A VIEW ON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Business development is one of the leading requirements of businesses all over the world which leads to the consistent demand for business developers in firms either in sales, consultancy etc. Because of the leading role the office of business developer plays on the growth of every business it is quite necessary that the individual the would be representing this office must this few key features.
1) Understands People’s Buying Patterns & Trends
As a marketer, you know the famous stat: Buyers complete up to 57% of decision-making process before they ever even contact a vendor. With the increasing amount of information available online — either from a brand, its competitors, or its previous customers — buyers are more educated than ever before.
But does your sales person know and understand the implications of this? Once upon a time, the seller had control of the information. Now, they need to serve as an advisor who can personalize the solution to the specific buyer and her challenges.
New business professionals need to be able to be well-versed in strategies that will help them build trust with a buyer and move the person through the sales cycle through education and qualification.
2) Believes in Inbound Marketing : Many agencies still rely on cold calling and emailing, referrals, and networking to generate quality leads. While these can be a valuable source of new business, the best sales reps understand the role of marketing in attracting, qualifying, and nurturing the very best prospects They buy into the idea of inbound marketing and understand that CMOs and executives aren’t waiting around for an agency to approach them. The rise of social media and the rapid advance of technology have dramatically altered business development. The Mad Men rainmaker days are over,” Gass said. “So before hiring someone responsible for your agency’s new business efforts, in addition to the questions regarding their traditional new business expertise, you should be asking what they really know about social media, content marketing, and how to generate inbound leads.”Your new business development manager should support and in some cases, drive the marketing efforts of the agency, and they should place the same value on the leads they did not source themselves.
3) Asks Great Questions & Listens Intently
“The most successful new business people are those that can ask great questions,” said Dave Currie, president of The List. “Through their professional curiosity they ask great questions and listen with intent toward identifying and truly understanding the issues, the impact of those issues to the prospect’s organization in measurable terms, and the importance of solving that issue for the prospect now versus later. ”Prospects are already educated about your agency, your services, and the competition, so the new business person needs to be able value to the conversation, not just restate what the potential client already knows.
4) Sets Goals & Develops Action Plans
For many people in an agency, sales is an unknown (and mistrusted) role, and if the new biz person can’t drum up support and encouragement, she will struggle to feel a
The new business professional should create an annual plan to establish business development needs aligned with finding new client growth. This will also help to prevent a common issue that causes the new business person to fail: Once sales start climbing, she is pulled into account management to handle the additional workload. The plan should reveal how important it is to make working on business development every single day — not just when things are slow — a priority, and it should align with hiring and capacity forecasts.
5) Is the Right Type of Sales Person for the Role
This type is the sales-focused personality.
“These days, the director of business development describes a caretaker of the pitch process and requires strengths like acute attention to detail and strong project management skills.
“The hunter is a more aggressive sales person, focused on results (versus detail and process)’’.
The issue is: Do you simply want someone to prospect for new clients, qualify, and set up meetings so that the owner/CEO can close the deal? Or do you need someone to build a team around — someone who can create the new business strategy, processes, and be an important member of the leadership team?
“Most ad agency CEOs expect their new business leads to excel at both roles and are often disappointed when they don’t.
6) Possesses High Curiousity Quotient
This is a skill that Peter Levitan thinks every business development person should have, especially as the marketing and agency landscape becomes more complex and competitive.
“We can train business development professionals in sales techniques, in understanding our agency’s skills, and the needs and pain points of our prospective clients. We cannot, however, train people to be curious,” Levitan said. “That means being actively curious about our staff and culture, our industry, the client’s persona and category, and importantly, understanding the true value of our sales proposition. The bottom line is that curious people build stronger relationships and that is the essence of a great sales person.”
7) Ability to Build a Brand
Agencies understand the importance of building a brand, creating a differentiated and meaningful market position, and generating awareness and value around the brand for their clients — yet they so rarely do this for themselves. And that means most agencies are indistinguishable from another: They offer the same services, describe themselves in the same way, sell to anyone, and fail to communicate their value.
New business professionals need to not only be able to define their brand but also be able to drive change throughout the marketing and sales practices of the company — by defining an ideal client profile and qualifying which clients are a good fit (and which are not), marketing its firm, hiring and recruiting practices, and even determining its value through pricing.
8) Sets Realistic Expectations With Clients
A new business development rep should be well-versed in setting and managing expectations with prospects so your firm can exceed those expectations. This might be about when a proposal will be delivered — promising “tomorrow” when it typically takes your team three days to create a proposal is not acceptable — or creating an accurate picture of what it will be like to work with your agency. This person needs to be able to communicate your agency’s values, personality, and culture to help potential clients understand what it will be like to work with your team and if your point of views match up.
9) In-Depth Knowledge of the Agency Business
While some will disagree with this, many believe that the person responsible for representing your agency in pitches or in “get to know you” meetings should have an understanding of the agency business and the services you are selling. Now, if the agency’s owner can take over the role of a “closer,” and you simply need a sales person to prospect and qualify, this is not as important. This might also not be necessary if you are willing to put in the time to train and budget to educate the person and give her a reasonable amount of time to ramp up.
The new business person will be helping clients not only make marketing decisions but business decisions. She should have a good understanding of general business strategies, the concerns and challenges of leaders, customer acquisition and retention, and the financial metrics that matter to executives. She has to be seen as a business advisor who can help the client to solve business problems.