You’ve gone as far as you can to develop your business and point it squarely at the future. Now you’ve decided it’d be wise to get a business planning expert on board to help you see the wood for the trees, streamline processes and procedures, identify cost savings, spot fresh opportunities you might have missed and advise you about filling any gaps in your plans.
Business development is all about creating long-term value from customers, markets and commercial relationships. How do you hire a business developer who understands your organisation’s culture, has the right kind of experience and expertise, and is someone you get on with on a basic human level? Here are the attributes of a great freelance sales developer, and guidance about how to find a business developer who’s the perfect fit.
The right person for the job – How to find a sales development consultant
Expert planning for businesses involves a ket set of attrributes. Here they are. The ideal business developer partner is someone who is:
- Experienced in developing businesses
- A fast thinker, able to think of their feet
- A confident communicator who relates well to people at every level
- Unafraid to ask for excellent deals on your behalf, a skilled negotiator
- A completer-finisher who actually gets things done
- Familiar with the deal-making process
- Aware of the importance of structure, able to juggle the needs of every stakeholder and keep everyone in the loop
- A detail-oriented type who’s comfortable getting down to the nitty-gritty in pursuit of perfection
- A person who understands the implications of legal contracts
- Pragmatic, realistic and calm under every cirumstance
- Keen to keep the big picture in mind as well as making sure of the fine detail
- Someone who knows how to prioritise
- Sensitive enough to know when a no means no, someone who doesn’t try to force salesor flog dead horses
- Adept at getting to grips with exactly what you need quickly and efficiently
- Resilient, with the right amount of stamina
- A person with the same moral compass as you, who does the right thing
- An individual you feel you can trust with your brand and reputation
What a good business developer will ask you
A business development professional will ask you these types of questions.
- What business are you really in? Not your products or services, but the customer satisfaction side of things. The best businesses are defined by how their products or services improve customers’ lives
- What kind of business will you be in future, based on current trends? Will you need to make tactical or even strategic changes to keep up?
- If you could make your business perfect in every way, how would it look?
- Who are your customers? Are they your ideal customers, or are you missing out?
- What does ‘good value’ actually mean to your target market?
- What makes your products or services unique, what’s your competitive advantage?
- What do you do particularly well, and what do you do especially badly?
- What are your goals? Are they SMART? Does everyone in your company have a clear picture of them?
- What currently constrains business growth? What’s the biggest factor preventing you from moving ahead?
- Why do you think your business isn’t as profitable as it might be?
- Which 20% of your activities drives 80% of the results?
- Do you have a formal written strategy, complete with tactics? If so, how are you monitoring progress against the plan?
- What does success look like for you?
Things to find out about a freelance business development person
Aside from all the usual HR questions, here are some extras you might want to ask before taking on a consultant. Obviously I’m happy to answer all of them!
- What motivates them in their role as a freelance consultant?
- What kind of deals have they negotiated?
- How complicated were those deals?
- What business impact did the deals have?
- What’s the best ever missed opportunity they’ve spotted for a business?
- What do they consider their biggest success?
- How to they handle failure?
Need support with growing your business?
That’s what I do. If you’d like to explore the potential, fill in my brief kick-off questionnaire and we’ll take things from there. You’ll find a link on my home page.