A business development specialist is an employee charged with driving new business to a company using a variety of methods and techniques. In many ways, the job is more complex than a general marketing job and includes a number of other activities, some related to marketing and some not.
This person usually reports to the chief marketing officer or some other senior-level executive. However, he or she can also be a senior-level executive, answering to the company president or directly to a board of directors. The salary for this role is varied and is largely dependent on the level of seniority a company gives to the position.
While marketing is one of the job's primary duties, the position carries a more focused task. Specifically, the job of the business development specialist is to attract new business. This may be done through promotions, product development or research.
In some cases, a business development specialist can be a key figure involved in the development of a new product. The specialist could conduct focus group testing to determine how a new product will be received, take prototypes out for review and then report back to the production team.
Once the product is in production, a business development specialist is often responsible for marketing or working with the marketing team to come up with an effective campaign. He or she is an important member of this team because, as that person has already conducted an extensive amount of research, he or she has unique knowledge of what potential customers have already said about the product.
In addition to new products, a business development specialist usually works with existing products in new markets, trying to find the most effective introductory strategy into those markets. This could be researching where to put the next chain coffee store or working with an industrial customer to show them how a product or service will increase efficiency. The possibilities for new business development are largely dependent on the industry and its existing saturation.
One of the most important jobs of any business development specialist is to build relationships not only with outside customers, but within the company. Often, a company’s growth depends on new products or new customers, or a combination of both. However, growth will be difficult if there is not ample communication and a spirit of cooperation between all parties.