business development training - Top Question from Google
What are Business Development Skills?
Selling has changed so much in recent years which is reflected in the skills that the modern sales professional needs to be successful. Regardless of the industry every Business Development Professional requires:
- Communication Skills
- Sales Prospecting Skills
- Social Selling Skills
- Research and Planning Skills
- Networking & Relationship Management Skills
In this article we will cover...
1. Business Development Training - Introduction
Business development refers to the plans and methods used to increase a company’s value and growth. Business growth tactics may include activities such as relationship-building, market expansion, and brand awareness initiatives.
Business development isn’t just about opening new accounts. It should be the process of positioning the business for long-term growth by using a variety of business development strategies and taking a more targeted approach than salespeople do when closing deals with specific consumers.
Business development training has become more important than ever as salespeople find it harder and harder to open new accounts. True business development includes market appraisal, positioning and strategy, not just traditional selling skills.
2. Why is Business Development Important?
Business development helps an organization grow by assisting with expanding and improving its sales, revenues, product offerings, talent, customer service, and brand awareness. It serves as the connecting link between all of a company’s divisions or departments.
Here are three reasons why business development training is crucial
1. It creates vital new connections
Building relationships is important in the business development process. Skilled business developers focus on making connections with senior level decision makers in their prospects C-suite. Making connections is only the start of the process with customers. We still believe that people buy from people and relationship building also plays a critical part of any business development strategy. When done correctly, connections are often made for life and many salespeople have made a career exclusively from their own, personal, black book.
2. It’s an essential strategy for boosting sales and reducing costs.
Every business loses a percentage of their customers each year. Bankruptcies, takeovers and changes in buying teams affect us all. These accounts need to be replaced for the company to maintain its performance, let alone grow. The process of developing a business requires finding strategies to increase the amount of revenue a company obtains while minimizing revenue loss. By having people who are focused on business growth, an organization can decide which markets and products have the greatest profit potential and which deals to pursue first.
3. It can enhance the company’s brand reputation
Business developers can assist a business in developing a stronger brand because marketing is essential in long-term value to a business’s growth. Business developers should collaborate closely with the marketing department using their business experience and skills to create strategies and campaigns that expand the company’s target market and attract the right type of new customers.
3. The significance of business development at different stages of company growth
Business development strategies for a well-established firm with 1,000 plus workers look very different from the business development strategies for a startup with ten employees. This is because there are numerous stages of business development, and the specific tasks within each stage differ depending on the size and maturity of an organization. Of course, budgets and resources also have a major impact on this.
Each type of company—startups, medium-sized businesses, large, well-established businesses—needs a unique business development strategy.
A new company needs to lay a strong foundation to survive and grow. Business development strategies for startups focus on building that foundation by validating product market fit, building use cases in different verticals, and gaining valuable case studies to help scale future sales. Not every salesperson has the skills and tenacity to break new ground, as this can be extremely hard work.
- Mid-sized businesses
As a firm grows, the need for more structure and process within sales appears. This can have a negative effect as it impacts the culture of the business. The friendly, team environment can start to wain with the introduction for more management which is needed because there are more people. Nonetheless, new business development becomes even more crucial to the growth of the business. As members of the founding team may have undertaken business development duties throughout the start-up and SME phase, this is usually impossible to maintain as the have a bigger business to run, with more people reporting to them. Business Development can sometimes become swallowed up by the business-as-usual sales, and dedicated teams are often required to avoid this. By enhancing and releasing new products, searching for new markets, winning new “marquee” accounts and investing in expansion, businesses in this stage can continue to expand. A skilled business developer may execute these tasks, allowing senior executives to focus on ongoing operations and other administrative obligations.
- Large, Enterprise companies
The resources and client base that larger, more established firms have built up over time are available to the BD teams, regardless they still need to hunt for fresh growth opportunities and partnerships. During this period of business development, winning new accounts can be much easier as they now have the power of a large brand behind them. Bigger budgets allow more focus on finding, cultivating, and putting into practice new ideas from both inside and outside the company, leading to innovation, new partnerships, and strengthened relationships with both present and potential customers.
4. Understanding the Basics of Business Development
In the modern era, sales, marketing, engineering, product management, vendor management, and other divisions are all involved in business development. Initiatives for differentiation, alliances, bargaining, and networking are also active. These many departments and operations are all motivated by and coordinated around the goals of organizational development, business training and leadership skills.
In most cases the role of the Business Development Manager is usually to focus on a particular market, or a certain set of accounts (Account Based Selling). This targeting must include the companies Ideal Client Profile (ICP) and the Buyer Personas in order to be successful. Sales strategy, planning and management are all pre-requisites for success.
Whilst not everyone agrees with our position, we believe that marketing is there to deliver sales leads. Brand building and raising awareness are too often excuses used to justify poor results. From experience marketing should be fully aligned with sales and support business development activities. Marketing should lay the ground work and position the brand before the BD professional even makes contact.
Strategic Partnerships or Initiatives
Partnerships should not be limited to those that can deliver direct sales. It’s advisable to form strategic partnerships and collaborate with companies that have a common target audience to increase your brand awareness in a market. Our recommendation would be to wherever possible always partner with a bigger brand than your own. By leveraging the power of a bigger brand, you will automatically raise your own brand awareness and positioning in the buyer’s mind.
Project Management/Business Planning
Winning any new business is never easy, however, wining new enterprise deals is often the most difficult of all. This requires thorough planning, patience and persistence. Simple tried and proven tools like SWOT analysis, Ansoffs Matrix and OKRs play a vital part in preparing to win at business development.
Modern product management simply must be built on differentiation. There are simply too many products and services that have no discernable difference and ends up in buyers making their selection based on price. Features and benefits are not points of differentiation as they will simply be copied by your competitors if they have any value in the market.
In many cases, growth is simply not possible without the support of your vendors. However, Vendors can play an important part of business development as they can feed into product development, partnerships and sales and marketing. Can you work together with your vendors to co-create the next generation of products and services?
Networking, and Relationships
Much as we love technology, people buy from people. When two products and services are the same the business developer who is the best at building relationships will win. Nobody wants to buy from a salesperson they don’t like or get on with. The best business development professionals have taken their personal skills past what we call the “functional skills level” and have developed leadership skills that are vital for both internal, and external communications.
Business development and scaling up isn’t just about adding more salespeople to the team. It’s about knowing your customer acquisition costs and working tirelessly to reduce these. New ideas and strategies that fill the top of the sales funnel need to continuously be tried, tested and measured.
5. Business Development Training - Conclusion
We would love to be your partner for growth and help your team be the best they can be. Our business development training is available for delivery either In-Person, Remote or a hybrid combination of the two.
Our professional business development courses include the latest in remote selling and includes time set out for role-playing. Our sales training follows the work-based learning methodology which is designed to minimise classroom/theory time and maximise the time spent on practical, work-related projects.
Every business development course we deliver is led by a skilled and experienced sales trainer who still sells for a living in the real business world. This ensures they have a genuine understanding of front line selling. In addition, over 80% of the training content we deliver is customised to meet the relevant skills and learning outcomes our clients are looking for. We don’t just deliver generic business development training courses.
“A fantastic learning experience”
Amanda – Account Manager