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To become a business development specialist, a professional needs a combination of a formal business education and lead generation experience. It is also helpful if a future business development specialist gains experience in the particular industry that he aspires to work in. Business development experts generate new business deals for a company through networking, face-to-face marketing and referrals. Those who wish to become a business development specialist often obtain degrees or certifications in business administration and marketing.
Aspiring business development specialists may find it helpful to obtain some sort of formal education in business. Bachelor's programs in business administration and marketing will familiarize them with the marketing process. Many degree programs offer electives in business to business marketing and personal selling. Those who decide to become a business development specialist at later stages in their career may find adult certification courses or an MBA helpful.
Formal education is beneficial for future business development experts since they will often need to develop marketing plans to increase a company's business. Marketing and advertising courses can give aspiring specialists practice with the process of writing and developing comprehensive plans for real or fabricated clients. A formal education will also acquaint individuals who want to become a business development specialist with common business terminology and practices.
More important than obtaining a formal degree is the development of sales and lead generation skills. Anyone who wishes to become a business development specialist must hone their ability to effectively network. Companies usually look for at least two to three years of successful sales experience when hiring business development experts. This experience can be gained in a variety of ways.
Some of the possible positions that could lead to a career in business development include independent sales representatives, telemarketing, and door-to-door sales. Any job experience that demonstrates the ability to take initiative and drive incremental sales will help. Former entrepreneurs and small business owners are also good candidates for business development careers.
Lead generation specialists work in a wide variety of industries and fields. It is helpful if aspiring experts focus on an industry or area of the business world and gain experience in it. For example, a future business development expert who wishes to drive business for a big box retailer might gain experience in both retail and commercial real estate so that he is at the very least familiar with the environment the company deals with. Gaining industry experience is also a good way to build up a solid network of contacts that can be used later to gain referrals and potential business deals.