How Much Sales Is Involved With Business Development?

If you ask a group of people what they think business development is, you would most likely get a few different answers. There is even a chance that your own view of business development and sales may be used interchangeably.

Business development involves more of a strategic approach such as strategy, marketing, customer management, and partnerships; these activities encompass about 75%-80% of the approach, and sales about 20%-25%.

When I get asked the question, does business development have something to do with sales? Yes, it does. Is it related to business growth? Most definitely it does. Does it have anything to do with business strategy? There is a good chance it does.

Business development is a culmination of these different activities but most importantly, it’s all about shifting to the point of view of the client. This will provide you with that new perspective and will have you balance your efforts across these key activities that you and your client will both need and address. Whenever you conduct your business development efforts make sure to take the perspective from the client’s point of view and try to develop a deeper understanding of what their problem is. Realize that the client only cares about one thing and that’s their own group or company’s survival and the problem that they are facing. The client is only interested in you if they identify a need/problem or pain point that you can solve and provide a solution for it. It’s the kind of value that you can provide them that will enable them to consider your firm for the project.

If your firm’s approach is strictly from a sales perspective, generally, the economy of scale is to grow as large as you can. The strategy is to sell your product or service with a clear price and value directly to an identifiable individual client.

From a Business development perspective, the economy of scale is much smaller because the approach to your service is more strategic with the intent to create a partnership. It entails cultivating a relationship with the client and provide a service that could be more cyclical by working through existing partner infrastructures.

In my 14+ years of professional experience in management consulting, business development has been stretched to encompass a wider variety of activities with the intent to stay smaller in size. In its most traditional definition it is all about developing partnerships, which often includes some sales. Whereas, strictly sales are more transaction oriented where scalability is the differentiator.

A Glimpse Over a Business Development Manager’s Job

Every businessman starts his business with an aim to grow in terms of annual sales. However, starting up a business seems easier, but making it a big one is not everyone’s cup of tea. It needs great efforts and hard work to get your business on the heights of success. According to a research, it has been observed that only one-tenth of 1 percent of companies will ever reach $250 million in annual revenue.

In order to develop a business, you need to make a growth strategy that must cover market perception, market growth, product development, alternative channels, new products, etc. Here, comes the need for a business development manager. He is the most important part of an organization, who needs to work with the marketing people, internal team and other seniors to develop the strategies for enhancing the sales opportunities, thus, increasing the profits. Let’s have a glance over the job of a business development manager:

Role of a business development manager

Well, the role of the concerned person can be categorized as follows:

• Outlook for new clients: It is perhaps the primary role of a business development manager to search for new clients. This can be done through various ways including cold calling, networking, advertising and more.

• Planning influential approaches: The next important thing is planning a proper influential approach that can encourage the prospective clients to do business with the company.

• Developing a bond: Developing a good relationship with new customers is really necessary if you want to develop your business. This can be done by setting targets and proving the required support to the customers for improving the bond.

• Grow and retain existing accounts: Developing a good relationship with new customers is not just enough. What more require is growing and maintaining the existing accounts. In order to retain the current customers the manager should be ready with new solutions and services that he/she can present to the customers as and when required.

Above are some of the primary roles of a business development manager. Apart from this, he/she is responsible for making a strategic planning for developing a new business coming in to the company. For this, the person must possess a sound knowledge of the current market condition, services that company can provide and most importantly who are the company’s rivals.

Qualifications and skills required for the business development manager

• Educational qualification: As the job of a business development manager is quite challenging, he needs to have certain skills that can assist him in facing all the hurdles. As per the reports of online job placements on Monster.com and PayScale.com, the educational qualification required for Business Development Manager Jobs is first of all a bachelor’s degree in business administration or any other related field. Having a good experience in sales or marketing will be added advantage. Though, some companies may prefer the candidates who hold a master’s degree in this field.

• Key skills: As far as skills are concerned, the person should be highly motivated, problem solver and must have prospecting skills, territory management, market knowledge, presentation skills, closing skills, professionalism, etc.

Significant result areas of business development manager

To achieve the desired results, it is very essential to be crystal clear about everything so that the concerned person will be able to focus on the results. Generally, the key result area should be:

• Clear, precise and measurable: A clear, precise and measurable key area will help in defining the exact results that have been achieved and how well they are achieved.

• Under the control of business development manager: The key result area should be under the control of the concerned person. When he/she does it in a right way, it will contribute towards a major value to a business and to the career of the responsible person.

• A vital activity of the business: A key result area is unquestionably the important output that will turn out to be an input to the next result area.

All the above information will surely help you to get an idea about the job of a business development manager.

What Does A Business Development Consulting Firm Do?

A business development consulting firm helps new business owners create a business and a business identity before it goes public. In addition to creating the brand and the business plan, these firms may also help the business with day-to-day operations when the company is young and in the process of expansion. Business development consultants are experienced in a wide range of different core areas of business. They are experts in marketing strategy development, brand development, brand marketing, writing marketing messages, editing press releases, and creating and managing start-up budgets. Here are just some of the many activities a consulting firm can help a start-up business with:

Logo Design and Logo Development

A logo is a symbol with a combination of words that is used to portray a company. While some business owners take time early on in the development process to design their own logos, these logos may be very similar to others in the industry. One of the keys to designing an effective logo in any industry is making it unique. Business owners who are having trouble with their logo designs can work with business development consultants to further develop their designs and make the necessary changes. In some cases, changing the design of the logo is an effective way to create a business identity that people can identify and will remember.

Developing Content of All Types for All Platforms

Content is very important for start-ups and veterans in the industry. Today, prospective customers want to do business with a company that has values and values them. The only way to communicate value is to have detailed content that people want to read. A business development consulting firm has a team full of marketers and professional writers who can write anything from website content, to content for printed marketing materials. The benefits of allowing a firm to write and edit copy is that everything will be written in the same voice. The writers will focus on unique topics but make sure all of the content blends together in a cohesive way. All of the copy written will be in an appropriate tone based on the demographic of the reader and the niche that the company is trying to target.

Generating Leads to Grow the Business

Business development consultants also help develop your book-of-business. Once you have a brand strategy and a marketing strategy in place, you need to find clients if you want to be profitable in the future. It is difficult to launch a marketing campaign when companies do not have an audience to market to. Consultants will help businesses generate leads and will also teach the company the fundamentals in lead generation for the future. By learning how to target markets, reach these markets, and gather contact information, business owners can expand their reach and grow their businesses.

Entrepreneurs do not have to have a college degree in business management. They do, however, need to be goal-oriented, professional, hardworking, and resourceful. One of the most effective ways to be resourceful is to use experts in business development to your advantage. By hiring the right consultant firm, new business owners can learn the ropes, develop an identity, and grow their book-of-business in the process. For some, the difference between failure and success weighs heavily on the consultants the company chooses.