digital customer journey
GertDeCaluwe

GertDeCaluwe

Passionate about digitization and development.

Becoming a great business developer?

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Becoming a great business developer?

Not sure who coined the name Business Development, or Business Developer, but what does he/she really do and what is the key delivery of such a role?

Let’s make one thing clear from the very start: a Business Developert is not necessarily one person (although it might be in some cases). In some vases the CEO herself/himself or e member of the executive committee plays the role of the (key) developer. It’s a company state of mind, it is part of a company’s DNA.  And DNA does not ‘prosper’ when there is no one or a group of people keeping it alive.

Most companies have a very short term focus. Often they focus on moving ip the operational result, year on year. They implement margin and cost measures. They focus on growth using a narrow lens: a lens limited to existing businesses and customer groups.

Business Development assumes that you actively and methodologically start using or actively use a broad lens: focusing either on new customer groups, focusing either on new value – or – doing both. Often it means you need to take a longer term focus, and often it means there is substantial risk of failure.

Business Development also implies that you step out of the circle of organic growth as you will have to consider and weigh an organic path versus potential acquisitions and partnerships.

Not everyone is ready to become a strong Business Developer. What makes a good Business Developer? Being able to keep a long term focus, being able to deal with substantial tisk, being able to weigh different roadmaps.. all of these go without saying. But there is more to it. Much more.

Strong business developers usually have a very broad experience. Often they combine sales and marketing experience with legal, financial and project management skills. They have a good understanding of how siloes work and how detrimental they can be to success.They are able to transcend these siloes and connect people along the road.

Strong business developers are intensely curious. They want to understand the world around them, and if not the world, they want to get to the bottom of the problems they are trying to solve as part of their development scope. Aprt from being curious they like to explore: they constantly explore new opportunities and are testing new combinations – how tech development could enrich the relationship his/her company has with customers, how new developing attitudes of specific customer groups could add value…

Strong business developers have an analytical mind. They are able to base themselves on data – often raw data, as they enter new and previously unknown fields. They must be able not only to structure these data, but they also must have the skills to translate them into consistent business messages.

Strong business developers are not only strategic thinkers, they also have a knack for understanding how a company ticks and how strategy get to implementation. Often they have experience with different business models and types of organizations.

Needless to say, strong business developers are used to steer projects – they know how to balance time, cost and scope.

But perhaps most important: they know how to deal with people in many ways. They are able to bring the right people together. They are able to bring the right people together. They know how to rely on internal resources, but also know when to bring in specific external resources. They know how to coach, steer and support people in a proactive manner. They are able to judge people. They know how to listen. They often have an own large network, which they user to challenge their own thoughts.


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