Business development managers play an important role at any company, but especially at smaller firms that don’t have in-house resources for marketing or sales.
Image Source: FreeImages
A business development manager is there to identify and nurture new partnerships with outside vendors, software companies, consultants, and other vendors that can help the company grow. If you don’t have a person in your company specifically assigned to this role yet, or if you need someone with experience, here are some things you should consider as you look for a business development manager:
Get to know your company and its products
This is one of the easiest ways to find a good fit for the business development manager role in your company. Start by getting to know your own business. What are the core values of your company? What are the products that are especially popular with your customers? What are your top competitors? How are your customers segmented? If you don’t already know these things, this is an excellent time to start. These are all the basic pieces you’ll need to know to find a business partner who can help your company grow.
Who will be a good fit for the role?
The best way to find a business development manager is to find someone who’s a good fit for the role. What does that mean? It means finding a person who has the right strengths for this position. You might think that your company needs a salesperson, but that’s not necessarily the case. Salespeople need to know how to deal with prospects, who often have different needs than buying the product itself. You may need someone who has a strong understanding of customer relationships, or customer management skills. These are all skills a business development manager might have. Similarly, does the person you’re looking for have the right personality for the role? Does he or she seem interested in the job? Does the person have a positive attitude? These are all important factors in finding the right person for a position.
Determine the person’s strengths and weaknesses
Next, you’ll want to look closely at the person’s strengths and weaknesses and make a list of the top five strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify the person’s weaknesses and make sure they are aware of them. For example, you may be looking for someone who is good at creating relationships with people. That might include the company’s employees, the partners in your company’s network, or customers. But it also might include vendors and partners in your company’s network. If the person you’re looking for doesn’t have a good understanding of relationships outside of the company, this might be a weakness.
Evaluate a job candidate’s motivations
What do you think the person’s motivations are for accepting your job offer and joining your team? You’ll want to ask yourself this question the moment you start to politely consider job candidates. What specific skills and experience are the person’s looking for in a new role? Why did they choose your company?
Business development managers often work with multiple business partners and customers, creating a lot of potential conflicts of interest. That’s why you should also look closely at the candidate’s personal life. Will the person struggle with too much work if hired? A business development manager should be the right fit at the right company—not the right company at the right time. If you’re looking for a business development manager, you don’t have to start from scratch. Reach out to your current partners and vendors and see if any of them can recommend someone. It can be challenging to find a business development manager, but it can be done with enough preparation. The best way to start is by getting to know your company better and identifying who would be a good fit for the role.