Business Development is something that is sometimes confused with marketing, and very often with sales. In fact, there seems to be a trend nowadays whereby salespeople are no longer called “salespeople”, but “business development” Managers / Experts / Analysts / whatever.
This may be done to give more “cache” to the position of the salesperson (“I am not a salesperson, I am a Business Developer”… admit it, if you say it in English it is even “cooler”, more “pro”), or to remove the “negative connotation” that is generated in our brain every time a “salesperson” calls us.
Of course, the work of a salesperson is essential in any company, no matter whom it may concern, but it is necessary to differentiate (above all) between the “salesperson” and the “business developer”. And that is what we are going to clarify in this post.
The Business Development (or BD) area of a company is (or should be) very cohesive with Marketing and Sales (the famous aforementioned salespeople), but they are not the same. But, then, what do BD people do? Now let’s get to it, you impatient:
The main function of the BD department, or its BD Manager or Specialists (also called BDM) is to answer the question: What do we do now? Many times you have a product placed in a market, and everything is going well but maybe sales start to stagnate… the market is crowded, ok, so… What do we do now?
Well, the options are many: you can create a new product in your current market (new product strategy), take your existing product to a new market (new market strategy), or vary the marketing strategy so that your product reaches more people within the same market (penetration strategy), or you can choose to turn everything around and take new products to new markets (diversification strategy)… as I say, the options are many, and that is what the BDM has to analyse and decide.
The BDM has to go ahead of Marketing and Sales, it is the one who leads the way, defining the strategies for the progress of the business, taking advantage of the opportunities in the environment or creating them, as well as establishing the necessary synergies with external entities.
The main functions of the BDM include the following:
Identifying and exploiting opportunities
They must identify and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the environment, such as markets with high potential that have not yet been exploited, whether it is the extension into new geographical areas or the development of new products and/or services. In addition, it must have the ability to create opportunities that lead to business growth, anticipating market movements.
Create opportunities if there are none
BD must have the ability to create opportunities that lead to business growth, even ahead of market movements. Go one step ahead.
In order to grow the business, it is necessary to establish strategic alliances with external entities, either to expand into new geographical areas, develop new products and/or services, new suppliers to reinforce the current business value chain, develop new processes, etc. Synergies with third parties are a key element in the evolution of any business.
The BD department must go hand in hand with innovation, both in technology and business processes. This is very relevant nowadays, due to the constant and rapid evolution of technology and society. To remain static in the face of these changes is to allow oneself to be knocked down in the market war to which companies are subjected today.
Asking the questions no one else is asking
A good BDM must go beyond reality, beyond habit, beyond routine. It must always look into how to do things differently, how to improve current processes. Think that everything can be improved and that no procedure is written in stone.
Define the strategy
As always, strategy is a must. Through strategy, the BDM defines how the business will evolve, always taking into account the corporate objectives as well as the mission and vision of the company. Without a strategy, it is practically impossible to achieve results, as only improvised actions will be carried out without a common goal.
At Springboard35, we are business development experts, and that is why we are experts in doing these abovementioned tasks. Of course, we are also experts in sales (yes, we are very good at selling, because we have the contacts, the networks, the tools and the know-how), but we don’t just sell, we do all the process, from the beginning: from strategy to execution.
If you don’t want to let the crucial task of BD to “anyone”, but to the best… meet us at springboard35.com and contact us! We must talk!