Who is a Business Development Executive?
A business development executive is someone who looks at business development from a strategic perspective. A business development executive is responsible for acquiring new customers, maintaining relationships with existing customers, build sales pipeline, leverage marketing for acquiring new clients, pitch new products/services, plan sales strategy in existing and new markets. Business development executives are crucial for organizations that want to venture into new markets and offerings.
Why do Business Development Executive Need Training?
Being critical to the business growth and success of the organization, we must ensure that business development executives have the right set of skills, talent and knowledge. While certain traits are inherent to an individual, others can be developed and honed through training. Business development executives also need to continuously update their market knowledge and understand business trends with the help of training interventions.
What are the Critical Skills for a Business Development Executive?
Some of the critical skills that you need and that a Business Development Executive Training must cover:
- Business Acumen:- The foremost skill that any business development executive must have is Business Acumen. Business acumen is the ability to understand the market and business environment, react to the changing market with agility, anticipate and plan for risks and respond to business situations in a swift and effective manner. A key element of business acumen is the ability to anticipate future trends and risks and respond to them in a planned manner.
- Strategic Thinking:- Strategic Thinking is a set of different competencies that enable a business development executive to plan the sales strategy of an organization using innovation, strategic planning, anticipating future trends, risk taking and operational planning. Effective strategic thinking will result in an overall business strategy that has a greater chance of success.
- Communication Skills:- While communication sounds very basic, but at the core of every successful business development executive is their ability to communicate effectively. While basic communication skills like written and oral communication and presentation skills, are a hygiene factor at this stage, what business development executives need are tactical communication skills that will help them in building and maintaining relationships. This would involve learning communication strategies that deal with rapport building, advocacy and inquiry skills, objection handling and managing critical conversations.
- Negotiation Skills:- This is perhaps the most important skill a business development executive need. The ability to convince others, listen to their opinions, understand various negotiation strategies that result in long-term gains for the organization are critical skills that a business development executive need.
- Project Management:- We generally associate project management with operations managers, however every client relationship and sales deal are a project and to do this successfully a business development manager should have project management skills. This includes managing the sales team by effective goal setting, time management and risk management. In the long run a business development manager should also look for process improvements in the sales process and this requires project management skills like six sigma, CIP (continual improvement process) etc.
For any business development executive to be successful, they need to acquire these skills through training. But just acquiring these skills is not enough, one must continuously update these skills since the changing market trends bring new perspectives to these skills.