Important Skills Business Developers Should Have
As your business grows, you may experience bottlenecks because of failing to notice problems as they emerge. These unexpected issues can arise within your company or outside the business due to, for example, poor customer management.
In either case, hiring a business developer to identify the problems hindering business growth can be beneficial.
Here are some must-have skills for business developers:
Strong Communication Skills
An excellent business developer must be a team player and have strong communication skills. Teams with effective communication can increase their productivity by up to 25%, and these skills are required to engage all the different stakeholders involved.
Business developers should also be able to confidently cold call prospects to increase the chances of gaining new clients.
Understanding Your Business and the Competition
A business developer should understand your products and services. They should also know everything about your competitors to provide you with the leverage needed to outperform them.
They'll conduct the necessary market research to identify your company's current position and competitive advantage over similar brands in the industry.
Negotiation & Persuasion Skills
Business development professionals should be tactful and diplomatic at all times. They should know when to compromise and when to take a stand to achieve your business goals.
They should also be able to win the hearts of your prospects to persuade them to become loyal customers.
High Collaboration Skills
Business development isn't a one-person show. Pumble shares that 86% of employees and executives blame workplace failures on a lack of effective collaboration and communication.
An effective business developer should be able to influence and build relationships and manage conflicts to get things done.
Effective Project Management Skills
Since developing a business is a project in itself, good business developers are effective project managers. Companies generally waste 11.4% of their resources due to ineffective project management.
So, business development managers should be able to set goals, manage projects, establish timelines, manage risk, calculate budgets, delegate tasks, and manage teams.
How To Create a Business Development Strategy
A solid business development strategy instructs your team on how to generate high-value leads that'll ultimately support your organization's long-term goals.
If you don't have a strategy, your team members may find it hard to identify qualified prospects. They may waste time developing relationships with prospects that'll never convert.
That said, here are three main steps to developing a reliable business development strategy:
Identify Your Audience and Competitive Landscape
Crafting a successful business development strategy starts with identifying your target audience. Focus on specific companies or clients that present significant growth opportunities for your business.
That's crucial because business development is a long-term game. The customer relationships you build may take months or even years to turn into sales. So, you don't want to build relationships with unqualified prospects.
Moreover, identify other businesses operating in your industry and get a clear picture of what they're offering to differentiate your product and deliver value to your customers.
Determine Which Channels To Use To Achieve Your Business Targets
Once you've identified your target audience and understood the competitive landscape, outline the channels you'll use to achieve your targets. That involves analyzing your yearly revenue goals and developing specific ways to achieve them.
The most effective business development channels are a combination of advertising, networking, referrals, content marketing, and cold calls.
Set SMART Goals and Choose Effective KPIs
Set SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound — goals for each channel to measure and track your progress.
Your business development objectives don't have to be directly related to revenue generation, but they should contain strategies for introducing prospects to your sales funnel.
In addition, ensure you can measure those goals with relevant, meaningful KPIs that reflect your company's health.
These metrics should give you a good idea of how effective your business development efforts are.