Being the Talent Partner for The BD100 awards is important to DNA as for years, business development professionals have been the unsung heroes of the agency world. There are many awards that agencies and individuals aspire to win for creativity, content and delivery - but the opportunities for agencies to work with great brands on exciting briefs is all down to the BD team.
In no world are business development professionals “sales people”; there is an important distinction between the two. If we are recruiting for our clients or our clients are interviewing, it is important that to establish the candidates have the correct skills to find a match between the product/ services of the agency, the brand and the segment in the market. They then work through the process with a team to create and deliver “the pitch”. Sales is all about generating revenue by systematically contacting a defined list of targets until a sale is closed or dead, then handing over to customer services and moving on.
Why hire a business development profession and not a sales person?
- They are good at reading people and interpreting non-linguistic communication.
- Good at asking open questions and good hearing the answers.
- They are organised, able to set objectives and action plans to ensure that there is the right team to implement the plan
- They have high curiosity quotient - in an article in the Harvard Business Review, Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic states that those who have a high curiosity quotient are more adept at managing complexity and ambiguity and can therefore produce “simple solutions to complex problems”
- Build a Brand - working with an internal team to identify who the agency is, what is their ideal client profile and then promote this externally
- Be able to set and manage expectations
As you can see there is much more to being a business development professional as opposed to a sales person. Ali Wallace, Founder & MD of DNA comments on why DNA have partnered BD100 , “for too long, business development professionals have lacked the acclaim or recognition that creative and account handlers have had heaped upon them. This has been a huge oversight as business development professionals are the lifeblood of any agency. The BD100 finally shines a spotlight on the individuals who are making a real difference to the bottom line. Plus, we’re all really competitive - so it’s perfect."