So you are looking for the best person to create revenue for your business. Where do you start? The job title. Do you call the job Business Development or is it Sales? This righteous debate is endless, and ultimately, you don´t really care what you have to call the job position-you have a singular goal in mind and that´s to get the best person who will get after prospects, close the deal and create revenue for the company.
Setting aside my personal bias on the subject, I decided to do a little study of current job postings and see if I could determine the difference, and where I would submit my resume.
I chose Craiglist as my feeding ground. Easy to navigate, city locations and bottom line, time constraints.
Then I clicked on Sales/Biz Dev. Craigslist puts it in the same category. I clicked on Seattle and 35 job openings came up. 33 were for Sales positions and 2 specifically stated Business Development Manager. That was interesting.
I clicked through about a dozen Sales openings then compared these against the 2 business development manager roles. Here´s what I found.
The SALES positions were all very low-level. In other words, the ads focused on day-to-day tasks such as
do this, do that, hit goals and general traits like "be a good communicator". The requirements for the positions reminded me of a used car salesman-if you can walk and talk without falling, and can make your numbers, we´ll hire you. On the other hand, the BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER roles were strategic, focusing on the process of pitching, closing and building the revenue generating relationship. Each bullet point was an example of blending intelligence, or strategic thought, with common sense tactical execution.
My favorite was one posted by Amazon.com, for a biz dev manager for their affiliate program.
The responsibilities of this position include:
-Functional and strategic ownership of the Associate recruiting process, including establishing sales goals, delivering regular performance updates, and managing end-to-end sales process
-Identifying new channel opportunities. This involves assessing the opportunity through market research and working across functional (internal) groups to problem solve, solidify resources, & garner support to then structure the deal in the best manner possible
-Driving large partner negotiation processes, including identifying new opportunities, coordinating efforts between internal stakeholders such as business development and legal, closing deals, and activating accounts.
-Developing “packaged” or partner-specific solutions leveraging Amazon data, Amazon Web Services, and other tools.
-Maintaining and optimizing relationships with existing large partner Associates
-Liaising with internal constituents in Amazon Retail, Legal, Business Development and senior management.
-Owning the continual enhancement of partner-specific solutions that leverage Amazon data feeds, Amazon Web -Services, and other Associate-specific tools.
-Accountability for quarterly unit and revenue objectives
Notice that it´s at the end of the list where the revenue targets are met, almost as an afterthought. The requirements for the position is commensurate with the tasks-they prefer an MBA but would consider a BS or a BA. Are you kidding? How many people get an MBA to go into Business Development? Well, you´d be surprised. Not everyone can or wants to be on Wall Street, and some unlikely candidates in music theory (a good girl friend of mine with long fingers and a killer jazz quartet) kicks butt at business development because her nightly gigs weren´t paying the rent.
In terms of compensation, Bus Dev Manager roles tend to pay higher salaries than those in sales. So if you have a strategic mind AND the sales skills, business dev roles tend to be much more interesting, challenging and pay more.
Check out your own listings if you are looking for employment, and for those small business employers out there who want someone good-do yourself a favor and consider the title, the tasks and the compensation that will get you the very best candidate .
And YES, the Amazon position above is still open.