Business developer… What’s that?
Business development certainly is the most popular function title when it comes to internships and jobs. You can find them everywhere on job platforms and every single company is looking for talented “bizdevs” who will be relied upon to help the company secure more and more customers and clients.
The term is used extensively and we don’t really know the actual ins and outs of the role, tasks and the specific skills of a business developer, which is why we are going to dig in what is asked of you when you embark on this journey.
A bus dev is a hunter! Always looking to sell his company’s products to customer, his services to clients. Quite simple! For a business to survive and grow, you need a top product and a talented team of business developers.
He is going to be spending a lot of time on the phone to convince prospects, that he identified beforehand through his market research.
A strong drive and the energy to turn the NO into a YES are two mandatory character features. If you enjoy challenges and setting high objectives for yourself, becoming a business developer is a position to consider.
A sales person puts a lot of preparation into his craft. You don’t just bust out a phone from your pocket and start dialing. You would spend too much time contacting people, business owners and others that have no need for your product.
Know your target audience, be it a niche or a larger group, but this is crucial to not be spending your phone credits for rejections.
You first need to get to know who you are going to contact. Do some research. What is his role in the company? Who is in charge? What specific features of my product are going to leave a mark and make the difference when he decides to buy or not?
You are not trying to persuade the person you are on the phone with! You are listening to his needs, answer questions and put forward the features that are useful to the prospect. A solid script and knowing your product cover to cover are mandatory. Add a slight dose of improvisation and you will be right where you want to be.
To be a great sales person, there are a few skills that cannot be overlooked:
- Communication, interpersonal & collaboration skills: Confidence is key! You must be able to express your ideas, arguments clearly and with energy in order to gain new users or customers for what you are selling. A MUST! Navigating conflicts and complex environment are also important to best identify who to talk to and how. The perception you give to other has a tremendous impact on the outcome of your sales pitch.
- You are a negotiator & persuader: When do you say no and stand your ground? When do you compromise? You need to gain your prospect’s trust, be tactful, and win over his heart so he does what needs to get done, buy your product!
- Market research and analytical skills: As stated earlier, research is an important part of a business developer’s role. He needs to identify his targets. A lion is going to scan through his potential preys and choose the weakest one. Take this as a metaphor of course! Business developers are also on the lookout of the competition and identifying the new products coming into the market. They communicate with the rest of the team to make them aware of what is on the market for potential improvement and innovations that could be brought to the product. Companies have the desire to stay on top and offering the latest technology is the number one thing to do to stand a chance
- Good command of technology: This seems simple to say that but one tool that salespeople use and need to know from end to end is a CRM. Stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRMs allow you to follow the path of client, from being a mere prospect, to send emails, cold-calling. We need to know where every single customer is in the sales process. Your team is coordinated on the future tasks with a selected client and you do not duplicate steps. What would be more annoying than receiving duplicate phone calls with the same sales pitch from different business developers?
In short, if you enjoy and withstand pressure, you are like Barney and always accept challenges, business development is a great path to follow.
The skills you will develop will be beneficial to the rest of your career whatever you decide to do later on.