first scheduled time reserved for business development, create your game plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect – there will be lots of opportunity to tweak it as you go along. The most important thing here is that you have something you are working toward. This gives your effort focus and direction, which when coupled with the consistency from step one, will give you momentum.

Delegate / outsource the routine

The key to increasing your business is that you take a proactive approach to creating your future. As you devote more time to business development, you will gain momentum. Devoting more time is not about just adding more hours of work into your day – chances are you’re already close to maxed out. Investing increasing amounts of time in developing your business is about delegating and outsourcing the routine tasks that you are performing now, but that someone else can do for you. By reallocating your time from doing the easy to delegate tasks, to doing the development work that only you can do, your business will grow to match your vision for it.

Investing time regularly in pursuit of developing your business is essential to creating a future that is better than today. There are many Business Development activities out there. Which ones will you pursue first? What block of time in your schedule will you set aside to work on this? What have you done previously (or currently) that worked that you will do more of?

The Benefits of Business Development Coaching

Business development coaching is essential for companies who wish to maximize their profit margins and grow as a whole. This can be useful for organisations of all sizes. It aids management in learning the key skills required to expand a business and increase its chances of success.

Professional coaching companies which provide the services of well-trained, experienced coaches are certainly not in short supply. Some of the best coaching companies are world leaders in the field, with businesses having significantly benefited from their considerable experience.

What is professional development coaching?

Any activity that aids in improving an organization or individual is referred to as business coaching. Individuals who provide business development coaching run classes with the purpose of directing, instructing and training business leaders to achieve a specific goal or to develop business management skills that may aid them in achieving business development.

What do coaching companies do?

Professional coaching companies impart knowledge, skills and training to current or prospective entrepreneurs, individuals or groups of individuals from pre-existing businesses to aid them in improving the effectiveness of their business.

The job of the coach is to work to improve leadership, enhance teamwork, ensure employees realise the importance of accountability, improve sales, facilitate effective communication, and aid businesses in the setting of goals. Professional trainers also provide advice on strategic planning in addition to a variety of other business development skills.

Business coaches can aid business leaders in promoting their businesses both online and offline, regardless of the type of business being operated.

How is coaching different from mentoring?
Business coaches typically have little direct experience of an individual’s formal occupational role, except where coaching focuses on specific skills. Business mentoring, on the other hand, is typically provided by experienced colleagues who are able to pass on industry knowledge and experience in order for an individual to open up opportunities not otherwise in reach.

How do business coaching companies operate?

Depending on the task to hand, a business coaching company may impart business development support in a variety of ways. Business coaching education may take the form of motivational speaking, seminars and lectures, and workshops. It may comprise a single coaching method or several. Coaching may be provided on a one-to-one or group basis.

Business coaches often specialize in different areas of development coaching. They may therefore engage in executive coaching, corporate coaching, or leadership coaching, for example. Existing organisations can capitalize on business coaching specialization by only paying for the coaching they require. New businesses, meanwhile may benefit from more general coaching. It is essential that any business requiring coaching determines their needs to ensure that they are supplied with an adequate level of service.