Business development terms
If you search for business development opportunities, you may find a few common terms across the listings. Here are two key phrases you should know when working with business developers or working toward getting a role in this field:
This term refers to potential revenue opportunities and where they fall in the process of purchasing from or forming a partnership with a company. The pipeline visually represents the progress of the deals, beginning with prospecting and ending with closing the deal. By adding to the sales pipeline, a business development professional can support the sales team and increase potential sales.
This term refers to the ideal customer or partner for the company. Identifying target companies, customers or clients is a key aspect of working in business development to prevent wasting time and resources. To determine the target audience, you'll need to be able to perform research and look into potential partnerships and sales channels.
Business development skills
If you are looking to pursue a role in business development, there are several common skills you may find in job descriptions. Setting personal goals to improve these skills can help you be a more competitive candidate.
Here are a few of the skills you should emphasize on your resume and during business development interviews:
While business development and sales roles serve different purposes, they share a few similar tasks and responsibilities. For this reason, basic sales skills can help you be successful in this role.
To target opportunities for growth, a business development professional must be able to identify members of the company's target audience and effectively find and follow up on opportunities. Additionally, business developers need the skills to build relationships with potential partners or prospects.
This might involve tasks such as cold-calling or setting up in-person meetings to discuss potential opportunities and sell the idea of a partnership that benefits all involved parties. Every business must acquire customers to grow, but every potential customer is not the right fit. The ability to evaluate whether a potential customer is qualified or a partner has access to members of the target audience is a necessity in business development.
Additional sales skills include:
Business developers often work closely with sales team members to push qualified leads through the sales funnel and get prospects to the next level. After the handoff, the sales team members will demonstrate the product, negotiate and ultimately close the deal.
Although business development professionals are involved in the sales process, they rarely close deals or convert prospects into customers. Those responsibilities ultimately fall on the sales team. However, the ability to streamline the sales process can improve the success of a business, which is why business development professionals and sales team members work closely together in this capacity.
Without strong communication skills, it will be difficult to achieve success in the world of business development. Business developers must be able to write and speak confidently and clearly, as well as listen to the responses and concerns of potential clients. The responsibilities of a business development executive include calling prospects, maintaining long-term relationships and sharing valuable information with those involved in the business.
Along with those communication skills, a business developer should be able to negotiate. While they might not be the one closing the deal, they are responsible for generating leads and keeping them interested as they move through the sales funnel.
To succeed in negotiations, you need to be able to think creatively, understand the needs of others and prioritize. Above all else, your communication style should be genuine and tactful. You can also improve your communication skills by practicing presentations and pitches to feel more confident.
In many companies, the business development department often aligns more closely with the marketing department than the sales department. Although a business developer must have some sales skills, they must also understand the basic principles of marketing and apply them in their role. Ultimately, the goal of both marketing and business development professionals is to grow the business, although the methods for doing so may differ.
Smaller companies may not have the resources to employ a full marketing team, so some of the tasks often associated with marketing could fall on the business developers. These tasks include finding ways to promote the brand, expand the market, acquire new users and generate awareness. Additionally, many business development executives are looking for opportunities to form partnerships, not sell to a direct end customer. Therefore, the ability to promote the brand effectively is pertinent.