What actually is Business Development?
The Oxford English Dictionary state that it is: ‘the activity of pursuing strategic opportunities for a particular business or organization, for example by cultivating partnerships or other commercial relationships, or identifying new markets for its products or services.’
Though the reality is there is no true defining answer as the role varies very much depending on industry and individual bias, and most Sales Directors and Business Development Directors we have spoken with, define it as ‘A 360 degree approach to sales, encompassing account management, insight and research into NPD opportunities directly with clients, market awareness, actually becoming an integral part in both a customers operation and the strategy of the company they represent. Not just selling, but helping both the company and the customer drive forward through change.’ As the great Henry Ford said ‘Businesses that grow by development and improvement do not die’
Where can I find a Business Development Recruitment Agency?
Recruiting in Business Development has many challenges. The first one is that – unlike other disciplines in the sales and marketing world – as we have highlighted business development to many does not have a clear definition. In the UK there are no official (or even not so official) bodies governing business development. And whilst every person seems to have their own opinion on what it means, most of these views differ.
An online search for a Business Development recruitment agency will back up this uncertainty. Whilst there will be specialist B2B business development recruiters working at Sales Recruitment Agencies, or firms that focus solely on recruiting Business Development roles in the professional services space (Which in legal are actually 90% marketing roles), there isn’t an out-and-out Business Development recruitment agency in the U.K.
Surprisingly statistics from the BD School (based in the Netherlands) attest, “70% of business developers don’t receive formal training and struggle to get results in their job.” And apparently 65% of Business Development professionals did not know what their job involved when they started it. If neither the employer or the candidate knows what the job actually involves, it is not surprising that finding specialists in true Business Development recruitment can be so testing.
So having read this perhaps initially have a think will the role I need to recruit just be selling a product? As if it is maybe it needs to be retitled sales alone. Will it just be managing relationships? As if so perhaps you need an Account Manager. Or will it be more integral than that, will that person be trusted and expected to help drive my business strategy forward from the front line? Will you listen to the insight this person can garner from my customers to change the way we operate? If it will then it’s been correctly positioned, and you will need a Recruiter that understands what that is.
Thankfully here at Zero Surplus we understand what you will need. We understand the role varies depending on business and industry, and rather than take a one size fits all approach, will take the time to understand what your definition and unique opening requires. That’s the reason we have had extensive historical success finding candidates that can really deliver what’s needed.
What are the challenges of recruiting in Business Development?
Firstly the challenge is establishing what a company wants, and figuring out if they actually want Business Development or if they want Inside Sales, Key Account Management, Field Sales or Technical Sales. Once we have established that it’s what a company wants, it’s then understanding what that definition is for them. And what evidence they will need from candidates to demonstrate the wider skillset required for the role. Often this can be case examples of business won through a much wider process, cradle to grave, and where that business has led the company and clients in terms of future growth and direction.
Provided you are open and willing to go through the detail of the role with us, there’s no reason we won’t be able to find you candidates that hit the right touch points.
Growing your offering and your business isn’t just about selling, it’s about hiring people who can help you shape what you do.
So recruiting the right Business Development Manager, Business Development Executive or Head of Business Development should be a priority for every business with aspirations to grow, as they will not just help you generate more revenue to pursue your future plans, but drive your business and products in many different ways. Hence finding the right business development recruiter and the right business development recruitment agency should be key for your success.
Zero Surplus is proud to serve the East of England. We recruit in business development for clients in Cambridge, Essex, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Milton Keynes and beyond, and we have a thorough understanding of the industries, companies and candidates in the region. We know what skills are in demand in each industry, and we are committed to helping our clients find the talent they need to succeed.
Would you like us to help you when recruiting business development staff? We have a team of experienced business development recruiters who can help you find the best talent for your business.
Recently recruited business development roles
I found it easy to build a good working relationship with Joby from day one. He gives very open and honest assessment on roles we have given to him and his ability to source sales staff as well as feedback on the market place is second to none.
I’ve used Joby successfully on a number of occasions for senior sales positions within my team, I found that he really took time to listen to what we wanted (and helped us find it) and rather than just bombard us with hundreds of speculative CVs, they have a a more tailored style and delivered great results. Also when it was needed they were not afraid to tell me where I had gone wrong previously and how to rectify it.. And it worked!
Zero Surplus have become our ‘go to’ recruiter. Always proactive and efficient, they make the effort to understand our agency and our people. The quality of their candidates really do stand out from the rest and they consistently find us absolute STARS who go on to flourish within our teams.
Recently we needed an agency to help us find a very specialist technical sales role, and I found Zero Surplus easily the best agency we worked with. They were informative and dedicated, and final after a long haul found us the exact person we needed. Their style of search based recruitment over just advertising, really set them apart from your average recruiter.
I was recently looking to hire a new Sales Manager after I was left in the lurch, and abandoned by another agency. Zero Surplus and particularly Joby were very helpful. After talking with them about what I needed, I realised the role I was seeking perhaps wasn’t best suited to our needs, and as a result they helped stop us making a bad decision. We’ve now filled our role in a different format, and the results are speaking for themselves. I recommend Joby and the team for any sales recruitment.
Joby was Very helpful with my job hunt, very professional and always fast with a reply and update to the situation. Couldn’t of asked for better help.
Zero Surplus was instrumental in finding me my fantastic new role, with proactive and quick communication throughout the process. Thanks to Joby for his hard work.
Been an absolute pleasure dealing with Joby and Zero Surplus, very efficient, great professionalism, went above and beyond to ensure i had all the information i needed and was very personable from start to finish.
Great experience through them, very helpful and polite. Would recommend
We have recruited a number of roles through this great company now. Every time Joby has been on the ball, relaxed and determined to find the right person for us, not just pay the numbers games that recruiter so often play. I couldn’t recommend him and his company enough.
Joby Read is a fantastic recruiter. He was supportive, professional and really helped me through the interview process. Thanks Joby!
The best recruitment agency in the East of England by a long way. Nothing is too much trouble for Joby and the team – highly recommended.
Before Zero got in touch with me, I was finding that there’s a lot out there for graduates that’s quite disingenuous, in terms of jobs and agencies, among other things. I was lucky they got in touch because working with Zero has not only been an absolute breath of fresh air but also reminded me that amazing jobs do exist!! Thank you both for everything you do and for walking me through the process!
Super helpful, knowledgeable, experienced agency. Helped me find the right job I was looking for and Joby and Tom supported me through every step. 5* service.
Dealt with Joby regarding my next job opportunity. He was very professional and discreet. Information was on hand when required and the communication between myself, Joby and my new employer was handled swiftly and efficiently. Would highly recommend Joby and the team
Such a great agency!! Joby recently helped place me within a dream role and the process from start to finish was quick and extremely smooth. really knowledgeable and they know the companies they work with so well. Couldn’t ask for more from a recruitment agency!
Joby offered a first class service. He matched me with a job role and then supported me through every stage of the process, even checking over presentations I had prepared for the interviews. In summary, I would highly recommend Joby and Zero Surplus to any jobseeker.
I had a great experience with Zero Surplus in my recent search. I felt well prepared for all interview stages and had great help and feedback along the way.
I’d highly recommend Zero Surplus if you’re considering a career change.
They were extremely helpful and successfully found me my current role. I wanted to change industries, and they had a lot of knowledge on what position would suit me based on my skills. They were friendly, personable but professional throughout the process and would respond to emails / calls quickly which made everything very easy.
Joby spoke with me to ensure my skills were relevant, and that the role was what I was looking for. He then recommended me and I found him very approachable. He did not pressure me to go for any roles I didn’t see myself working for a long time. This resulted in me trusting him to find the perfect role for me, which he did.