A business development representative is a specialized role related to the sales department of a company. While a sales representative works with existing clients to keep them happy and serve their needs, business development reps seek out and build new business for their enterprise. This not only involves finding new clients for existing applications of an organization’s goods and services, but also finding entirely new clientele sets who may have not initially been marketing targets for their company.
The business development representatives' day-to-day duties will depend on their familiarity with their companies' current installed client base. They will need to know their marketplace well, and then work to become familiar and ever-present with similar potential clients who do not yet do business with their company. Development reps therefore need strong interpersonal sales skills to pitch their businesses to potential new clients and to skillfully differentiate their goods or services from the competition's products.
Business development representatives must also possess excellent analytical skills as they must spot trends and look for ways to increase sales performance outside of current revenue streams. For example, they may examine whether their companies are maximizing their chances at earning sales in the public sector, or even potentially bidding and securing government contracts.
While the education requirements for this type of position are not usually steep, depending on the size of the company and products or services offered, a two- or four-year college degree may be preferred. Because of the need for familiarity with the marketplace, a company may choose only to hire people with extensive sales rep experience in their field. Business development representatives normally work regular business hours. That being said, the need to cater to potential new clients can involve presentations or dinner meetings after-hours, and should be accounted for by anyone interested in such a position.
Business Development Representative Tasks
Ensure the company meets revenue and profit goals.
Maximize referral potentials.
Manage and maintain high customer satisfaction levels.
Identify and meet potential customers.