7 Skills You Need to Master as a B2B Business Developer


A business developer? Isn’t their role similar to what a marketing or sales rep does? Well, no. Marketing and sales are not similar, and neither is business development any similar to them. For the record, business development is a step before sales, where BDMs build relationships, bring in accounts, manage, market, and propose with a bunch of other functions in the mix.

Even though the role of a business developer is vague in sorts, it is a very rewarding position if you fulfill the responsibilities that it holds. If you’re into the development side of the business, the constant pushing of comfort zones, questioning of your methods, and need to learn new skills and values will plague your mind.

So, what exactly should you have to make it? Let’s find out.

7 Must-have skills to ace business development

1. In-built curiosity

In-built curiosity

When you’re a business developer, there needs to be something to drive you into discovering more and more. When you cover more ground, you are better with consumers and the market. You are more credible and you strike a chord with the customers. Hence, the need to cultivate curiosity.

Curiosity also pushes one to listen. Listen intently to what your interactions have to say about the client. It helps you raise and ask on-point questions that give you hints into the issues and challenges faced by the company before you and ultimately make for a person they would choose to talk to. Either way, very important.

2.    Identifying new markets and opportunities

Identifying new markets

Just being curious is not enough. You have to channelize it in the right direction to create something productive. And the best way to manifest it is in the market and competitive intelligence.

As a business developer, it is a part of your responsibility to look into more business opportunities, general strategies, the way the market works, and needless to say, how your competitors are working.

When you know this, you are able to make better, informed decisions for the company as you have an idea of what might work and what might not. If this is not second nature to you, maybe you should reconsider your department.

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3.    Understand customers from the core

Understand customers

Again, as a Business Developer, your job is to help grow the business and bring in revenue. But how will you do that if you have no idea of what the consumers want? Understanding the motivation behind the moves of consumers is a definite must-have for a BDM.

Through your interactions and communication with clients, prospects, and the general market, constructing an idea of why a potential client is interested in your product is your aim. Knowing what will intrigue the consumer, what will push them further, how can you capture their attention and push them forward in the cycle is your research food.

4.    Ability to build a brand

Ability to build a brand

Building a brand means distinguishing the company from the plethora of competitors in the market. It means to build brand awareness among your niche and pedestal yourself in a meaningful position, and a business developer in the modern context should be on board with this idea.

Consumer experience is going to overtake price as the distinguishing factor between brands (A walker study claims so), and consumer experience entails everything – right from your content engagement to your funnel to the closing.

But most importantly, it defines the kind of clients you help – the ideal buyer persona. As a BDM, you must be savvy enough to qualify the perfect clients, drive this change across the company and build your brand on these lines.

5.    Acknowledge client retention

Acknowledge client retention

Statistics have proved time and again that retaining your existing clients is more profitable and important than acquiring new ones. The resources that go into bringing new clients into the loop are far more than what you spend on your previous ones.

BDM roles call for new opportunities, but that does not mean you can overlook the existing client base. You must acknowledge the benefit of this valuable pool and craft strategies that continue to nurture them even after their purchase.

Get a CRM if managing the clients is an issue, but the bottom line is that you must take the captured client into account.

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6.    Adaptability


As a BDM, you will be asked to work with different people across various departments. There will be a variety of projects to handle – some easy, some not so easy. Some will have people you can easily get along with, some will not. But the work has to be done, without any compromise on quality and that is where adaptability comes in.

Successful BDMs are quick to adapt to their environment and colleagues. They can change their mindset and become functional in a relatively short amount of time. Of course, it is a subjective quality because not everyone is the same amount adaptable, and not every decision can be taken so lightly.

Unless it is something very dynamic that needs a good debate, take a step back, analyze the new approach and throw yourself in.

7.    Developing Plans of Action

Developing Plans of Action

A plan or a process, for this context, is a necessity because it streamlines your way to the goal and helps you stay consistent. It is for the very same reason that sales managers insist on developing a sales process suited to their needs.

Create annual plans for the growth of the firm, in terms of revenue and growth. Your plan must emphasize the necessity to develop business needs every day, not just when the pipelines are unsteady.

Try to understand the goals and objectives of your company and incorporate them into your growth plan, so that they resonate with the culture at the firm and its partners.

The Takeaway!

Even though today new technologies like marketing automation, CRMs, and new marketing techniques like ABM are gaining ground, pushing the traditional methods on the way to being obsolete, there is skepticism around the job of a BDM and the ambiguity surrounding this position from its initial days is not helpful at all. Yet, no company is efficient enough to declare the role of a BDM as outdated.

If you’re looking to move into business development, make sure you master these skills before you step in. Although these are the core ones, you will be able to pick up new ones along the way and discover for yourself the skills you need to master. Rest assured, if you love building relationships and research, BDM is definitely for you.

However, if you still feel lost, there’s no shame in seeking advice from B2B sales and marketing consulting firms. They will introduce you to secret tips and tricks to mast B2B business development.

Do you also want to master B2B Business Development? Contact us today and we will take over from there.