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A business needs to have a steady pipeline of leads for consistent revenue. It is also crucial for a company to increase the scope and size of its market, both geographically and in the number of customers. Based on the changing needs of the customers, a brand may need to come up with new products or modify the existing ones. All of it falls under the business development efforts of a business. The team or individual in charge of business development needs to have a set of skills to be able to reach the desired goals.

 

Not everyone is born an entrepreneur with all the necessary qualities already present in his or her characteristic. Some of these attributes can be earned through training, practices, and experience. Here are few of the skills that every business owner needs to possess to make his or her venture successful.

 

Negotiation

 

It is a fine art which involves putting your foot down when needed and taking a step back when the situation requires. A business development person needs to be persuasive at times, and diplomatic at others. It is a skill that some people have inherently, but most of us need to develop it through learning and experience.

 

Project management

 

Business development is not a one-time exercise, but an ongoing effort. You need to see and treat it as a project. For that, you need to set appropriate goals, allocate budgets and monitor spending, assess progress at regular intervals, evaluate the risks and take actions accordingly. You cannot achieve all this all by yourself, which is why you need a workforce and other resources. You should also be able to handle setbacks in your stride and move forward with the final goal in mind.

 

Analysis

 

Today we are privy to a massive amount of data that come in the form of static and streaming, and the challenge is to be able to store and use this data securely, and then use it for objective analysis. Business development efforts can proceed in an entirely wrong direction if you cannot analyze the data correctly and gather the necessary insight from it. You would need to collect internal data about your own business along with data about your competitors from reliable sources. Several tools are available for accessing competitor data.

 

Business intelligence

 

Having an in-depth knowledge of the industry and understanding the market is crucial to making a business successful. Aside from carrying out sound competitor analysis, you would also need to brush up on the latest trends and new developments. You must try networking by attending industry conferences, reading blogs, and keeping track of where the industry is going. The hunger for knowledge is something that needs to come from within, but a business development manager would need to be trained regarding how to pick up business intelligence.

 

Digital outlook

 

Technology has penetrated every industry, which is why business development cannot take place without the use of modern tech. Business owners need appropriate technology for creating and using spreadsheets to managing a website, writing a blog, maintaining a presence on social media, and managing email marketing campaigns. There are countless Business Development Courses that teach business owners to be more tech-savvy.

 

Collaborative mindset

 

A business development manager cannot afford to work in his own ivory tower. A good business development effort would need to be in close touch with research and development, production, logistics, finance and even human resources. You need to take the different teams forward together to meet the strategic goals. These are the required collaborations inside the organization, and apart from these, you must be able to collaborate well with external agencies.

 

Communication

 

This is the last of the seven basic skills, but it is by no means the least important. Communication is the fulcrum on which a successful business development strategy would be successful. You need a clear and precise communication strategy for smooth day to day operations. External communication would be with business partners, business prospects, existing customers, past clients and sometimes even with the press. Internal communication is equally crucial so that all stakeholders inside the organization are entirely onboard, buy-in has been achieved, and any doubts and misgivings are clarified.

 

Whether you are opening a new company or restructuring an existing one, or launching a new product line or revamping an old one, you would need relevant business development insights and skills every step of the way. Some of these skills are naturally found, but most skills can be developed through rigorous training. Many business development courses are available both online and offline.

 

Author Bio: Deborah Jenkins is a renowned business development expert. She helps organizations to draft and execute business development strategies with the help of face to face training programs or online Business Development Courses.

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