Business Development (Biz Dev) is an industry term applied to the process of strengthening ties with existing clients, as well as cultivating new customers in other sectors of your specific market reach. In order to accomplish this goal, business development normally crosses the traditional barriers between sales, marketing, customer care, operations and management in order to promote this process of expansion on more than one level for the company. This means that you as the business development specialist must exhibit a degree of competence in many different areas in order to identify and capitalize on growth opportunities. You must be flexible! And frankly, to be successful, you have to be good at all these areas.
The process of business “building” can incorporate many different departments within a company – not just sales! All businesses need to focus attention on the creation of marketing and business expansion, but having well trained and coached sales professionals to execute the plan is essential.
A business development professional’s main focus is to identify opportunities for the business, but also they need to stay up-to-date on current industry trends, changes and key areas for growth. Knowing what business competitors are working on is imperative to keeping your Biz Dev momentum. Noticing when there are new market opportunities or specific new client’s needs, means your business can work to improve or evolve its Biz Dev activities and product positioning.
It isn’t about simply hearing the word “yes”. It’s about hearing it fast! You need to know, quickly, whether someone you’re in discussions with is serious about doing business or not. If they’re not, you need to move on but build a strategy to stay in touch for future contact. Biz Dev is about focus and relationship building — but it must result in success since most Biz Dev professionals are commission based and hence income success is critical.