Q&A with a Business Development Specialist: Subject Experts Who Close Deals
A business development specialist can have a hectic day. They are meeting numerous clients every day, discussing solutions, and showing customers which services might help them run their businesses more efficiently. They need to be cheerful and energetic, but also have a deep practical knowledge of the services and tech they sell.
In this blog, we will be chatting with Chad Adams, one of Impact’s business development specialists with a focus on IT and cybersecurity. Chad has had an extensive career in those two subjects, and it is that expertise that allows him to help leaders understand the value of technology in business.
We asked him about his workday and about some of the technology he uses to manage all his deals.
Hello, Chad! What does your day-to-day look like as a business development specialist?
My day-to-day is filled with client-facing activities. During the day, I am always in a meeting or having conversations with our clients. I bring the solution to them, and show them what they can do with it, why it matters, how it will help their business. Basically, I am meeting new people every day!
Outside of that, I prepare all the necessary paperwork, or presentations and fill information in Microsoft Dynamics 365, the CRM platform I use.
What do client meetings usually involve for you?
Typically, our first meeting is us getting to know each other, then we tell the client what we do and why it matters, we see if there is a fit.
In later meetings, we take their businesses through a development assessment or transformation assessment. We take our findings, based on the business needs, and create a proposal for our client.
Besides the clients you meet, which team members do you work with the most?
I have a lot of conversations with our sales reps. We talk about stuff that matters to the client.
The sales rep might have had many meetings with them before I get brought in, so they understand why the client took the meeting with me. It helps me to listen to their insights about the clients’ needs.
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How do you keep track of your sales quota?
We all use Microsoft Dynamics 365 here, so I also use it to keep track of my quota. I have a pretty good idea in my head of where I am in terms of what I’ve sold. Then, the software helps me identify where I am in an ongoing deal.
I use the Dynamics 365 software to keep track of where I am in any opportunity.
I can analyze and see if there’s something I could do on a particular deal, move it a step forward, that sort of stuff.
So, are you able to track client details with Dynamics 365?
Sure. So, in the Dynamics 365 CRM, I use its Sales platform. It keeps track of all the things about a client, all their information, where they are in the sales pipeline, all that sort of stuff. I can track information and notes from all my previous meetings.
It monitors everything around the customer relationship.
It also keeps track of deals, and opportunities in those deals that are in progress. Obviously, it keeps track of the closed deals as well. That’s how I understand where some of these deals are. If something about them slipped my mind, I can look at Dynamics 365.
Related Infographic: What Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Can Do for Your Sales and Marketing
Is there a feature in Dynamics that you particularly like?
I like the ability to just filter to each of my current deals. I can look at my pipeline specifically. I am able to visualize and see where I am.
Another helpful feature is that the sales reps and sales managers are looking at it too, and they can add data. So, the information on the deals is a little more complete.
Everyone who’s a part of the deal is able to see our pipeline.
Has the process evolved since you began working?
Yes, I think it has. I’ve been a business development specialist for three years. First and foremost, it’s changed in the number of assessments we do, and the size of the assessment has increased.
The overall process at the highest level hasn’t changed, but there’s a lot more that goes into validating what we’re doing and making certain that everything is double checked, especially when it comes to contracts.
I think that’s what makes this job fun, that it’s shifting and changing often.
That sounds exciting. Does your area of focus also make your job interesting?
Yeah. So, I’m a business development specialist for managed IT and managed cybersecurity. Those two areas can be very similar. They have a slightly different focus, but the tools and the processes are often the same.
So, for someone to do your job, do they need a lot of technical skills?
Yes, I think technical skills are pretty critical, especially when it comes to understanding IT and cybersecurity. I think without these technical skills, you’re going to have a hard time selling the solutions.
My previous experience and technical acumen is in IT and cybersecurity. So, for this role someone definitely needs technical skills, but you also have to understand how to talk to people about it.
We have to be able to not get too technical and make it relevant for the business leaders we meet. They need to understand what the value behind the solutions we provide. And why risk reduction is important, etc.
Would you say that is your favorite part of the job?
That’s hard to say. I like so many things. I enjoy being in front of clients. I like those first meetings. Based on my experience, it’s satisfying to be able to make a good case to the client and show them the solutions we offer really work.
If I can do that, I feel like I won the battle.
Do you have any advice for other business development specialists?
For a specialist, it would be pretty tough to do the work without a CRM. We have so many things happening all at once that you are almost guaranteed to miss the little stuff.
The little stuff might be the stuff that burns your deal because it could show the client you can’t handle the little details. What will you do when the big stuff hits? The funny part is that you remember all the big stuff.
It’s the little stuff you miss.
That’s why I think something like a CRM is actually pretty useful.
Business development specialists work to ensure clients understand all the details of a solution, it’s value and how it could elevate their business.
Chad Adams, Business Development Specialist with a focus on IT and cybersecurity, shed light on his process working with clients, what it takes to be a specialist, and some of the tools he uses to manage deals he is working on.
We hope business development specialists out there consider using this technology to keep track of multiple client details.
If you’d like to learn more about the technology used by business development specialists, and what Microsoft Dynamics 365can do, check out this helpful infographic: What Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Can Do for Your Sales and Marketing.