Business development activities are spread across various departments including sales, marketing, project management, product management and vendor management. Networking, negotiation, partnership and cost-saving efforts are also included. All these different departments and activities are driven and aligned by business development goals.

For example, a business has a product or service that is successful in one region such as the United States. The business development team further assesses the expansion potential. After all due diligence, research and studies, it turns out that the product or service can be expanded to a new area like Brazil.

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Sales personnel focus on a particular market or a particular (set) of client(s), often for a target revenue number. In this case, Business Development assesses the Brazilian markets and concludes that sales of $1.5 billion can be achieved in three years. With such set goals, the sales department targets the customer base in the new market with its sales strategies.


Marketing includes promotion and advertising aimed at the successful sale of products to end customers. Higher budgets allow for aggressive marketing strategies such as cold calling, personal visits, road shows and free sample distribution. Low budgets result in passive marketing strategies, such as limited online advertising, print ads, social media ads, and billboards.

Strategic Initiative Or Partnership

To enter a new market, would it be advisable to go it alone by completing all the required formalities, or would it make more sense to form strategic alliances or partnerships with local firms already operating in this area? Assisted by legal and financial teams, the business development team weighs all the pros and cons of the available options and selects the option that best serves the business.

Project Management / Business Planning

Does business expansion require a new facility in the new market, or will all products be manufactured in the country of origin and then imported into the target market? Will the latter option require additional facility in the country of origin? Such decisions are finalized by the business development team based on their cost and time assessment. Then, the project management/implementation team works to work towards the desired goal.

Product Management

For example, a drug of a certain composition may be allowed in India, but not in the United Kingdom. Does the new market need a customized—or an entirely new—version of the product?

These requirements drive the work of the product management and manufacturing departments, as dictated by the business strategy. Cost considerations, legal approvals and regulatory compliance are all evaluated as part of the business development plan.

Vendor Management

Will the new business need outside vendors? For example, will shipping a product require a dedicated courier service? Will the firm partner with an established retail chain for retail sales? What are the costs associated with these joins? 

Negotiation, Networking And Lobbying

For example, lobbying is legal in some places and may be required to enter the market. Other soft skills such as networking and interaction may be required with various third parties, such as vendors, agencies, government officials and regulators. All such initiatives are part of business development.

Cost Savings

Strategic decisions are also needed to improve the bottom line, including measures to cut costs. For example, an internal assessment disclosing higher expenses on travel could lead to changes in travel policy, such as hosting a video conference call instead of an on-site meeting, or choosing a less expensive transportation mode.

Management can implement similar cost-saving initiatives by outsourcing non-core functions such as billing, accounting, financial, technology operations and customer service. The strategic partnerships required for these initiatives are a part of business development.

What Should A Business Developer Know?

Since business development involves high-level decision making, a business developer must remain informed about the following:

Current status of the business in terms of SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)

Business Plan

The business development scenario discussed above is typical for a business expansion plan, the impact of which can be felt by almost every unit of the business. it could be like that

Development of a new business line, development of a new sales channel, new product development, new partnerships in existing or new markets, and even merger and acquisition (M&A) decisions.

For example, in the case of a merger, significant cost savings can be accomplished by integrating the common functions of the construction, finance and legal departments of the two firms. Similarly, a business operating from five different offices in a city can be moved to a larger central facility, resulting in significant operating cost savings. However, if the new location is not convenient for everyone, will it lead to employees being laid off? It is up to the business development team to assess such concerns.

In short, business development involves making high-level decisions based on a realistic assessment of all possible changes and their impact. Through new ideas and initiatives, it aims to improve the overall business prospects, which drive the functioning of various business units. This is not a sale; This is not marketing; It is not participating. Instead, it is the eco-system comprising the entire business and its various divisions, which drives the overall growth.

 While it is common for startup companies to seek outside assistance with business development, as the business matures, it must build on its business development expertise internally.

The Right Fit For Business Development

A business developer can be a business owner(s) or a designated employee(s) engaged in business development. Anyone who can make or suggest strategic business changes to add value to the business can contribute to the growth of the business. Businesses often encourage employees to brainstorm innovative ideas, which can help improve the efficiency of the overall business.

Businesses also seek help from external incubator firms, business development companies (BDCs), and small business development centers (SBDCs). However, these organizations assist with commercial installation and necessary fine-tuning only during the initial stages of commercial installation.

What Drives Business Development Activity?

Due to the wide open scope of business development and activities, there are no standard practices and principles. Everything can fit under the business development umbrella, from exploring new opportunities in external markets to bringing efficiency to internal business operations.

Business development people need to come up with creative ideas, but their proposals may prove to be impractical or unrealistic. Being flexible is important. Employees in charge of business development should try to seek and take constructive criticism, and remember that it is a process.

Business Development Ethics

Business ethics includes implementing fair and fair practices with respect to issues such as corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility and fiduciary responsibilities. Laws and regulations often set standards for business ethics, which companies can choose to follow and build on in order to earn trust and loyalty from consumers and market participants.

Why Is New Business Development Important?

New business development is vital to creating jobs, developing key industries, and propelling the economy.

What Are The Key Skills For Business Development Executives?

Development executives must possess leadership skills, vision, drive and willingness to work with different people to achieve a common goal.

How Can I Be Successful In Business Development?

Having a vision and putting together a good team helps predict success in business development. But a successful developer also writes a good business plan, which becomes the blueprint from which they build their success.

What Should Be Included In A Business Development Plan?

A business development plan, or business plan, outlines what the business objectives are and how it intends to achieve them, including goals, start-up costs, and targeted milestones.


Business development can be difficult to define concisely, but it can be easily understood using a work concept. An open mindset, the desire for an honest and realistic self-evaluation, and the ability to accept failures are some of the skills that are essential for successful business growth. Beyond the idea, implementation and execution of a business development idea, the end result matters most.

The brightest minds in business development must be prepared to adjust to change in order to get the best results. Each acceptance or rejection is a learning experience, better preparing these professionals for the next challenge. OKR Software can help to achieve your business development plan

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