I've been writing a series on "What, Exactly, Is Business Development" for Forbes and so I'll pull some answers from my posts there:
While Business Development may still mean many different things to many different people, at it’s core I believe a Biz Dev job is focused on 3 activities:
- Customers: Find new ones and extract more value from current ones.
- Markets: Figure out where new customers “live” (both geographically and in terms of “buying mindset“) and find a way to reach them.
- Relationships: Build and leverage relationships founded on trust and integrity to facilitate opportunities.
In the simplest of terms, business development may be about figuring out how to sell more to customers, or finding new customers to whom to sell. But to suggest that “that’s all there is to it” is to suggest that running a marathon just requires putting one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles. Of course, training for and running a marathon requires a unique approach to making sure you don’t peter out before the finish line. Similarly, business development requires a unique combination of skills to ensure that the value you derive from an opportunity persists for the long haul:
The Biz Dev Skillsets: Strategy, Sales, and Relationship Management
- Strategy: How should you go about pursuing an opportunity? How do you know which path is best? Just because an opportunity is in front of you, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Understanding the fundamental drivers of your business, and the business of your customers, partners, and competitors, is critical to being able to make wise decisions in the pursuit of long-term value. Being able to assess an opportunity for its potential to create long-term value, determine the paths available to you to pursue it, and understand the trade-offs and risks of one path vs. another, are core Biz Dev functions.
- Sales: Whether you’re selling a product or the idea of a partnership, almost every business development role has some element of sales. The process of navigating through an organization, identifying decision-makers and uncovering their unmet needs, and concisely demonstrating the value of what you can offer are core sales skills needed whether you’re selling a product, service, or partnership.
- Relationship Management: From How to Win Friends and Influence Peopleto Never Eat Alone, much ink has been spilled on the importance and value of strong, respect-based relationships. Business development requires not only having an expansive network to help you facilitate a deal, but also a deep understanding of how to build and maintain new relationships to leverage them when needed. Relationships with partners, customers, colleagues, and even the media, can all be crucial factors in not only getting in the door to a biz dev opportunity, but keeping it open.
“Wait a second, ” you’re asking. ”You forgot about partnerships? Isn’t business development all about partnerships?” In short, no, it’s not.
Partnerships are a common course to pursue a given business development opportunity, but they are but one option amongst many when evaluating the path to creating long-term value. And though scouting, signing, and developing partnerships is an everyday task in many business development roles, the skills required for partnerships are really an amalgam of all other Biz Dev skills – a mix of sales, relationship management, and strategy. As frequently as they arise in the day job of business development, partnerships are only one potential outcome of Biz Dev done right.
How Biz Dev Roles Change by Company Size
Does the role of business development change as a company matures from a startup to enterprise? Yes and no. In the early stages of any company, the role of business development is often left to the founder, CEO, or an early hire. The role of forging partnership deals does take on an increased priority, as the decision of which potential path to pursue an opportunity often favors the sharing of resources that’s incumbent in partnerships. But the day-to-day activities of business development remains the same: at a startup or a large company alike, whomever plays the role of “biz dev guy/gal” must be constantly evaluating the best path to create long-term value, whether it an option built in-house or pursued in partnership with others.
At larger companies, the role of business development may be divided across a broader array of individuals. Sure, teams of people with “Business Development” on their business cards may focus on the full spectrum of activities, from sourcing business development opportunities to evaluating the opportunity’s potential to create long-term value and following through on the execution. But just as often, the individual functions of the business development role may be split across an organization: a member of the sales team may source feedback from customers, who passes along an opportunity to create a new product to the Product Management team, who works with Finance to size and evaluate an opportunity and Operations to assess the resources needed to pursue it. Perhaps none of those individuals consider themselves to be serving a “Business Development” function, but in total they are a collective BD team that seeks to create long-term value for their organization in very much the same way as an individual who plays every part.
“Pure Biz Dev”
In my view, a “pure” Biz Dev job will have some combination of all of the above skillsets – identifying and strategically assessing an opportunity to create long-term value and then executing on a path to pursue that value. But whether you’re playing Biz Dev as a team-sport or an individual contributor, the interplay between Strategy, Sales, and Relationship Management informs the potential for a company’s growth path. Business Development is a function that is varied, complex, and exciting – although the nature of Biz Dev may be ambiguous to some, the importance of the role should be clear to all.When should i buy a tremolo guitar tricks? Christian brothers who do tricks sports? Wedding guest tips how them? How to get blood out of fabric? How to screenshot on dell laptop? How to perform dirty tricks tomb raider? What is the meaning of nothing else matters? What is clotted cream? How to make a scrunchie? What does creed mean? What are qualities of a person? How to make your computer faster? What does trajectory mean? What does rbf mean? What does crazy mean? how to change download folder wii u usb helper We make a living by what we get quote meaning? What does trial mean? What is the meaning of zodiac signs? What happens if you bid fewer tricks than you take in the wizard card game? What does sew mean? What does 1122 mean? What does the electoral college do? What does it mean to be a citizen? Why is my hair so dry holistic tips? How fast do corgis learn tricks? How to check your blood pressure without a machine? Tips on how to win big on online casino? Tips on what to bring on a plane? How to make thc butter? Tips on how to catch pokemon in pokemon go? How to send money from venmo balance? What does ostrich taste like? What does woke mean? How to transfer credit card balance? What are acrylic tips for nails? How does magic tricks work? What playoff games are today? What does emotional intelligence mean? How to know if someone restricted you on instagram? Why do my fingers go numb the tips of my fingers? How to purchase i bonds? What roads are closed near me? How many hat tricks in the nhl last year? How to practice mindfulness? What movies are playing right now? What is associative property? What does pwn mean? How to cook beef tips f to make tender? What does agility mean? How to study in college tips? What is the spiritual meaning of the name rebecca? What does a lupus rash look like? What does 1616 mean? What is the meaning of hop? What are russia's demands? What does it feel like when your blood sugar is too high? How to cook red lentils? What does rasterize mean? 4 tips when choosing a college jason? How to do tricks in bmx streets? Why are they called parlour tricks? What does monarchy mean? What does ubs arena stand for? What is molestation? What does navigation mean? What does concubine mean? How long to air fry salmon? How to find cheap flights? What are states? How long does it take to get pregnant? what is a helper in minecraft How to run? What does rr mean? What is the spiritual meaning of green? What does kgb stand for? How to use sexual toys? Csgo remove how to play tips? What does develop mean? How to retwist locs? How to do tricks in school of dragons? What is the meaning of meme stocks? Tips how to defeat mewtwo armored in pokemon go? What does the white heart mean? How to delete a pivot table? When baking how can you tastefully decrease calorie tricks? Why did uber not alloe tips? What does nic mean? How to annotate a book? What does it mean when your left eye jump? How to draw a chicken? How to change alarm volume on iphone? how to remove isky soft helper off computer How much does it cost to become a pilot? What tips of cia departments are there and do the work with corruption in the usa? Tips when renting an apartment? How to grill potatoes? how to become helper lawer How to make fries? The episode when naruto tricks sakura? What is bipoc bachelor? What does it mean to gaslight? What does anthology mean? What is the meaning of katzenjammer? What is the meaning of islam symbol? What are shells made of? What does player mean? how to make the best hamburger helper What number is lebron james? How to substitute buttermilk? What does bml mean? What does the name bailey mean? What are stocks? how to get helper gd How to do simple skateboard tricks? What are the best tricks to earn money on youtube? What does monsoon mean? How to put purple tips in your hair? How common are mirrors in magic tricks? How to heal sunburn fast? what is script helper api class Why do most aggies drive tricks? What are false killer whales? How to tell a real diamond by eye? What time does navy federal close? How to reset your apple watch? How long to cook bacon? What potatoes are best for mashed? What does jasmine smell like? How to help constipated dog? What does indomitable mean? What does dew point mean? What is the meaning of time by pink floyd? How to cancel hulu subscription? What does the name alana mean? how to show only butterflies sims 3 collection helper What does the m mean on rsvp? how are helper t cells affected by hiv how would the distruction or helper t cells affet the immune response How to get rid of dust mites? What is the best credit card? How to say goodbye in spanish? What are good weight loss tips? How to do tricks on yoru beetle? What is the meaning of advent? What time does kissing booth 3 come on netflix? How to save pdf as jpeg? What is the meaning of atonement in the bible? How do you do tricks and.mini boosts in mario kart wii? What is the meaning of apr? What does ag mean? What does the name isabel mean? How to draw anime comic book tips? What does pmsing mean? there could be a scary video how to make a villager become your helper hamburger helper stroganoff how many servings What does cuckold mean? java how to use helper class How to change name on tinder? How to make hair grow faster? What is the meaning of paula? How to play steam games on oculus quest 2? How to get rid of sewer flies? How to delete twitter? how much should i spend for a teacher helper gift? What does nico mean? How to reverse a string in python? Why are the tips of my marijuana leaves turning yellow? How to cook chicken on the stove? How to save an email as a pdf? Tips on how to plant lemongrass around patio? What does words of affirmation mean? How to get rid of fat? Ffxiv how to use tricks of the trade? Why do leaves have drip tips? What is wi-fi tips? Why cant my char do tricks from top rope on wwe 2k15? How to tell if a pomegranate is ripe? How long is the flight from california to hawaii? What is the red rose meaning? what does helper mean How to spice up sex life? What does definitely mean? Who operaties guitar tricks? Resume tips when you have no experience? How to tell if a turtle is male or female? What is soy sauce made of? Million card tricks how to shoot out cards? How to talk to anyone 92 little tricks listed? How to log into icloud? What is the biblical meaning of covenant? What does actinic keratosis look like? how long it take to get a letter after passing the electrical helper exam how much to pay a helper How much of my tips should i claim? How to play monopoly? How to make smothered pork chops? How to remove tips? What does tgif mean? What does sadist mean? What are fighting words? How to vape ring tricks? How to turn a decimal into a fraction? How to tie lulu's tricks of the trade dress? What is the meaning of the title the crucible? What is the meaning of 4 of july? What are the tips for keeping cars and people running? i don't know what to do today helper How to buy baby dogecoin? How to cheer someone up? Knitting tricks how to keep cast on row from twisting? What does palpable mean? What does alana mean? How to teach ferret tricks? What is the meaning of courting? How do you change earbud tips? How to manifest money? What is the meaning of criminal justice? how does ip helper address work What is the meaning of baal? What is gdpr? Piping tips and what they look like? How to reset your airpods? What does coa mean? What time does acme open? How to calculate medicare wages and tips? What is the meaning of goods? What is dynata? What is albuterol? Tricks to know when someone opened my drawer? How to cut long hair? What is bipartisan mean? How many hat tricks does mbappe have? Skateboarders who died doing tricks? What does lfg mean in sports? What is vinegar? Tips on how to be a stupid fag? What does falter mean? How to change ipad password? How does my name taste meaning? Tips on how to pass a neuro exam? How to make bath bombs? How to make canes sauce? How to turn off sound on apple watch? What are the three domains? What is the meaning of chooch? What does high bun mean? how to use xdebug helper What does leakage mean? Tips on how to write personal statement? How to get rid of whiteheads? How to relax in a relationship tips? How to enable cookies on chrome? How to do color french tips? How to evolve growlithe? What is gyro? What is the meaning of the show them? What does rsvp mean? What time is it in las vegas right now? What does morgan wallen sing? How to train a jack russell tricks? What is the meaning of the name ash? How to grow psilocybin mushrooms? Tips for a date with your husband who wants a divorce? What does dba stands for in business? How to teach your puppy tricks? How to download facebook video? Tips on how to get more subscribers on youtube?