What do Oxygen and Petrol have in common?
They burn or facilitate burning.
They are also responsible for powering men and machines.
There is one more in the list – sales.
Much like these two, sales is responsible for powering an organization to success and small errors can burn a lot of resources. It is imperative for an organization to get their sales strategy spot on especially In the current era of free information flow and competition, when the companies need to focus on their core competencies.
The resource that can help your company with the correct strategy and implementation is a BDM or a Business Development Manager. These are the people that are responsible for driving the sales and revenue for your company. They can identify the areas of improvement in not only the sales department but in your offerings as well, as they interact with the clients.
But do you even need a team of Business Development Managers or even a single one? If yes, how do you select one? What qualities do you look for? How much money do you spend? These are a few questions that you need to answer to be able to start your hiring and subsequently ramp up your sales.
So to answer this question let’s break down the problem in three parts.
The first step is identifying the purpose
Once you have made the decision that this is the right time to expand your team and hire a Business Development Manager or maybe more, you need to identify the purpose your new hiring will solve for you. Generally a Business Development Manager is not confined to a particular task only, but we can still break It down and identify the key area that needs to be addressed.
Generating Awareness – If you are a growing brand and want to create awareness regarding your services in the market then you might want to consider hiring a Business Development Manager. More often than not Business Development Managers are considered to be sales people with little to no marketing skills. A good Business Development Manager would not only have worked towards generating sales but would have been an integral part of the entire marketing process of the organization. Having worked closely with the clients, these people generally have a very sound understanding of the way a brand’s message can be communicated to the potential clients.
Lead Generation – Another underrated aspect of a Business Development Manager’s work is lead generation. These people not only convert sales but also actively participate in generation of new leads along with lead correction so that the chances of conversion are enhanced.
Facilitating a relationship after introduction- For a lot of companies the entire sales process can take anywhere between a few days to a few months. When the sales cycle is a long one you need people with customer relationship skills so that the company is always in contact with the customer. It is imperative that the customer is always engaged so that not only the chances of conversion increase but also you are aware and prepared for any situation like a very competitive new product or a legal/taxation change in the industry. A good Business Development Manager actively seeks to make long term relationships and therefore can increase the chances of success.
Closing the deals– At the end, the most important task for any Business Development Manager is always going to be closing the deals. This is the skill that earns them their bread and butter. So, if closing deals is the purpose you want to solve then hiring a BDM is a no-brainer and is just a matter of choosing the right one.
Delivery– if your company deals in high value products or if you are a service based company that has certain deliverables to their clients then you might need a Business Development Manager even after the sales process is complete. A good BDM nurtures the opportunity to build long term relationships and can therefore ensure that the entire process is carried out without any hiccups.
Once you have identified the purpose then you need to finalize your budget and the urgency of the vacancy.
Timing and need – Knowing how urgent your need is very important as this can make sure that you do not end up with the wrong hiring. The best strategy is always to be prepared beforehand and have a team or a personal with you before you actually need them. This boils down to the correct forecasting and might cost you some money up front but till the time you are in actual need of a BDM you would already have someone integrated into your company’s culture as well as being well versed and knowledgeable about your product or service
Salary and Cost – Each company has its own parameter of deciding how much salary are they willing to pay for which kind of job. Typically, in an industry sales people are one of the highest paid employees. If you want someone with industry experience and with some experience in the BDM space, you might have to shell out more. If you already have a team you can hire someone with relatively less experience and train them accordingly
A good hiring can propel your company to a new height, a bad hiring can put a big dent in your company’s plans. To ensure that you hire the correct person you need to make sure that his/her skill set is up to the mark that is needed by you. A few basic things are a must for a Business Development Manager and that could provide you a start for your search.
Communication skills – Good communication skills are the most important tools for any Business Development Manager. Their work mostly revolves around other people within and outside the organization, therefore they need to be adept at not only communicating their thoughts but also in listening to what others have to say.
Ability to lead – Developing a business is all about collaborating with a team. Sometimes this requires a person to step up and do more than what their job description says. There might be times when a certain task might seem impossible or the situation might not be favourable, it is then that the leadership abilities of a BDM are tested.
Sales Experience – Experience is as they say the best teacher of them all. Even more so in a line that requires public dealing. An experienced BDM can be a huge asset for any company
Business and Industry Intelligence – Intelligence not only in general but also about the Industry that you are dealing in and the gist of the business are some things that can prove to be the difference between a good hiring and a great hiring.
Network reach – You want people that do not only rely on your company’s data and contacts for business development but have a decent network reach of their own. This not only adds to your clientele but also ensures that the person you are hiring is a go getter.
Still confused? Well, you can always contact a third party agency to do the hiring for you or you can outsource your sales and marketing department completely.
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