In my experience most business owners would not describe themselves as rain makers. I’m sure many business owners have from time to time wished they could outsource their marketing and selling to someone else, and let them get on with delivering their business service/product - i.e. the reason they started the business in the first place. However, the smaller the business the greater the need for every employee, to play their part in the business development.
In my view, business development is a team activity that every member of the business (regardless of their size) should play a part in. I have yet to find a business which gives everyone a target for business development activity. When I talk about a target, it doesn't necessarily needs to be a revenue target, it can be a series of objectives (which in their role) they need to achieve which helps the business' overall business development effort.
Often business development is seen to be the glory end of marketing and selling, i.e. the writing of proposals, clinching deals and pitching for work. In reality business development activity is anything that contributes to winning new business; this is everything from generating interest and awareness in the business' products and services, through to the glory moments of winning a competitive pitch.
This could be:
Networking – both face-to-face and on-line
Organising and running seminars (both face-to-face and teleseminars)
Conducting proprietary research
Spending time with existing clients getting to know them better
Attending industry conferences to understand new needs within the industry
Writing and delivering pitches
If you read through the list of activities which contribute to business development, there is something for every employee to excel at. The true technical specialists within the business may relish the opportunity to write articles and contribute to on-line forums – but would be like a duck out of water if asked to go in and ‘sell’ to a client. (You probably wouldn’t want them in front of a client ‘selling’ as well!) The ‘sellers’ may get bored rigid conducting proprietary research, but love the opportunity to go out face-to-face networking.
If you think about you and your business, how have you divvied up your business development efforts between the whole team?