The term is commonly used in a loose manner, so what’s in a name? Salespeople often use it to escape the stigma of being called a sales person (I’m guilty of that in past roles), while others use it as a veil of mystery to explain the voodoo of things like SEO marketing, or Social Media Strategy.
I have a much clearer view on business development. It’s quite simply the process of adding value to a business. That can mean different things to different companies, but in the end if you’re taking action to increase the value of a group of people offering a good or service, you’re participating in business development.
This description usually opens a myriad of conversations and angles that sometimes are contradictory to common business thought… Does this mean that the union welder on a job site is in business development? Yes. What about my delivery driver? Yup, them too. Some make the jump of saying that I’m just preaching the old adage that “everyone is in sales”, and while in some shade of gray that’s not untrue, I believe sales to be just one facet of the much larger process of business development. Top line revenues are just one factor in the market value of a company.
Here at Yellow Lab Partners, each conversation starts with an assessment of 3 areas of your business: the Purpose, the Tools, and the Talent. I’ve been a part of amazing teams that aren’t working towards a common vision and I’ve also seen frustrated entrepreneurs with incredible businesses and no sales muscle… each one of these interactions was unique, but all were bursting with potential.
So what’s the short version of this article? It’s that the process of business development is dynamic and different for every business. It’s also that business development is a simple thing to explain, and an easy filter to apply to the actions of a person or team. To get your business development ramped up, you have to create the structure that defines the results you want.