As a business development professional, you will be responsible for the business management of your organization. You will build long-term relationships with clients and look for new business opportunities. Business growth and company profits will be your primary focus. You can help the company reach its full potential and play a key role in making a business financially successful. Additionally, you create long-term value for your organization.
Business development is a challenging but rewarding experience. When you help your organization win new business and customers, you feel satisfied with your efforts. Business development professionals that contribute significantly to an organization grow in their careers with the organization and the long run can become Vice Presidents of the Business Development department.
To be recognized as a top performing business development professional, you should possess critical skills. Here are the important business development skills you need to achieve professional success:
1. Communication skills
Communication is one of the essential business development skills for you to have. You need support from the senior management and therefore have to present your plans to them. Externally, you have to communicate with clients and other strategic partners to build a business relationship. Communications is part of your day-to-day activities, which means you have to be comfortable presenting and talking to key stakeholders.
2. Negotiation skills
Winning business is never straightforward. There will be moments where negotiation will be required. You will need to persuade the key decision makers. You will have to find a solution that will benefit both parties and one that is agreeable. You have to be tactful, patient and diplomatic during negotiation meetings. You will know how to subtly disagree with solutions that are not in the best interest of your organization and still be able to walk out of the negotiations knowing you have secured the best deal. You achieve this by building a trusted relationship with your customer.
3. Customer relations
This business development skill is essential as you should be able to build and maintain relationships with all clients, including key clients of the organization. You can identify the ideal customers that will benefit from your organization’s products and services.
4. Innovation skills
Creativity and imagination are part of the essential business development skills. Today, innovation can appeal to may customers. If you can present innovative solutions that are unique to the client, you can be sure that your organization will win the customer. Innovation is a differentiating factor that cannot be copied. With innovative skills, you have a competitive edge.
5. Selling skills
Even though you are not really in sales, you should have a sale’s mindset. You will be selling a company brand to prospective strategic partners and customer organizations. You inform the partners and organizations of why it is their best interest to partner with your company.
6. Analytical skills
Analyzing competition is necessary for your organization to strive. You understand your industry, markets, and what your customers are looking for. You even understand your customers’ businesses. Your business analysis skills generally lead to workable solutions that elevate your company’s profits and brand.
7. Results-driven personality
Winning new business is never an overnight achievement. A lot of effort, time, research, planning and strategic thinking are required before you present your company to specific customers. You have to develop targets and quarterly as well as yearly goals. You have to demonstrate that you can achieve long-term strategic goals for your organization. At the same time, you are flexible in responding to unexpected opportunities and changing demands.
Being quick with ideas and creativity can make a difference in business development. You will be able to create value for customers. Creativity can extend to finding new market opportunities, new target customers, product or service potential and other ways to promote your organization. Your ideas are turned into reality. They create efficiency and offer practical solutions to complex opportunities. A challenge is never an obstacle for you as you know how to navigate through it.
9. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills can help you communicate effectively with key stakeholders. You are an active listener, team players and motivator. You can influence others and make an impression with the way to articulate your ideas. You are open to feedback and can use this information to your advantage. You can interact with people at all levels, demonstrating confidence at all times.
Apart from interacting, practical interpersonal skills will help you collaborate with all your key stakeholders. You know how to work with each stakeholder to achieve organizational goals. You can work together to achieve the desired results.
10. Organization skills
It is essential to be organized and prepared at all times. You set appointments, have plans in place, present solutions and generate revenue streams for your organization. You identify growth opportunities which require you to plan, prepare and implement every day. To succeed in these areas, you have to be organized with your day-to-day tasks.