WHAT ARE THE BASICS OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT?
In easy terms, business development can be summed up as ideas, initiatives, and activities that help improve business operations. This includes increasing revenue, growing business expansion, increasing profits by building strategic partnerships and making strategic business decisions.
“Director of Business Development,” “Chief of Business Development,” and “Vice President of Business Development” are all impressive job titles commonly heard in companies. Sales, strategic initiatives, business partnerships, market development, business expansion, and marketing are related to business development. Still, they often need clarification and are considered the sole function of business development.
UNDERSTAND THE BASICS OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Business development activities span different departments, including sales, marketing, project management, product management, and supplier management. Networking, negotiations, partnerships, and cost-reduction efforts are also involved. These disparate divisions and activities are managed and aligned with the company’s growth goals.
Salespeople focus on a particular market or customer (group) for targeted sales. In this case, the business development department assessed the Brazilian market and concluded that $1.5 billion worth of sales could be achieved in three years. With such goals in mind, the sales department targets new market customers with its sales strategies.
Marketing involves promoting and advertising to successfully sell the product to the end customer. Moreover, marketing plays an additional role in achieving sales goals. Business development initiatives can allocate an estimated marketing budget. Higher budgets allow aggressive marketing strategies such as random calls, personal visits, road shows, and free sample distribution. Lower budgets tend to lead to passive marketing strategies, such as limited online advertising, print advertising, social media advertising, and billboards. Strategic initiative or partnership
To enter a new market, is it worth going alone and going through all the necessary formalities, or is it better to form an alliance or strategic partnership with existing local companies? In the area? Supported by the legal and financial teams, the business development team weighs the pros and cons of the available options and chooses the one that best serves the business.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT/BUSINESS PLANNING
Does business expansion require a new facility in a new market, or will all products be manufactured in the base country and then imported into the target market? Does the second option require additional installation in the country of origin? These decisions are finalized by the business development team based on their estimates of costs and schedules. The project management/implementation team then takes action to achieve the desired goal.
Regulatory standards and market requirements vary from country to country. For example, a drug with certain ingredients may be licensed in India but not in the UK. Does the new market require a new or customized product version?
These requirements guide the work of the production and product Management Consultants departments, which are dictated by the business strategy. Cost review, legal approval, and regulatory compliance are all assessed as part of the business development plan.
Will the new business need external suppliers? For example, does shipping a product require a dedicated courier? Will the business partner with an established retail chain for retail? What are the costs associated with these commitments? The business development team is addressing these issues.
NEGOTIATION, NETWORKING, AND LOBBYING
Some business initiatives may require expertise in soft skills. For example, lobbying is legal in some regions and may become necessary to enter the market. In addition, soft skills such as networking and negotiating may be required with various third parties, suppliers, agents, government agencies, and regulators.
Business growth is more than increasing sales, products, and market reach. Strategic decisions are also needed to improve the bottom line, including cost reduction measures. For example, an internal review found that high tourism spending could lead to changes in travel policy, such as arranging video conference calls instead of onsite meetings or choosing a method of travel. Cheaper shipping method.
Management can take on similar cost-cutting initiatives by outsourcing non-core tasks, such as billing, accounting, finance, technology operations, and customer service. The strategic partnerships needed for these initiatives are part of the business development process.
WHAT SHOULD A BUSINESS DEVELOPER KNOW?
Since business development involves high-level decision-making, business developers should be informed of the following:
- Current status of the company in terms of SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)1
- Industry situation and growth forecast
- Competitive development
- The main source of revenue/income from current business and dependent sources
- Customer information
- New and unexplored market opportunities
- New areas/products/areas eligible for business expansion, which can supplement existing business activities
- Long-term vision, especially for proposed initiatives
- Cost area and possible options for cost reduction
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT REPRESENTATIVE
While some of the responsibilities of BDR change after some time and as your business grows, the following list should give you a solid understanding of typical BDR duties.
- ASSESS PROSPECTS.
BDR needs to evaluate leads and identify ideal leads to determine who they will sell to. Most leads are gathered through calls, emails, web forms, and social media.
The key to evaluating leads (leads assigned to BDR and leads that BDR identifies themselves) is to look at their needs and then determine if your product or software Is the solution for them?
- IDENTIFY AND COMMUNICATE WITH POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.
BDR will identify the ideal lead by categorizing leads and finding people who fit your buyer persona. Then, they can communicate directly with these leads to learn more about their needs and weaknesses.
This way, the BDR can determine whether a potential customer will benefit from your product or service by becoming a customer. This is important because it increases the likelihood of improved customer loyalty and retention.
Once the BDR identifies the ideal leads, those leads can be passed on to the team’s sales representative (or sales manager, if needed), who can encourage them to close the deal.
- ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES.
Proactively seeking out new opportunities, whether in the product line, market, prospects or brand awareness, is an important part of your business success. BDR tries to find new business opportunities through networking, researching your competitors and talking to potential and existing customers.
If a new business opportunity is identified, the BDR should schedule a marketing review and discovery meeting with the team’s sales representatives so they can all assess whether there is potential for a deal or not.
- STAY UP TO DATE ON COMPETITION AND NEW MARKET TRENDS.
It is very important to stay up to date with your competitors’ strategies, products, target audiences, and new market and industry trends.
This will allow you to identify ideal leads more effectively. It can also help your business prepare for any changes in the market that may require a new approach to identifying potential customers and engaging your target audience.
- REPORT TO VENDOR AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER.
As we have seen, in most companies, the BDR reports to sales representatives and sales managers. BDRS needs to communicate with these superiors for various reasons, such as discussing lead assessment strategies and connecting leads with sales reps to turn them into customers.
BDRs should also report their findings (such as business opportunities and market trends) to sales representatives and managers. Communicating this information and working with sales representatives and managers to develop and update strategies that are right for your business and audience is critical to your success as an organization.
- PROMOTE SATISFACTION AND LOYALTY.
A BDR’s interaction with a lead may be that prospect’s first interaction with your business. So, making a good first impression is crucial to garnering early interest. Whether a BDR is working to assess a prospect, learn more about their needs, or find the right sales rep to deal with them, their interactions with all your potential customers are important.
After a BDR searches for a lead or begins interacting with them, ensure they tailor all communications to the prospect. Personalizing all content shows them they are being heard and cared about. These actions are very professional and leave a strong impression.