Job titles continually evolve based on the changing needs of companies. An evolution of a sales function could look like: sales person, account manager, business development specialist.
A job of a sales person is to sell to customers and prospective customers. An account manager makes sure that existing accounts are taken care of and services. A business development specialist might also work on specific accounts to help develop the business to its full potential.
Business development specialists might work on accounts but they might also work with the executive team of a company to develop the business in general. This can be done through several methods, such as:
Gathering Business Intelligence – A specialist can help you learn about things going on in business and in your industry that can help you strategise.
Generating Leads – Lead generation and follow-up are vital aspects of making money. A specialist can help you uncover new leads and ensure that you are taking full advantage of every hot and warm lead you get.
Strategic Planning – Are you planning for the future based on business intelligence and competitive analysis? A consultant or specialist can help.
Marketing - Your marketing strategy
will have a direct impact on your success. A specialist can help you market effectively and measure your success to help you continue to plan and grow.
A business development specialist is typically a cross between a marketing and a sales person. In many cases this role is a liaison between sales, marketing, procurement, and management. They'll sometimes work internally and at times they'll work directly with clients as well.
Should You Develop Your Business?
Companies that choose to hire people in these roles (or that choose to hire a consultant) want to ensure that not only are they servicing existing customer needs but that they capitalize on opportunities as well. Those opportunities can exist based on existing customers, prospects, and industry changes, such as new products and / or services.
It's no longer enough to simply manage your business. It needs to continually evolve with the changing tide of business in general as well as the changes in your specific industry. So many things need to be considered when trying to service your existing customer base and grow. Some business development specialists are worth their weight in gold; working with your customers, your sales force, your management team, and even with your vendors to ensure that you're best able to position their products as well.