Critical role of a B2B Business Development Manager

Posted by Nikhil Kapoor on

You are not alone if you have hired Business Development Manager (BDM) and had to let him/her go in 6 months. The world has indeed changed and sadly the old guard BDMs have been unable to adapt and keep up in our new hyper connected world. In a world of constant change, today’s BDMs need to be one part sales professional, one part strategist and one part marketer.

Capability I. BDMs are thinkers. They are Strategic Thinkers.

With the objective to grow the company’s business, by establishing new partnerships and increasing sales from existing accounts, business development is a combination of strategic analysis, marketing and sales. This means that successful BDMs determine best approaches in terms of marketing, customer service, management and sales, by means of evaluating business from a broad-scale perspective, understanding markets and competitive positions.

Capability II. BDMs are doers. They make things happen.

All successful BDMs need to “get out of the office” and exploit opportunities to bring in more revenue. They need to develop and implement action plans that grow revenue. By leveraging technologies, the modern BDM eliminates wasted time and focuses on the real opportunities like a guided missile. They make the most of marketing automation platform, lead generation and nurturing programs, as well as CRM systems to track prospective clients through their buying process.

Capability III. BDMs are value connectors. They create value by making connections.

Hidden values exist in connecting opportunities, ideas and people. Best of BDMs have a 6th sense for identifying such opportunities in present as well as in future, where others generally can’t see it exist. In lot of cases, successful BDMs connect dots for others to see the opportunity within own organisations as well as within teams of potential partners.
Modern BDMs are far more than professional salesman and need to be as much strategic as alchemist and action hero.

During the capability audits of a BDM below 7 skills must be an important part of.

Skill 1. Increase sales from existing accounts.

Huge potential for significant revenue growth that is offered by existing client is often ignored in favour of shiny new customer. BDM must be able to nurture the existing client base and deliver more service and greater value to grow revenue.

Skill 2. Establish new partnerships and new accounts.

B2B BDM must ensure that the businesses generated are a strategic fit for their organisations. This requires looking beyond direct sales to new clients and thinking about partnerships with suppliers or complementary service providers.

Skill 3. Understand & implement revenue growth strategy.

Though the immediate “now sales” are critically important, sophisticated business development is about more. Modern BDM identifies actions and activities to craft a revenue growth plan and connects with the right partners.

Skill 4. Understand what drives customers.

If you understand your customers better than your competitors, you will stand a better chance of winning more often. The BDM, more than anyone else, is better placed to learn and understand what customers want and need.

Skill 5. Competitive intelligence gatherers.

Strategy is about winning by being different from competitors, in ways that matter to the customers. When it comes to competitors, the modern B2B BDM is the eyes and ears of the organisation. They need to gain insight about competitors and feed this back to the management.

Skill 6. Define & analyse new markets and service opportunity.

Gaining insights from customer interactions, modern BDM must be capable to identify new market and service opportunities. Today is a time of rapid change and disruptions, hence throwing up opportunities to define new services and new markets.
Skill 7. Leverage the move to mobility and embrace technology
In order to keep up with and get ahead of competition the BDM should actively engage in the powerful and affordable technologies like CRM, marketing automation, social media platform and sales pipeline tools.


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