The ultimate aim of a business development professional is to improve an organization’s profitability by generating new prospects. These can be in the form of possible partnership ventures, a potential segment of the market, or a shift in the company’s overall business operations. The confidence needed to accomplish this entails familiarity with other disciplines related to business, such as finance, market research, sales, and planning.
Jobs related to business development can range from supervisory to executive levels. Because of the role it plays in the growth of a business, it is rarely offered as an entry-level position. In almost all organizations, business development professionals will always have a team of industry researchers and analysts.
Sales and marketing professionals with years of experience should have the advantage of progressing to business development officers and managers, given excellent credentials, extensive professional network, and proper certifications.
Business Development Job Responsibilities
The task of a business development professional is to open up a new market that will boost the income of his or her organization. This involves having a good grasp of the industry trends, which will become the bases for strategic planning and forecasting.
In identifying new business opportunities, part of the job is to collect and compare pertinent data on the target market, from which recommendations and proposals can be drawn. Seeking opportunities will often require the business development professional to leave the work desk and meet the key players of the industry.
Joining related conferences and symposiums that will extend the reach of the business is also necessary in exploring partnerships that will improve profitability. Presenting strategies for expansion and studying the company’s competitors are often listed as specific responsibilities of a business development officer. An executive, on the other hand, is called upon to initiate or close deals with top-tier executives.
Business Development Training and Education Requirements
A college degree is necessary to land a job in the area of business development. Those with one or two-year stint in business strategic planning as well as sales and marketing have good chances of becoming BD professionals, because they have acquired a general concept of how the market behaves. An MBA degree will certainly facilitate the process of hiring, although it is not always required.
Companies often look on a candidate’s years of experience when seeking to hire a business development professional. A minimum of three years’ experience is required for those applying for managerial positions, while directors and vice presidents will require six or more years. Regardless of the position level, good written and oral communication skills are also non-negotiable for business development professionals, since much of their responsibilities involve engaging the market and industry players, not to mention formulate business strategic plans.
Business Development Salary and Wages
The typical wage of a business development professional will depend on the industry, position level, and the scale of the company. In last year’s statistics, a BD manager’s salary is pegged between $55,000 and $108,000, and a BD executive’s at $86,000 and $164,000. It is indeed one of the high-compensating jobs in the market, which is only commensurate to the role and functions of a business development professional.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Some organizations are generous to provide reward excellent performance can with additional compensations in the form of bonuses and allowances. Of course, the job also presents opportunities for travel to other countries, since businesses these days are expanding their horizons to include the global market. Other fringe benefits also include access to executive clubs, organizations, and other affiliations, of which many of potential business partners are active members.
Business Development Certifications
Certification courses are available for experienced professionals who wish to specialize in business development, but may not have the time and resources to earn a college degree. They are also for BD professionals who seek to improve on their skills and network. These in-depth courses usually run from three to five months, with tuition costs ranging from $450 to $600. Some courses are fully online, while others are a hybrid of on site and online classrooms.
Undertaking certification courses is one way to be kept abreast of the trends in business development arena. Many of these courses focus on subjects that provide the practical insights in the BD profession, which has certainly changed much since the advent of Information Age. Subjects commonly included in a business development certification course are strategic planning principle, best practices in marketing and sales, client database management, industry positioning, and practical communication skills.
Business Development Professional Associations
The Society for Business Development Professionals (SBDP) is a community dedicated to providing training and resources to BDPs responsible for large-scale accounts. Known simply as “The Society” to its members, SBDP projects itself as an exclusive organization that implements a rigorous admission process for interested individuals. It employs a tiered membership, with benefits and privileges increasing as members upgrade to the next level. The first-tier membership costs $450.
SBDP organizes executive forums and provides consultation services to members who are in need of expert advice on their profession. The training component of SBDP can be customized to fit a particular organization’s industry and business needs. It also provides certification courses, conferences, publications, and business symposiums, all geared toward fostering an environment that encourages business partnerships, generation of deals, and expansion of market.