The art of business development

Super RobI have been a Business Development Executive at Foundation for nearly two months now, so I suppose I am ‘officially trained’. This post didn’t exist before I started, which means I didn’t exactly have a defined job role or procedure. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; there’s nothing worse than starting in a role where you are replacing a member of staff and end up being constantly compared, especially for someone like me who is fresh out of university with no real experience in the big wide world of work. The hardest part of starting this job has been learning and understanding what ‘business development’ actually is, so this is my interpretation so far.

Lead generation

Lead generation is all about business development. The more clients you have, the more money you make, the more the company can grow. Seems pretty simple!

Pre-sales

Pre-sales ties in quite closely with lead generation and the main aim seems to be dealing with the small issues and technicalities around agreeing a sale, the aim being to hand the main sales guys a straightforward pitch to an informed client, making everyone’s lives easier. We don’t want our best sales guys working on an opportunity that may well lead to nothing.

I look at this as an opportunity to grow. If an established salesman doesn’t think an opportunity is worth their while then I will happily take it and see what I can make happen. Even a small deal is a great win for me.

Research

Research is a more complex task in business development. It is complex because it is very hard to show results to your manager, to have achievable targets and you could spend hours researching something that is completely unnecessary. This does not mean that it’s not important; chances are you have found this article because you were conducting your own research. Research is very important because it allows you to understand, it keeps you up to date with current affairs/technologies and will hopefully give you new ideas. The technique for research though is not to go crazy with it, understand what you want to know before you start researching and set yourself time limits. For example I wanted to know more about lead generation techniques so I set out knowing that I wanted at least five alternative methods. I was going to search online, focusing on what other businesses currently do and set myself a time frame. This worked wonders and I was able to easily get what I wanted and also gave me a starting point to further ideas that I want to research in the future.

Marketing

Another task in business development is marketing. This may be helping the current market team or introducing marketing ideas yourself, and if your company doesn’t have a marketing team then the marketing team is definitely you. I’m very lucky and am supported by a great marketing team, which makes my life so much easier. The better the marketing procedures are, the easier the job is, so use the marketing team to drum up hot leads. This also involves having great communication between the business development people and the marketing people for future development, trends and support. I suggest at least an hour a week holding a meeting between the business development and marketing teams so everyone can see the bigger picture and work better together.

The last business development task, and my personal favourite, is…

Motivation

Motivation is vital, chances are if you are in a business development role you are starting off in your career and you should be hungry (metaphorically of course). You should be eager to prove yourself and make an impact within your company. This will boost everyone, offering a new energy to the workplace and spark the belief for everyone in the company that the business is going to grow. Don’t be scared to suggest new things and remember to have some fun with it. I am a bit of a joker and actually adore messing around a bit but it works, having a happy office is great for morale and productivity (although productivity might slow if you decorate people’s desks with edited pictures of yourself as superheroes).

Decorated desk

This is as best as I can describe it but I am Rob Peterkin a Business Development Executive.

Rob Peterkin, Business Development Executive
Rob PeterkinRob works with the marketing team and the sales team to generate more business for the company and is the initial contact for potential clients. He is fresh out of university after receiving an FdSc in Computing and Internet Technologies and a BSc (Hons) in Business and Information Technology. Outside of work Rob plays for a football team and is currently learning to play the bass guitar.

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