The “Double Agent”: How Business Development Managers Enable Enterprise-wide Growth
Imagine having to sort through a clutter of low-quality leads, spending billable hours and resources that could’ve gone to high-quality leads that are more likely to convert on a Monday morning. It’s a sales rep’s nightmare — even the best closers would agree.
At its core, a business development manager’s job description is to avert such situations from ever popping up. BDMs (business development managers), also known as SDRs (Sales development representatives), focus on the lead qualification checkpoint of the buying journey, freeing up more time for sales executives to focus on closing deals and growing customer relationships.
Having a business development manager in your workforce is a move that’ll pay off in spades as they carry out the heavy lifting of sifting the dead leads from the high-quality leads in your contact lists — basically, turning a cold call into a hot call.
They compress hundreds of days of work into three to one or two breezy meetings where prospects are already sales-qualified.
With so much of the work BDMs do going under the radar, they’re often the unsung heroes on the frontline that provide the fuel for an enterprise’s growth engine. But that's all about to change. We shine the spotlight on their activity at the top of the funnel and throughout the sales pipeline, with a focus on how it helps enterprises scale.
What does a BDM do?
Business development managers act as the first point of contact for prospective customers, providing invaluable information about the product or service that can help close the sale. They are also responsible for tracking and managing leads, so they don’t slip through the cracks and can be nurtured over time.
They’re fondly called the “double agents'' due to the overlapping nature of their obligations to marketing & sales departments. The role of a business sales development rep differs due to their business model and other factors.
Across the board, their responsibility is two-fold — outbound and inbound sales prospecting:
Inbound sales prospecting entails nurturing interested leads that’ve signalled interest in your product/service through interaction or engagement through any of your marketing channels. An example of inbound sales prospecting would be using content marketing strategies to attract potential customers.
On the flip side, outbound sales prospecting entails reaching out to prospective customers (who may lack prior knowledge of or engagement with) your product or service offering. An example of outbound sales prospecting is the use of cold calling or LinkedIn outreach.
BDMs showcase a lot of creativity when scouting leads — digging through data sources (e.g., via company websites or Crunchbase), developing targeted lists, personalising emails, researching firms to understand their needs, crafting messages that pique interest, and following up with contacts interested in learning more about your product/service.
They also conduct sales discovery with prospects, build and maintain relationships with existing customers, provide product demos or give webinars, and qualify leads prior to handing them off to the sales team.
So, the day of a business development manager involves researching potential customers and identifying opportunities for outreach, after which they craft custom messages to engage prospects. They’ll call prospects from their lists, follow up on leads generated from marketing campaigns, or reach out to referral sources to build relationships.
Their day also involves meetings, often with existing customers, where they discuss customer needs and how their products or services can meet those needs. They may even propose new solutions to help customers reach their business goals.
The BDM will stay on top of market trends and industry news throughout the day. They’ll use this knowledge to identify potential leads and keep customers up-to-date on the latest offerings.
When they aren’t in meetings, they’re likely analysing customer data or tracking sales performance with different software applications. This helps them make decisions about which leads are worth pursuing and which strategies are most effective.
At the end of the day, they’ll create reports to summarise their activities and track progress against goals, after which they also follow up with leads from earlier in the day as needed.
How CRMs are the game-changer for BDMs
With the theme of their activity rooted in enabling sales and an efficient sales pipeline, BDMs are striking gold with a toolkit for optimal performance. Deservedly, CRMs stand tall among this stack of tools.
Business sales development representatives can utilise webCRM to track customer data, create reports, and manage customer relationships. For instance, Efficy’s 360° feature proves incredibly useful in managing contact lists — whether that’s entering new leads or tracking conversations with each customer. It also gives a comprehensive view of prospects in the sales pipeline.
After capturing leads from various sources, webCRM’s segmentation tool helps organise them into categories based on their location, interests, or buying habits.
For any serious enterprise out there, automation plays a key role in their digital transformation, which also finds its way into the day-to-day of business development managers. A tool like webCRM’s campaign automation lets BDMs easily automate sales-related data using easy workflows.
A common instance is setting up an email campaign that leverages unique triggers — for example, a follow-up email to a new prospect after a specified number of days of inactivity.
These automation triggers — easily implementable in the onboarding process (like welcome messaging) and in the sales pipeline (E.g., responding to frequently asked questions) — can significantly improve data collection and customer interaction.
Is BDM part of sales & marketing?
No, since that’ll box the enterprise-wide role of the BDM into a disciplinary corner. Much of their activities overlaps with and requires solid performance in both departments to provide effective marketing and meet sales quotas.
While business development managers are not traditionally part of the Sales & Marketing departments, they inform the marketing strategy and create business systems that support sales efforts.
By strategically integrating BDMs into your overall marketing plan, you can more efficiently reach customers and drive revenue growth. This is why business development managers thrive on tools that are applicable in a marketing or sales context, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems, e.g., webCRM.
The webCRM features a vast number of tools to efficiently perform tasks ranging from segmentation to sales opportunity tracking, analytics for tracking customer behaviour, and automation of business processes.
For instance, a tool like opportunity tracking in webCRM comes in handy to prevent sales opportunities from slipping through the cracks and hint at high-potential leads to be prioritised.
webCRM, for an efficient sales pipeline
A business sales development representative is a powerhouse in any enterprise. As educators leverage insight to address the pain points of prospects or solve customer problems, a data-friendly toolkit that fits into outreach, lead management, and sales process (in the shape of a CRM!) is an absolute must.
A leading voice in customer relationship management across Europe, webCRM is purpose-built with automation and all the features and modules to easily identify customer trends and make informed decisions that win prospects with minimum fuss.
By analysing customer data, BDMs can adjust their strategies as needed to increase conversions and maximise revenue. webCRM is key to helping SDRs stay organised and in charge of their day-to-day activities through AI and Data-driven technology.
Goodbye to the days of being stuck in the pages of spreadsheets or tedious or redundant processes. BDMs can now sit back, relax and watch webCRM do the heavy lifting.
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