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Business Development- What it is and Why it Matters?

business development what it is and why it matters

What is Business Development?

Business development is commonly defined as the use of markets, relationships, and customers in order to create long term value for an organization. An alternative definition of business development is the set of processes and tasks used to create and maintain business growth and long term value.

Commonly recognized objectives of business development include-

  • Creating and maintaining long term value
  • Developing strategic partnerships
  • Expanding to new markets and new opportunities
  • Strategic decision making

A good business development plan encompasses everything from project management to product development initiatives. In fact, business development influences virtually every aspect of a company's operations, processes, and procedures.

The complementary relationships between sales, business development, and marketing are well known in the business world. However, both small business and new business owners may be unsure regarding the particulars of these relationships as well as the long term value potential they possess.

A good business development process can help enterprises of all sizes and ages to better understand their target market and budget capabilities. An experienced business development team should be able to identify how to best allocate a marketing budget for optimal results.

For example, while a small business budget may only allow for sparse social media advertisements, business development professionals can optimize advertisement exposure levels. For larger budgets, the marketing department may recommend cold calling or in person trade show demonstrations.

A business developer may also bring insightful new opportunities to the marketing department regarding branding initiatives. The focus on branding initiatives makes sense because now more than ever before a business's brand is defining its ability to enter a new market successfully.

The business development team can work together with the sales team in order to find sales process optimizations. For example, a business development executive could help pinpoint a method to make the sales funnel shorter that the sales team may have initially overlooked.

The development team can also assist the sales team with-

  • Entering a new market effectively
  • Establishing strategic partnerships
  • Introducing a new product
  • Exploring new opportunities
  • Identifying new clients and new markets

Importance of Business Development

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Business development affects all departments within an organization from the sales team to high level executives. Understandably, human resources and management professionals are increasingly recognizing the long term value that business development can offer their organizations.

The high level communication skills that business development professionals bring to companies can be utilized for customer service initiatives. Not only can a development executive identify long term value potential in a new market but they should additionally be able to increase the potential of current markets.

As a result, customers will likely see an improvement in the services and products that a business offers them. Additionally, the added boost to employee morale that a business development team can inspire can boost customer service capabilities.

Another substantial benefit provided by business developers is a unique safe space for a corporation and its employees to learn about themselves. A good business development executive can spark a long term positive shift in the company culture and overall work environment.

Arguably one of the most beneficial and important components of utilizing good business development professionals is the domino effect of these individual improvements. Many organizations notice that as one part of their business is developed, other parts are positively influenced.

The Benefits of Business Development

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Prominent benefits of business development include cost savings and networking capabilities. Business development can enhance bottom line profitability and long term value through the implementation of cost savings techniques.

For example, a successful business development team could identify a problem area in the budget that could be remedied. One instance could be an excessive amount of travel costs that could be solved by hosting more video conferences or requesting high level meetings are occasionally hosted at a home office location instead of abroad.

A common cost saving method used by business development executives is outsourcing. Outsourcing can significantly decrease labor costs for a wide range of business functions ranging from cold calling to social media marketing.

Any strategic partnerships that need to be created or developed are the responsibility of business development team personnel. Likewise, any networking and lobbying necessary for an enterprise to infiltrate a new market is assigned to business development professionals.

Especially for lobbying, networking, and negotiations, high level communication skills are a business development professional requirement. Understandably, it makes sense that many development professionals are well connected in their respective industries.

Key Takeaways

  • Part business development and part innovation, there is a multitude of improvements and benefits that business development professionals offer. Objectives of development activities range from creating and maintaining long term value to potential customer acquisition.
  • Necessary business development skills include communication skills and networking capabilities.
  • The role business development plays helps with everything from content marketing improvements to sales pipeline optimizations.