Business development is everyone's business

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The idea that business development is everyone’s business is truer than ever

There has been a removal of boundaries between departments such as business development, marketing and account handling, with recent research from Propeller Group showing that over 25% of agencies have involved more people in new business pitches since the pandemic.

Tenacity, flexibility, empathy, curiosity and confidence are all essential qualities for business development. But the new landscape requires a wider range of talents and skills and with more people getting involved in business development, this needs to be supported with structured training to develop the right skills and ensure best practice. Increased involvement in new business also needs to be built into job specs so that it can be sustainable, in addition to other responsibilities.

"Business development roles often rely heavily on the ambition and resourcefulness of the individual to get on with the job and make things happen." Says Jody Osman, Co-Founder of The BD100. Jody adds: "Whilst many enjoy success - measured on the business they win, the work that has to go into achieving this is often underestimated. The margin between success and failure can be very narrow, so agencies need to understand what's involved and invest in developing their team to give them all the best chance of winning".

Fellow Co-Founder of The BD100, Richard McHardy believes that as an industry, we have a responsibility to do more. "We launched The BD100 to shine the spotlight on the best in the business of business development. By doing this we've been able to recognise some fantastic talent that is driving our industry forward. However, the profession remains under-represented and we want to change that and find more ways to support all the fantastic business developers out there to get even better!"

Jody and Richard will again be bringing the business development community together on 12th May as they host another Winning Together event, combining high-profile keynote speakers, live panel discussions, expert tips and insights, interactive workshops and coaching sessions.

The event will also see the launch of The Agency New Business Academy (Tanba) in collaboration with Katie Street (Founder of Street Agency). Jody explains why: "Katie brings a brilliant energy to the business development world and was a real inspiration at our last event. We loved her vision for Tanba, which is to provide business developers with 24/7 access to training, content and insights to help empower them to be even better at business development."

Richard adds: "This joined the circle nicely for us. We'll continue to celebrate what can be achieved in business development, which we hope will inspire the stars of the future. Tanba now represents our ongoing commitment to encourage, support and enable best practice business development across the industry and support that journey for as many business developers as we can."

The message is clear, business development is everyone's business and there is more that we should be doing to support those involved in new business. Agencies need to make sure their teams have the right skills, insights and structure to allow them to succeed in business development - and back them every step of the way. With growth back on the agenda and marketing spend on the up, now is the time to invest in getting this right and don't just leave it to chance, or down to one individual.

Winning Together is a virtual event that will take place on 12th May. Speakers on the day will include Sherilyn Shackell, Founder & Global CEO, The Marketing Academy, Magnus Djaba, Global President, Saatch & Saatchi, Sara Tate, CEO, TBWA London, Kevin Allen - Author of The Hidden Agenda and many stars of The BD100. Click here to register your ticket.