Business development is a broad term applied to the process of strengthening ties with existing clients as well as cultivating customers in other sectors of the consumer market. The traditional barriers between sales, marketing, customer care, operations, and management are often crossed in order to promote this process of expansion on more than one level. This means that a specialist in the field must exhibit a degree of competence in many different areas in order to identify and capitalize on growth opportunities.
One of the foundational aspects of busdev, or business development, is to assess the current assets of the company as they relate to the maintenance and expansion of the business. To this end, a specialist will work closely with sales and marketing professionals to identify the degree of penetration already enjoyed by the company in various sectors of the consumer base.
At the same time, he or she will also work with customer care professionals to assess the feedback gathered from existing clients on the perception of the company and its products. This type of activity can often identify ways to refine current sales and marketing techniques in order to capture a wider share of consumers within sectors where the business already has a presence. At the same time, the addition of the data acquired through customer care contacts may help identify applications for the product line that are not promoted at present and could lead to capturing new markets if marketed properly.
It is important to note that the successful business development specialist is not focused only on making sales or keeping current customers happy. While those aspects are part of the overall picture, he or she will also be concerned with making the best use of the company's resources, refining the process and function of management and various departments, and addressing any legalities that must be observed as the company continues to move forward. In many organizations, this gives the specialist a wide range of authority to solicit information from anywhere within the corporate structure and to influence every aspect of company function.
The process can be applied to just about any corporate situation. Even companies that are small need this type of activity in order to remain stable and to achieve growth over time. Often, the inclusion of at least one person who is focused on development activity makes it possible to capture a view of the company that is hard for people with responsibility for specific functions with the organization to achieve without help.
Business development may take place by creating an arm or department of the corporation that carries out these functions. It is also possible to contract with a consultant in order to evaluate the company's current circumstances and identify strategies for future growth.