Business Development Leadership

Many challenges come with Business Development (BD) Leadership. The most difficult challenge is the commitment to actually execute change.

Identifying the need to change and developing a change management plan is tough in and of itself—but actually executing change is leadership’s toughest challenge. We call this the lack of leadership commitment to perform.

All business development leaders must balance priorities such as time, resources, and short-term vs. long-term objectives. In your business culture, do you expect to win? Focusing on these 10 BD leadership priorities can help you create a culture of winning:

  • Identify your team and clarify team roles
  • Understand and adapt your leadership style
  • Collaborate with various roles and organizational functions—hold people accountable
  • Understand and embrace a well-defined business development lifecycle
  • Understand your markets, customers, and customer buying pattern(s)
  • Maintain strong customer relationships
  • Apply discipline at key opportunity decision gates and milestones of the BD lifecycle
  • Apply best practice capture management techniques and tools
  • Embrace and be involved in proposal development best practices
  • Commit to and execute change (improvement)

As a BD leader there are many things to understand and prioritize. Business development excellence requires overcoming resistance to change even when changes are necessary. When improving business development leadership, remember to adopt, adapt, and advance.

Adopt—Adopt existing processes, best practices, training, and tools to gain immediate improvement.

Adapt—Adapt existing business development systems by incorporating industry best practices to achieve higher maturity levels in a short time.

Advance—Advance to the highest level of BD maturity by committing to continuous improvement and innovation.

Today’s business development leaders are emerging as forward-thinking, innovative practitioners who know how to adapt to market and technological advancements. Discipline and accountability in leadership ensure organizational success.