Who is a Business Development Representative (BDR): definition and skills

A business development representative (business developer or BDR) is a member of the sales team. Their duty is drawing new business opportunities to the company. This includes cold calls, cold email campaigns, all kinds of networking, and social marketing.

In its turn, business development is the activity of generating strategic chances for a company – in driving new partnerships, lead generation, and sales. 

Why business development representatives are important

Business developers are priceless stuff for organizations that work hard to build lead gen campaigns. They make sure every channel is improved and optimized so that it generates a steady flow of business opportunities.

But note that BDRs provide lead generation, not conversion. That’s the work of sales reps. Business development representatives build a solid outbound strategy, and that is their contribution to sales success. 

Also, BDRs don’t focus on organic leads. They look for new, fresh possibilities that will help you extend your business to new markets and draw more prospects. 

Business developers are at the front line of your business. They are accountable for sparking curiosity and engagement among your audience, who presumably don’t even know yet about your services or products.

Business development and sales
(Source)

What does a business development representative do?

The main chores of a business developer are:

  • Discovering new business opportunities
  • Qualifying new leads
  • Transferring them to co-workers in the sales department

The more detailed specific tasks can be:

  • Qualifying leads from marketing campaigns as sales opportunities
  • Contacting potential customers via emails and cold calls
  • Presenting company to potential clients
  • Identifying customers’ needs and recommending relevant products or services
  • Customizing offered solutions to enhance client satisfaction
  • Establishing long-term trustful relations with customers
  • Exploring new marketing opportunities among the target audience
  • Arranging calls or meetings between account executives and prospective clients
  • Reporting (weekly/monthly/quarterly) to the business development manager on the achieved sales results

Fast-growing companies usually hire BDRs when they are no longer a small startup and are ready to expand. They also do so when there are not enough incoming opportunities to supply the pipeline workload. When a company needs more business opportunities, BDRs can generate more leads by involving potential clients.

email drip campaigns

How business development representatives attract new leads

1. Research

BDRs scan markets for new channels and untapped opportunities, any place their ideal customer might be found. Besides, using insights from current clients’ profiles and behavioral data, they discover new chances for lead gen.

2. Lead generation

BDRs’ essential task is the generation of leads. They are mostly engaged in creating lists of contacts they might approach or call. 

3. Cold calling and emailing

Cold calling is a powerful way to engage with potential clients, and BDRs are champions at it. Cold email outreach campaigns are another effective method to examine a new market and find fresh leads. BDRs know how to create email drip campaigns and write cold emails that work.

4. Networking

Along with online measures, offline communication is a valuable instrument in BDRs’ hands. They’re “networking people,” skilled at establishing personal connections, building trust, and ultimately bringing more leads.

5. Social selling

Experienced BDRs remember the value of selecting the right platform for lead search. They continually engage with the target audience to establish field authority and convince people in their expertise.

Business development representative schedule
Business development representative schedule (Source)

How to be a good business development representative?

One of the principal skills any BDR specialist requires is the knowledge of business industry trends and challenges in their market niche to successfully find the best solutions for their clients.

Doing their job, BDRs face refusal regularly and have to stay motivated and focused even on the toughest days. That is why they need to develop 4 soft skills to keep getting the job done.

1. Creativity

The success of a business development representative depends on their ability to generate fresh, innovative ideas to get on with their target audience and creatively react to objections.

Sometimes they need to think outside the box and improvise. This helps advance their company ahead of opponents and discover innovative techniques to spark interest. 

2. Adaptability

BDRs spend a lot of time communicating with various people from various backgrounds, all with various anticipations.

Adaptability and talent to quickly react to change help BDRs build a relationship and generate results — no matter how many sudden turns in a discussion might appear.

3. Attention

A professional business developer must be able to actively listen to others, hear the implicit message, and perceive what others are trying to say. This enables them to react to objections fast.

While listening to others, BDRs are concentrated on the concealed meaning — understanding, not just listening, what clients are saying. This way, they build a connection with a lead and make them feel special and cared about.

4. Persistence

Persistence allows you to take many “No’s” before getting one “Yes” and finding a perfect lead, truly interested in your services or products.

Professional BDRs are patient and can keep moving despite refusal. Business growth is a marathon, and it will take time to bring the results they want.

Business development process

Inviting a business development representative to your company is a great long-term investment in business growth. And to do it efficiently, you should set adequate expectations.

Profoundly study the business development process and what BDRs need to achieve good results. Invest in studying your target audience. Supply your BDRs with all the knowledge they need to creatively generate leads and scale your business.

Keep in mind that business development is an investment in the future that demands a lot of time, work, and dedication. It’s a tough game, but it can bring you immense growth when properly implemented!

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