The top five skills you need for a business development role

Looking for a career change? Discover the top five skills you need if you’re considering moving into a business development role.

An important goal for many businesses is to find ways for long-term growth, as well as improve their position on the market and build stable relationships with their customers, suppliers and contractors. The responsibility of implementing the strategies for a company’s growth often falls upon the business development manager.

What is a business development role?

Business developers evaluate growth areas, new markets and help to generate new leads with potential clients. Some business development consultants work more closely with the sales team and help to plan sales campaigns, as well as negotiate prices with customers and suppliers.

It takes a certain type of personality to work in a business development role. They are fundamental to the growth and success of a company and must understand the ins and outs of both the business and its place in the market. Business developers identify opportunities that can benefit various departments within the company, such as new clients and marketing suggestions.

You can help the company to increase their sales revenue through various methods, such as analysing ways to improve a product, service or customer relationships. The choices and decisions that you make as a business developer can shape the success of the company and its relationship with employees, customers and other businesses.

The top five skills you need for a business development role

We’ve compiled a list of five skills that a good business developer should have if you want to help the company to succeed and develop. Whilst there are lots of skills that you need for this type of role, these are some of the basic requirements that you will need to make a good impression on potential employers and customers.

You will also have to be motivated, analytical and have excellent social skills to excel in the fast-paced environment of a business developmental role.

1) Creativity

Businesses have to be run by individuals that are able to creatively think up new angles and solutions for changes in the market, as well as ways that the business can properly grow and develop. This could be as simple as conducting market research to keep up with changing business trends and thinking about how they can be adapted and then applied to your company. You can also study techniques used by other successful companies and think about the various elements of their schemes and why they work so well.

You will have to develop engaging and informative presentations and pitches to current and potential clients to explain why you think they will benefit from working with your company.

2) Communication

To be a good business developer, you need to have exceptional communication skills. You will be speaking with senior management within the company, as well as working alongside account managers and the sales team to secure investment in the required areas of the company. Another one of your business development jobs will be to present your company and its goods or services to organisations and customers that you want to invest in the company.

It’s important that you are able to find out the desires of your customers and then work out how you can implement solutions to meet these requirements. You will also have to help draw up client contracts that clearly state the expectations of both parties. Interpersonal skills are integral for business management and development as they help to build solid relationships.

One of the best ways to maintain good communication within the company and outside organisations is to invest in communication tools. These can help you to coordinate meetings and sales with important stakeholders and keep on top of customer relationship management.

3) Organisation

There are various different responsibilities that you will have as a business development professional, which is why you need to be extremely organised. You will be faced with multiple calls a day, as well as in-person meetings with clients and other staff members. This means that you have to keep track of deadlines and be capable of consistently delivering a high standard of work.

You will also have to organise the workload of other teams, such as new marketing techniques that the sales team could use. Business development professionals also have to help calculate budgets, costs and time frames for new projects. This will help the teams to work out how they must distribute materials and their time to make the projects successful.

4) Negotiation

You and the company’s business partners may find some resistance when it comes to agreeing on a reasonable deal with customers or suppliers. In this scenario, one of your most valuable business development skills is negotiation.

It’s your responsibility to make sure the final deal that you agree upon is favourable to your company. Whilst it can help to be flexible, you should always enter negotiations with a clear goal in mind so that you can steer the agreement towards a beneficial outcome. It’s also better to remain diplomatic in these situations so that you can try to keep the other party on your side throughout your discussions.

Trust is a major part of business negotiations, so you need to be tactful and responsible when discussing business plans. Although you may not reach the agreement that you originally wanted, you don’t want to ruin the chances of future deals by being dismissive of the client.

5) Collaboration

Businesses rely upon a whole team of people to run smoothly. You need to be able to work with different personalities in various roles to accomplish your goals. Along with the standard research skills that you’ll need to establish marketing plans, you will also need to manage conflicts and build working relationships to help build a positive influence on the team.

Working alongside other departments within your company can also help you to think of new angles to help with the expansion of the business. You must have good people skills to be a business developer because it is a crucial part of your working day.