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3 qualities companies seek in a business development lead

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.

“Jobseekers are increasingly aware that they need to upskill themselves to keep pace with how quickly the industry is evolving,” notes Michelle Tanjung, manager of sales & marketing at Robert Walters Indonesia. “On the other hand, companies also prize candidates who take action to stay ahead of these changes.”

Michelle also shares three other key qualities employers are looking out for when hiring a business development manager:

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 a growth mindset and are very entrepreneurial. They’re focused on client sustainability, honing their understanding of the market, and refining their own skill sets,” shares Michelle. “It is their in-depth knowledge of the industry that allows them to understand exactly what the client needs to address their challenges, needs and motivations.”

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.

From Michelle’s experience, the best sales and marketing professionals aren’t simply product-focused. They are also customer- and market-focused.

“The most successful sales and marketing professionals use technology to enhance their work and build a long-term, sustainable pipeline; their approach is never transactional. Ultimately, companies still want professionals who can solidify long-term partnerships by providing clients with quality time and service.”

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. 

“It used to be all about selling needs. Now, salespeople need to sell an experience and the dream. Psychology and marketing are a big part of it,” Michelle says. “This explains why many sales professionals I speak to today are expanding their skillsets by enrolling in digital and strategic marketing courses.”

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 Indonesia, contact Michelle Tanjung, manager of sales & marketing at Robert Walters Indonesia, at Michelle.Tanjung@robertwalters.co.id for an in-depth consultation.

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