Traditionally, a business developer was seen as someone closely involved with sales in a business and whose primary goal was to increase revenue.
Although this definition may still be accurate, the introduction of the internet has changed how business developers are going about reaching their goals.
No longer are they spending loads of money in advertising for magazines or tv but instead are delving deep into the world of funnels and user experience to create more automatic systems that can bring in more revenue than ever before.
So what are these changes and how are they more helpful than the ways of old? Let's understand a little more about how the business developer's role is changing.
What Does a Business Developer Do?
In baseball there is a term used for a player who can move to any position and perform well. Someone who is adaptable and who others would call a "team player". They call this person a utility player.
A business developer is like a utility player for your business. They are able to communicate with the sales team about strategies, they are able to talk to the product team about innovations, they are able to set up meetings for developing new relationships.
This person is responsible for taking all the different areas of your business and creating a strategy that will have everyone work together to raise revenue for your business.
It's highly recommended that most business owners take at least a little training in business development to understand how the different areas interact with each other and to be able to step in whenever one area starts to perform less than the others.
Great communication skills are needed and system thinkers tend to perform well because of the need to create real strategies around growth.
How Have Things Changed?
Business developers are facing an interesting shift in which their jobs have changed dramatically over the past 10-15 years and they have had to include internet strategies for the first time.
On one hand this makes their job easier since communication is faster than ever, advertising is cheaper, and accessibility has allowed anyone to compete.
But on the other hand they have had to become comfortable in an entirely different skill set and with the speed in which technology moves, their continued education needs constant upkeep.
Creating partnerships or networking with anyone in the world in now possible through video conferencing and social media.
Advertising to millions has never been easier with Facebook ads or Google ads becoming much more affordable than traditional advertising.
Business developers now have all of these tools they can, and should, add to their repertoire in order to increase revenue but the problem is becoming comfortable with these tools.
And understanding that the tools themselves are changing constantly.
Finding a good business developer should mean that you have a connection with the individual and believe in them and their ability because in today's world what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.
Do You Need A Business Developer
Not every business needs to go out and hire a business developer in order to increase revenue and in some cases it could end up costing you much more than you gained.
If you are considering hiring a business developer I recommend asking yourself the following questions.
Do I have the budget? - Make sure that before you even consider hiring a business developer that you have the budget. If you can't take someone on full-time then consider getting a hour long consultation or seeing if you can work out shorter contracts of 3-6 months.
Do I recognize that I need support? - A business developer is not going to be able to help you if you cannot recognize that you need the help first. Sometimes a client will hire me for strategic advice but then have trouble following the advice. As long as your developer is not trying to change your entire business, understand that you have hired them for their guidance and experience and trust in their results.
Am I clear on my goals? - It's also not going to be easy to help your business if you don't have clear goals you are trying to meet. Make sure you define as clear as possible exactly what your business is trying to accomplish. Having this clarity will help your business developer create specific strategies that align with your goals.
For the last 15 years business developers have been adapting to the change of the internet and how this has led to revenue growth for companies.
In many ways this is causing them to redefine their roles within a business and how they accomplish their job.
It's important to hire someone you feel a good relationship with and who talks about strategies that are aligned with your goals and who has experience with newer methods of creating revenue growth.
Are you using a business developer for your business or have you hired a consultant to look over your strategies? Type yes in the comments and let me know a little of your experience. Very curious on how many small business entrepreneurs are actually utilizing a business developer.
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Contact me if you need help strategically setting up your Wix site or if you need advice on how to grow traffic to your site! I'd love to get you headed in the right direction.