Business Development

“Make a customer, not a sale.” – Katherine Barchetti

Business Development Overview

Business development consists of all marketing and sales activities needed to grow an organization. It is essential for the viability and growth of any business. It can consist of direct selling, such as in retail or a service industry, or at a very high level requiring proposals and presentations to achieve success.

Why Business Development is Important to a Leader

Leaders are typically involved in business development in some role, such as a sales leader, or as an executive with customer responsibilities. Business development is customer focused and those in this field must be adept at building and maintaining relationships with customers. Leaders Business Developmentalso have a responsibility to ensure that all team members realize their behaviors contribute to the success or failure of business development efforts and, consequently, to success or failure of their organization.

Benefits for the Leader

The leader who understands the business development process can contribute substantially to the growth of an organization. As leaders grow and their responsibilities widen, they are expected to become adept at business development. Knowing business development processes helps the leader expand the relationships necessary for success.

Top 3 Coaches’ recommendations for Business Development

  1. Know your organization’s business development processes and your specific role in them.
  2. Model behaviors that you see others excel in, especially in developing customer relationships.
  3. If you are a technical leader, take steps to learn as much as possible about business development. If possible, find a business development mentor who will help you learn and experience business development activities.

Measure and Improve Your Business Development Skills and Behaviors

Be determined to improve your business development skills and behaviors. Take the short business development self-assessment on this page to identify where to improve your business development skills and behaviors. Then, get more coaches’ recommendations in Chapter 11 of The Leadership Compass: Mapping Your Leadership Direction to help you fine-tune your business development skills and behaviors.

Related Competencies:


Business Development

Measure your business development skills and behaviors!

Select your level of agreement with each statement in the self-assessment.
When answering the questions, consider how others might evaluate your business development skills.


Recommended Business Development Books:

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