By Richard Higby, PhD
Business Development professionals exist in a culture of empowerment – in charge of their personal goals and owning the path to achieving them. They have the authority, responsibility, and challenge to pursue money, navigate work-life balance, and control hours flexibility. That is, provided they have a business development culture providing them with the right processes, discipline, training, and skills to be true Business Development professionals. Business development thinking is not an innate personality trait incorporated at birth. It is learned by expensive experience, coached by mentors, if fortunate, and can be taught. This thinking is anchored in a thorough understanding of behavioral psychology and trained dialogue skills that eliminate the prospect’s perception of being ‘sold’ in favor of having pain resolution. Formal skill-set instruction can change the unconsciously competent members of your team, to conscious competency. Skill-set instruction will compound the capabilities of your team by creating mentors for less senior colleagues and providing a format for continued situational learning. Skill-set training must be completed by education in behavioral psychology allowing the BD professional a complete understanding of what to do, how to do it and why it works. A uniformly trained business development staff performs through an alignment of individual goals with those of the organization, and a shared understanding of purpose, rhetoric, and process.
The pandemic is tapering off. Displacement by other events in the news cycle, social fatigue, and vaccination/positivity rates are all factors. As we open back up as a business development community, we must reflect upon our culture going forward. Does our organization allow its professional business development personnel to achieve their personal goals? Have we provided them with the education, training, and professional development to act and align their personal goals with our organizational ones? Do they possess the skills to help our prospects achieve theirs? Do we have the critical mass to make our team greater than the sum of its parts? Does the team have purpose?
The Pew Research Center survey on the Great Resignation (pewresearch.org, March 9, 2022) cites top reasons for leaving as pay (63% net for Major plus Minor reason) and opportunities for advancement (also 63%). It goes on to indicate that more than half who left and were rehired found better situations in terms of money, opportunities and, importantly, work-life balance and hours flexibility. With the highest number of Americans leaving their jobs in over 20 years (Washingtonpost.com, February 1, 2022), I assert the survey misses a key point: who didn’t participate in the Great Resignation? An organization that trains and pivots to, a purposeful business development culture retains its professional revenue growth staff and achieves the results that attend that accomplishment. You can be in front of the Great Resignation and positioned to achieve your revenue goals.
Mastering Business Development, LLC achieves an understanding of your business using proprietary methodologies and comprehensive, diagnostic assessments to identify the real BD issues limiting your revenue growth. For over 40 years our clients have come to rely on MBDi’s flagship Mastering Business Development™ workshops with intense dialogue and role-plays, along with our advanced HUMINT® Customer Engagement Process (CEP) implementation program that helps nascent BD professionals perform at a higher level. They learn the thinking, process, discipline, and skills necessary to succeed in the role of professional business development.