The Business Development Specialist Job Description: A Break Down

Business development professional surrounded by work, a laptop and coffee cup, while discussing work with her colleagues who are sitting across the table from her. Business development specialist job description.

At an organization, business development can be the biggest determinant of your organization’s eventual success. Perform well, and you’ll easily exceed revenue expectations. Miss the mark, and a downward spiral is inevitable. The start to any successful business development journey is writing the appropriate job description for the part. Here is an in-depth view of not only the business development specialist job description but related roles, and their necessary skills.

We will cover:

What are the Key Roles in Business Development?

      • Business Development Manager/Account Executive
      • Business Development Specialist
      • Customer Relationship Manager
      • Outbound Sales Representative

    What is the Business Development Manager/Account Executive Job Description?

    Business development managers, also referred to as account executives, are responsible for coordinating meetings and tasks to acquire new business. They conduct outreach and communicate with possible clients to help them understand what our business does and how it can support them with their marketing needs. (They also get to dictate the business development specialist job description as the supervisor.)

    What Does Their Day to Day Look Like?

    In their day to day, account executives send emails, finalize presentations, meet with clients, brainstorm ideas for how the business can increase its growth/functionality, and more. See below for an in-depth description of their responsibilities.

    Building Relations

    To build new client relationships, account executives reach out to prospective clients via email, and prepare lead lists to build new contacts over time. After making a contact, a meeting is arranged to discuss the needs of the potential client and how the business can meet them.

    Pitching New Clients

    To pitch to new clients, account executives use the needs discussed in the initial meeting to prepare a proposal that presents the ways in which the company can meet said needs.  Based on this pitch’s reception, account executives move to execute the things described in the presentation by delegating tasks to relevant teams.

    Maintaining Client Relationships, and Looking For Opportunities to Upsell

    Maintaining client relationships is also an essential portion of the account executive’s responsibilities. If the job is done well, the client will come back for more services and even recommend the company to other business professionals, meaning that the account executive must always be receptive to new contacts and respond quickly to meet client expectations.

    Talking with Accounts, and Ensuring You’re Selling the Best Possible Package.

    The account manager must also meet with the financial team to ensure that the package of services included in the proposal are the company’s optimal price. Companies change all the time, and a great account manager will adapt to a company’s needs. This can even mean lowering the service levels (and making less revenue for your company) at the time, if that’s truly the best path forward for a client. At the end of the day, business development is all about doing what’s best to grow the client’s business, and that in turn will help you grow your own.

Working in business development can be extremely fast-paced at times. We often find ourselves handling multiple lead requests within the same day and find ourselves with very thin timelines. This often requires us to think on our feet, prioritize, and adapt. All of which are key to working in business development and maintaining customer relations.

Irene Wambui Muchai Lopez

Business Development Associate

Online Optimism

What is the Business Development Specialist Job Description?

The business development specialist job description consists of  responsibilities including but not limited to assisting the account executives and helping to create seamless and efficient processes to gain and onboard new clients. 

What does their Day to Day look like?

In their day to day, business development specialists draft emails, prepare presentations, create  sales collateral, take notes during meetings and support the account executive in completing any of the responsibilities listed above. 

A customer relationship manager shaking hands with a potential client after a meeting. Business development specialist job description

What does a customer relationship manager do?

Customer relationship managers manage communication between the business and customer, address and solve any customer issues, monitor customer care strategies, and collaborate with other growth team members to ensure customer satisfaction. 

What does their Day to Day look like?

In their day to day, customer relationship managers meet with customers, develop and distribute emails and other correspondence, including welcome packets and other resources to customers, and consistently reviewing customer feedback to help the business improve over time

What does an outbound sales representative do?

Slightly different from the business development specialist job description, outbound sales associates are responsible for contacting prospective customers in order to promote and sell company products and services. They have an in-depth understanding of what the company has to offer and the advantages and disadvantages of each product/service. They also maintain an ongoing record of prospective customers as they discover them.  

What does their Day to Day look like?

In their day to day, they make cold calls or send out emails to leads, update prospective customers’ records, and find new ways to continue reaching them. 

What skills do you need to do business development?

Communication Skills 

Collaboration

Business development managers often work with various departments to achieve a goal or complete a task to work effectively. Without collaboration, business development could not function, as it relies on teams’ assistance from areas such as content creation and finance. 

Oral Communication

An ability to speak to others and convey your intended message is also imperative. Consider what you say, and the tone in which you deliver your message. As a business developer, you are consistently explaining concepts and ideas to potential and current customers. It is your job to ensure that they completely understand what you are saying.

Written Communication

In a business developer’s day, it is common to need to write messages to colleagues, clients, potential clients and more. You must be able to write effectively, and concisely without miscommunication.

Emotional Intelligence

An ability to control and express your own emotions while handling interpersonal professional relationships empathetically will take you far in business development. Throughout your day, you will commonly encounter negotiations with clients and meetings with colleagues. In both instances, discussions go a lot smoother when you can recognize your own feelings while being mindful of the other party’s feelings. 

Brainstorming

In business development you face lots of questions and problems without solutions. It is important to be able to think on your feet and be creative in finding solutions. If a potential client wants to work with your business but lacks the budget to solve all of their problems, how do you solve it? Brainstorming will help you come to the best solution.

Active Listening

This skill requires the listener to comprehend, retain and respond to the things being said to them. Comprehension is reached via paying attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues to understand what the speaker is saying. Retain information by taking notes and remembering what was said. Then, formulate a response from the information collected from the previous steps. Listening actively will help ensure that your job is done effectively, as you meet clients with complex needs and desires. Just as much as you need them to understand you, you need to understand them so you can recommend the best possible solution. As listed in the business development specialist job description, specialists are often responsible for taking note of key details so they must be especially attentive.

Assertiveness

As a business developer, you also need to communicate your thoughts and opinions without being aggressive or passive. You want to stand firm in your beliefs in a positive way.

Discernment

This skill takes time to develop but becomes more comfortable over time. Business developers need to conduct sound and fair judgement of opportunities, methods and potential clients. 

Business developer looking at his computer and using strategic and analytical skills to work with a client. Business development specialist job description.

Strategic Skills 

Analytical Ability

A business developer must also be able to collect, internalize, deconstruct and resynthesize information in order to problem-solve and make decisions.

Adaptability

In business development things are constantly changing, new inquiries are continuously flowing in. As a business developer, you must be able to adjust, re-adjust and prioritize tasks and projects to stay on top of things. This is especially important in the business development specialist job description and account executive roles, as they are constantly being presented with new responsibilities. 

Decision Making

You may also be responsible for making decisions that have a direct impact on the business frequently as a business developer. You want to become comfortable with making well thought out decisions.

Devising Strategic Plans to Expand Sales

In the account executive position, it is essential to consistently think of ways to expand your business. Devising strategic plans to expand sales may mean re-evaluating your initial contact processes, rebuilding your proposal structure, or any other changes that could positively impact acquiring and retaining customers.

SWOT Analysis

An ability to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a business that you are servicing as a business developer may help you decide to onboard them as a client. Conducting this analysis for your own business may also help you evaluate your abilities to grow. 

Scenario Planning

As a business developer, your job is to be able to continuously grow your business. To effectively do that, you must think about how your business environment may shift over time and use that knowledge to form short and long term plans and goals for your business.

Project Management

In the account executive position, it is crucial to lead the work of your business development team to achieve your goals and objectives. 

Attention Management

Like project management, account executives should be able to control distractions for both themselves and their team. The goal is to be proactive and push productivity by being mindful of time, how you spend it and what you are focusing on during specific time frames. 

Tracking Industry Trends

To continuously improve and acquire new customers, business developers must keep themselves abreast of what trends are occurring and will likely occur in their business environment. 

Marketing

Although business development is not limited to marketers, it is a marketing role. Ideally, a business developer should be able to understand and participate in the activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service.

Business Intelligence

Inbound Marketing

This marketing technique involves drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding. The marketing tools are created and help to acquire new clients passively. 

Outbound Marketing

This marketing technique, also known as interruption marketing, involves the company actively reaching out to consumers via advertising, promotions, public relations and sales in order to acquire new clients. 

Customer Segmentation

To efficiently function, business developers should be able to segment the company’s audience to ensure that the right resources reach the right individuals.

Developing Proposals and Sales Pitches

Developing proposals and sales pitches is a fair portion of the client acquisition process. Proposals and pitches tell your potential clients who the company is, what it stands for, and how it can help them reach their goals. They also give clients a taste of what to expect when working with the company. Business developers get to make this first impression so they must make it count!

Identifying Benefits of Products and Services from the Customer Perspective

To accurately suggest solutions for client issues, business developers need to view the solutions from the client’s perspective. This viewpoint also helps evaluate how the business can improve its solution and how customers see the value.

Interviewing Current Customers to Assess Satisfaction

Business developers also need to comfortably speak to current consumers to gain insight of how well the business is meeting their needs and expectations. These interviews may be conducted via in person, on the phone, via email or even via survey depending on the business. 

Managing Leads

Lead management helps business developers ensure quality of leads by understanding what tactics are bring in the best leads via identifying, tracking and measuring

Sales 

Prospecting

Prospecting is simply the technical term for conducting outbound marketing activities such as making outbound calls or sending outbound emails to leads in hopes of acquiring leads.

Qualifying leads

Before investing too much time and resources into a new client proposal, business developers need to evaluate whether a lead meets the requirements to purchase their product or service. 

Nurturing relationships with clients

Retaining existing clients is nearly as important as acquiring new ones. Business developers must be able to maintain the connection between the client and business for future opportunities. 

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