Are you interested in becoming a business developer? If so, you should find out about the skills you need to become a business development professional. A business development professional evaluates a company’s performance to identify areas in which improvements can be made. Such improvements may involve finding out new growth avenues, building and maintaining new relationships with partners, etc. In short, the main work of a business developer is to enable a business to grow further. Here are some essential skills that you will need to excel in business development:
- Sales skills: Although sales and business development entail different functions and responsibilities, there are some that are overlapping in nature. For instance, you will need to have elementary sales skills to become successful as a business development professional. As a business developer, you have to spot people in the target audience who can increase your sales or develop skills to foster strong ties with prospective partners. Only someone with sales skills will know how to best nurture ties with customers; this explains why business developers must work closely with sales professionals to follow leads.
- Marketing skills: You will find business developers in some enterprises working more intimately with the marketing team instead of the sales team. Both marketing and business development professionals have a common aim to grow the business using distinct methods. The relatively smaller businesses lack resources to hire full-time marketing professionals; this explains why business developers often step in to perform their duties. So, they become involved in brand promotion, market expansion, acquisition of new customers, etc.
- Communication skills: These are of course imperative for business development; so a business developer should be able to articulate his thoughts clearly, speak confidently, and listen to concerns and responses from customers. Besides having good communication abilities, a business developer needs to be able to negotiate; even if he does not close the deal, he should be capable of generating leads and retaining their interests as the deal moves through the sales team.
- Business intelligence skills: This involves getting insights about how the market works; without these skills a developer cannot understand what his customers need. For this, he must collect and evaluate data; this could be information relating to the market size, changes which impact it, or campaigns likely to trigger positive reactions from specific market segments. So, a business developer will need to engage in research, collect data, and find out in-depth about the target market.
- Data analysis skills: Any business developer is expected to monitor ROI or returns on investment. He must have information for supporting this and this is to be submitted to executives and managers. Business development professionals are expected to track metrics that keep changing with sales cycles and industry needs. To become a successful business developer, you therefore need to be able to track what you have done to boost the company’s progress and present it to the managers.
- Project management: Since developing a company is a complex task you have to learn how to manage the process. This is why project management skills, such as the power to monitor the organization, manage risks, leadership, and team management, resolving team conflicts, evaluating performances, etc are found to be imperative for business development professionals.