The rapid rise of e-commerce, digitalisation and professional services has seen the role of a business development lead or manager evolve. While the core responsibility of securing business opportunities has remained unchanged, companies today are looking for business development leads who understand that it’s not just about making the immediate deal, it’s about the long-term.
“Given how fast the industry is evolving, jobseekers need to spend time upskilling themselves to keep up with the changes,” shares Mae Mendoza, manager of sales & marketing at Robert Walters Philippines. “Companies are looking for professionals who not only recognise that things are changing but are also doing something to stay ahead of the change.” Mae also shares three other key qualities employers are looking out for when hiring a business development manager:
1) Long-term, strategic mindset
Business development managers who can help drive growth and business objectives in a consistent and sustainable manner are in high demand, especially given how quickly things change these days. These professionals are able to understand their clients and their buying trends, map out their markets, develop comprehensive strategies and well-thought-out action plans, among other things.
“Successful sales professionals have an entrepreneurial mindset and are focused on continuous success and client sustainability. They are constantly seeking to improve themselves and to grow their understanding of the industry as well as the wider market,” shares Mae. “This in-depth knowledge of the industry allows them to understand their clients’ challenges, needs and motivations, allowing them to deliver the right solutions and value for the client.”
2) Consultative and client-focused
As the sales process becomes increasingly digitalised, it is important for the business development manager to do more than just sell a product or service to keep clients coming back. They need to think of themselves as a partner who helps clients achieve their business goals through lasting solutions – not just a one-time quick-fix vendor.
Mae adds that great sales and marketing professionals are not product-focused, they are customer-focused and market-focused. “A few years ago, we saw heavy reliance on technology result in more impersonal, transactional relationships. However, it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t conducive to building a long-term, sustainable pipeline and this is why companies are seeking professionals who are focused on spending quality time with customers to solidify long term partnerships.”
3) Ability to leverage other skills
In addition to the traditional methods of networking, emailing, cold-calling and referrals, companies are also seeking business development leads who know how to work with marketing to generate a steady stream of inbound leads that are easy to convert.
“Before, salespeople sold needs. Now, they need to sell an experience and the dream. This involves psychology and marketing,” Mae says. “This is why many sales professionals I speak to today are trying to attain digital and strategic marketing experience through enrolling in a university or on-line learning programs.”
Positioning yourself in the best light
If you’re looking for your next business development role, make sure to highlight the above qualities in your CV and interview. Hiring managers will often ask for further detail during the interview, so prepare to provide concrete examples that are relevant to the position. A recruitment consultant can help you identify the best experiences for each individual job opportunity, ensuring you stand out the competition.
To learn more about opportunities for business development manager roles in the Philippines, contact Mae Mendoza, manager of sales & marketing at Robert Walters Philippines, today at Mae.Mendoza@RobertWalters.com or +63 2 841 9340 for an in-depth consultation.