Great business development executives are difficult to find. Unfortunately, plenty of people possess a smart nature, are charismatic and articulate but just simply are not effective at business developemnt. Sometimes you might even find someone who’s really well connected but who cannot structure a deal. It can be hard to differentiate between someone who accomplishes a deal and someone who takes credit for it. There’s a number of characteristics that work together in tandem to make a great BD executive. Here at Total Talent we recruit for BD executives every single day, so trust us when we say, we know what makes a good one. Here’s 8 things to look out for when hiring for a BD executive.

1. Exceptional communication skills.

BD executives need to be coherent and sound in their day to day articulation. New BD hires need to be able to effectively communicate with internal sales teams, existing clients and most importantly, leads. Without the ability to adequately communicate, hot leads will be impossible to nurture.

2.Fearless in deal terms. 

Good BD’s aren’t afraid to go after even the most difficult potential clients. They are confident enough to approach everyone all in the hope of increasing that client portfolio. A fearless BD will ask the tough questions and have the trickier conversations with potential and existing clients alike.

3.Structured in a deal scenario.

Structure is imperative in deals people. An effective BD will be someone who is good at shepherding all internal and external clients through various stages of a deal (pitching, negotiating, structuring and closing). Good sales people need to have form when it comes to mining a list of prospects, aggressively framing a negotiation and setting up those crucial meetings, so that’s a quality a hiring manager needs to be aware of.

4.Detail – orientated. 

Sales people deal with terms and conditions a lot! There’s a significant amount of toing and froing with contracts, terms, add-ons and leave-outs when it comes to a negotiation process. A good BD will always know where to look when it comes to the fine details, they won’t let potential clients slip in something somewhere that will negatively impact the ROI on a deal.

5. Pragmatic.

A great BD can identify what’s important. They will optimise for everything in order to get the deal done. They wont optimise for insignificant details except for negotiation purposes. Similarly they will know when a certain deal should not be done. Knowing when to stay and when to walk away is a crucial skill a good sales person will have.

6. Tenacious. 

Deals can take forever. There’s always an extended period of back and forth. A less effective BD executive might give up in the latter stages of a negotiation just to close a deal. This however means that they might release an enormous amount of value that didn’t need to be leaked, thus affecting the profitability of the deal. A great BD will have crucial patience to see it out right until the end.

7. Relentless and when needed, ruthless.

A key trait that’s needed in a good BD exec is a relentless attitude. They know when it’s important  to keep knocking on a door until someone answers. They are ruthless when absolutely necessary but they are also aware that some leads go cold because they’re just not suitable for pursuing.

8.Ownership mindset.

A skilled sales person wont treat the company’s money or resources as ever flowing and endless. They will always do their ultimate best to deliver a solid deal in the quickest time frame possible. Taking ownership over deals is a crucial characteristic for any person in a sales role.

At Total Talent we talk to a lot of BD candidates and in turn we fill a lot of pivotal roles. If you’re looking to take the hassle out of trying to hire an amazing BD exec then why not get in touch with us? Click here!