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Career Path Deep Dive: Business Development

Business development and sales work hand-in-hand towards the same goal – bringing revenue into an organization . Whether through identifying new areas to sell into, developing a strategy on how to approach those accounts, or selling through partners and channels, “BD” supports business growth.

During our panel Jessie Ross (PitchBook Data) and Danica Murphy (Udemy) shared what business development is all about.

Business development = driving business growth.

Sales and business development are driving towards the same thing – bringing revenue into the organization. Business development can involve finding a new market, going vertical, building partnerships and upscaling, or buying a competitor to acquire market share. Its end goal is to increase sales and ultimately, grow the business.

Curiosity and flexibility are crucial.

Business development often has fewer set processes and structures than sales at an organization. You need to know that change can and will happen often and learn to easily adapt and ask questions.  To be successful in the role, you need to be curious and be open so you can leverage all information that you know. While sales has clear goals, business development is not as clear cut so you have to be flexible because of constant changes.

Organizations often find a balance of Indirect vs Direct.

Selling indirectly through third-party organizations to get more leverage and scale is complementary to the direct-to-customer approach that sales takes with direct selling.

Business development complements sales and partnership strategies. It involves working with cross-functional teams and partners, so being a good communicator, someone with a sales or partnerships background can be useful when transitioning into a business development role.

Want to learn more? You can stream the full event recording here

Thank you to all of the WISE partners for making this event possible and our panelists for sharing their time and advice.