Why business development is good for business

Our Business Development team plays an integral role at PayFast as they work exceptionally hard to manage, and grow, the important relationships we have with entrepreneurs and businesses that use PayFast to get paid online. Dwayne Jansen, one of our Key Account Specialists shares why he’s passionate about what he does and why he believes business development is important for the success of any business.   

For a long time, “sales” has always been the name we used for engagements with anybody we thought we could get a possible deal out of. In more recent times, we may have heard the term “business development”, “customer success” or “key account management.” But what do these terms mean?  

When I heard these terms for the first time, I somehow knew that each one of them is closely aligned with sales. But I always wondered why professionals termed these roles differently until I learned about the differences among them.  

What is business development? 

Let’s take a deeper look into business development and how it could be used to grow your business apart from sales.  

According to Kristen Baker, “business development is the process of implementing strategies and identifying valuable opportunities to promote growth and boost revenue.”  

While sales is the lifeblood of almost any business as it’s how most businesses generate revenue, Business Development Representatives (BDRs) have a wider focus area. Where sales professionals aim to convert prospective leads into paying customers, BDRs engage the audience consisting of prospects, competitors, potential strategic partners, affiliates and in some cases – the non-prospective market of a particular business as well.  

A more practical way to understand this is to think of it in the following way. Let’s say we were travelling by foot and at a certain point in our journey, we came across an untouched field of tall grass that we needed to get to the other side of. The first time we cross that field will most likely take the most work. Why? 

Imagine the resistance of that tall grass when you try to put your foot on top of it with every step. Who knows what could be hidden in the grass, but you and I will explore and pursue our goal, nonetheless, with the hope and intention of achieving it. After several times, we’ll carve a footpath out on that field it will be easier for us to walk across each time. 

That is exactly what BDRs do. BDRs identify opportunities to expand existing and establish new additional revenue streams to promote a business’ growth and increase revenue. Sales representatives would be the troops you and I bring to that very field, to transport goods across it, using the very pathway we set in the field, numerous times per day. 

What does business development do? 

I’m hoping that the above sets the foundation for your understanding of what business development is. Now, let’s look at some of the tasks business development would take responsibility for.  

Realistically, BDRs discover and establish the recipe sales teams use to execute as many sales as possible. They utilize their network to acquire new customers by creating deals, but they don’t stop there. BDRs identify possible channels in which they can discover new market sectors filled with new prospective customers. They establish partnerships with other businesses who, in some cases, will never become a customer, but who may bring prospects who can be converted into paying customers.  

This means that while they’re busy doing their job, their strategic partners are having conversations with prospects and potentially converting those prospects to paying customers for the BDR. The BDR then ends up generating revenue while participating minimally in the sales process, if participating at all. On any day that the BDR would have brought in four deals by themselves hypothetically, they can now acquire more deals on that same day because of the partnerships they establish with others.  

The success of a business development team relies largely on how they understand their market and target personas, i.e., who their ideal customers are. The more BDRs deepen their understanding of their target market, the more the profiles (customer personas) of their target market might change. In some cases, they could even identify additional target personas – expanding their opportunities to generate revenue. Sales teams can now engage new leads and when BDRs are able to communicate what they’ve learnt about their customers, the marketing team can now enhance their digital content to speak to new audiences – attracting new potential to generate revenue.  

Why is business development important?  

Business development extends far beyond the duties and responsibilities of sales, even though they are both crucial for the success of a business. BDRs go far, wide and deep, researching extensively and always working to understand the relationship between their business and the market at any given time. They are also the ones responsible for drafting a business expansion plan with clear and concise objectives involving nearly every unit of the business.  

The impact that business development can have on any business is monumental. Not only can business development enable a business to scale its operations and generate revenue, but it can also create jobs, ultimately contributing positively to our economy.  

If you’re hoping to expand your business and focus your business efforts on growing it, you won’t go wrong with a business development team.  

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