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The primary objective of anyone responsible for or involved with business development is generally targeted at developing and delivering opportunities to grow the long term value of an organisation; whether this is categorised as sales, partnership or even hustling!
A truism of nature, that is equally applicable to business, is if you’re not growing, you’re die-ing. A business is a living organism and in order to survive and prosper, requires new customers and on-going sales from existing customers; hence why investing time and effort to build a strong relationship with your existing market is key. No business will survive long term if it adopts short term policies to literally grab a market, sell it a product / service and then move on to the next “shiny object”. As such, it is critical that your business development strategy and plans, whether in the B2B or B2C market, are defined and measured.
Building relationships takes time, requires trust, respect and providing value, time and time again.
How does Business Development Differ to Sales?
It’s not uncommon for people to use the terms business development and sales interchangeably, but, there are key differences.
Business development includes skills of marketing, soft sales skills (qualification, negotiation, etc). Business development includes brand placement, market growth, client acquisition and general market awareness. Sales comes into the equation because it is the means by which to achieve biz dev.
Sales on the other hand, is at its core, to sell the product / service directly to the end client / customer.
Arguably, the critical component that differentiates Sales and business development is scalability. Sales teams tend typically to be large, whereas a business development team tends to be smaller as they work with and leverage their relationships with partners and their infrastructure. Therefore, for a business development professional, one needs to identify partners with whom there’s a good fit and in finding a way to provide the partner’s clients/business with value.
There is clearly an overlap between Sales and Business Development.
3 Simple tips for successful business development:
- If you’re building your business – Recruit the Correct Person at the Correct Time: Someone who knows their industry and has established relationships will be able to close deals far quicker than the person who has to build up or develop theirs. There are multiple stages to making deals, but, boiled down, can be classified into:
- Exploration: this is simply identifying opportunities in the market.
- Assessment: this is determining the viability of the product / service within the market. Information gathered during this stage will shape where further time, investment, effort is required.
- Data – know and understand both the numbers and detail as this will ensure that your focus is on those aspects that are critical rather than secondary to the business.
- Be Careful with the deals made – not all deals are a good deal! Therefore, before closing, verify that the deal works for all involved, will not undermine the organisation, whether this be its reputation, its ability to deliver, its costs, etc. In other words, do the trade-offs justify the risks.
Irrespective of with whom you might be liaising for business development services companies in London, in Surrey, in Middlesex, in Europe or even internationally, when all is said and done, the goal of business is to generate new leads and grow.