Common Misconception about Business Development is a reality and if not well managed, it can really frustrate us. Among all the misconceptions about business development, this is definitely the one that makes nearly all business developers freak out. Because of course, business development means everything and nothing, so you don’t really need skills, right?
Business development it’s a powerful tool, however, thinking that one person can make your company explode is not very realistic. By its nature, business development needs the support of all the other teams and resources in the company. It’s not feasible for one person only to cover so many aspects of the business.
Let’s say your business developers are reaching out to potential partners. They will most likely need resources (to attend events, buy tools, etc.) and cross-department skills (marketing campaigns, product updates, etc.).
If you see business development as a way to unlock opportunities, you need to accept that you will need to enable access to resources and the workforce to achieve your goals. From a business developer perspective, it’s also important to make sure that your requests are solid. And most importantly that you reach the right stakeholders in the company.
After all, a company works like a big assembly line. Each team needs to work together to create the final product and this applies also to business development. Finally, Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers/clients, markets, and relationships.
Developing your business should be an internal function long before sales and marketing are involved. It should also be a joint effort with shared responsibility and accountability. The role of business development is simply not to grow revenue and market share, it’s to grow value for shareholders. A repeatable model that provides profitable growth year-over-year builds value. It is not built by roller coaster sales and profit performance.
In Summary, This three focus on sales and marketing effectiveness and where responsibility lies.
Marketing has to have a strategy and a message to communicate. Sales have to have something to sell that meets market needs and is priced competitively. Call it a vision, a road map, whatever; you need a clear direction for the organization, defining as a minimum:
What markets you’ll serve
What products or services you’ll provide them
A value proposition that your market understands
What you won’t do as well as what you’ll do in those markets
A strategy to compete
Key performance indicators to measure progress
Absent this strategy your marketing and sales staff are struggling to develop a message that resonates with your market and a selling proposition. Top management can’t just assign a number to the sales organization, and tell marketing to get the word out. Since an estimated 50% of small and mid-tier companies don’t do an annual strategy review, that’s exactly what happens in some cases.
You cannot grow sales year over year if you can’t execute. If you haven’t done the work to define, document and refine internal processes so that you can deliver quality every time, you are throwing up barriers to your sales operation. While execution may not seem to be a part of sales and marketing, and part of traditional business development, try and grow your business without it. This is also a senior staff responsibility. The message throughout the organization should be, “everybody sells”.
Both of the misconceptions above are the responsibility or the owner or CEO. You may have a Vice President of Marketing, or Sales or even Business Development, but the ultimate accountability rests with you. You pick the team and set the expectations, but you can’t simply delegate accountability to your staff. Regular review of sales and marketing performance must include more than sales numbers. Your strategic assumptions should be reviewed on a regular basis and revised as needed.