B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 6 months ago

103: What Business Development Really Means w/ Lucia Piseddu


What makes a great business development professional? And how does business development differ from sales development in the first place?

In this episode, we interview Lucia Piseddu, Founder at The BD School, about the differences between sales development and business development.

We talked about unlocking a BDR’s creativity, the 4 traits of a successful business development professional and “a difference in goals: sales versus opportunities' .

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for B2B Revenue Acceleration in your favorite podcast player.

You are listening to be to be revenueacceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sails and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show hi you welcome to be to be a revineacceleration. My name is on a wit and a year today, with Lucia beside fonder ofthe biddy school. How are you doing to day Rushia very good? Thank you. Ithanks for inviting good good. So today we will be talking about thedifferences between Seles Development and business development, but before weget the conversation going, would you mind introducing yourself in a littlebit more deterred as well as the organization you represent the school? Absolutely so Bob Yaso, I'm thefounder of the bed school, which stands for the Business Development School andwe are the first educational platform entirely dedicated to businessdevelopment. I laughed this company in February Twenty nineteen after one yearof research, and I did it because I spent well now it's thirteen yearsworking in business development in different sectors, different industriesand at some point I cannot be to wall with my career in two thousand andseventeen and well, as I usually do. I started learning again, but I figuredout that there wasn't really a place to learn business development in astructure way and everybody seemed to be doing it differently. So I decidedto take on the challenge. I gathered the team around my idea and that'swhere the bed school started. So we started with the community, which then transformed into a block. Theneventually in a proper educational company, we do training, we do mentorshape. We organize events and basically we provide all the tools for businessdevelopers and start a founders to learn business development in astructure way and become more effective at this job. Okay- okay, so would yousay a cor platform is, is more dedicated to see US rose, looking atsetting up the bittem or do you think is more dedicated to thebig person, so we're going to get to speak about it, but as bid and youridea, whatever you want to co thegn person, so so is the fit from four oris it for both yeah? So at the moment, is more targeted to businessdevelopment professionals, estate founders and as business developmentprofessionals we well. We really target the majority of the people which havefrom zero to up to six ten years experiencing business development andwe're actually currently busy with some partners creating something more Taylorto the bee to be side. We're currently working on it. So it's nothing reallyready yet, but our goal is actually to provide business development solutionsto all the parties involved being business developers. That's exactlywhat we want to do. We want to provide value on multiple levels so soon we'regoing to be ready with the beat to the offer as well, but for now we targetprimarily individual contributors and, of course, we held them become betterat their job and soon we're going to help companies with their needs as well.Good. My good lots of flocks on the in the Pram machis Contestin. So as pore topic of this conversation isquite obvious, but we know there is not going conversation in the market, butthe difference between sales, development and business development. Imean I've got to be honest with you Luchia. I lost the track and I'm what I meet with someone I just asthem. How do you could it trying to understand the definition of what theycould it? What and then I'm changing my lexic on my do the word and using and I'm adaptingdecided to your chameleon in the outside, because I kind of plus strike,but we know that you know in this bit to be tecor. Some company refer toSdart, I mentioned LD a mentioned ADA and everybody time to segregate thedifferent function of this individual...

...quit quit o that. So what are yourthoughts on the topic yeah? So I love this topic actually and for me I wasactually one of the first things I learned when I started digging: LitleMooring to the Business Development Word so tax story about my experiencein Business Development. I really ended up randomly in this field because mybackground is in international relations and my goal was to become anambassador or maybe a journalist, and I think, with business development. Ikind of do both now, I'm the Bambas of my company and I get to right content.So that's amazing, but at some point you know I was like okay look. I canhave looked back at my career and I did different positions. They were allcalled business development, but I did really different things. So when Istarted learning and educating myself more about business development, Iactually figured out that this word was so much bigger than what we thought,and that was a mistake. I was also making thinking that sails was the sameas pecies development. So I, until someone at some point, was like look. Ireally like what you're doing. I think it's a great community that you'rebuilding, but I'm not interested because I don't do saves. I was likewait a minute. What are you talking about so that kind of triggered me andwe started doing more in that research and when we figured out basically that whenwe think about business development well, first of all the reason, justlike one, the phintias that everybody agrees on that one thing is for sure:pecies development involves a lot more than just saves so now like with Betcho.Our goal is also to clarify this. These different definitions- and there is oneother anecdote which I think is going to. I think that was the historicalmoment in which sales started being you know confused with Business Development.Have you read the book zero to one by Peter Steel, the same guy of thinrelease actually, but of not rat gets cool. So then, as soon as you do you'regoing to see that, because at some point there is one page in which hesays well, you know in sales and so on were all actors right because nobodylikes to sell nobody likes to be sold, and that is why then saves people BECAbusiness developers. You know because pecies development sounds fancier right,except that, if you do exactly the same thing, exactly if you do a threateningits like is in calling your ses person, I remember when I started was actuallynow. Maybe I should be more like a customer relationship, you know andyeah no, no a exactly, but then what happened is that people started reallydisliking sales, people and theses developers because they associated itto the same thing. So- and you know what I read the book, I was like afinally the answer to this to this problem. You know so to keep it like.You know simple when we think about sales development, people that do salesdevelopment are really focus on closing the deals right, so they have a veryprecise customer profiling, mind they contact a lot of them at scate, mostlikely, especially in Saserkopee, and then their goal is to close theseopportunities. Opportunity, and also the concept of opportunity is anotherthing. But the goal is to close deals, while in thisness development are goingto read, is to find opportunities before we even know who our customer isand then, of course, in some companies you're going to close these deals aswell, especially if you're a young start up, but the goal shouldn't be,and it's not the one to go and close all the deals and all the opportunitiesthat knock at your door, but is ready to figure out, was the best opportunityfor the company to grow sustainable, so typically a business developer. Ofcourse, there's also some saves activities, because at the end of theday, every company needs clients, but as a business developer, what you'redoing is actually to find new ways to...

...grow the company. So if you already goafter the clients, well you're, basically just keeping on one thingthat works right and that's that's. Okay, I mean if it works. Obviously youshould do it, but what you can also do is to open up new ways to grow thecompany and that's what business developers should be doing, but thenagain when we think about B D, R S, drs and so on in the tech field. That'sreally there! It's not really pecies development. Let's be honest. It's moresafes right is just that the title is misplaced there, but pretty muchthey're doing sates they're not doing pretty much creative or, like you know,strategic stuff to find new ways to grow the company. While what we learnwith our research and then like our first, you know, challenge and goal wasto definite bit better. What pity was is really that business development isjust not about calling the client, but it's about creating new processes, newtasks and so on, which are meant to grow the company on the on the longterm and to create value on the long term, which doesn't come only from thecustomers, but it comes also from the market from relationships, partnershipsand so on. So this, I think, is really the main difference between sales andbusiness development. So sales is more like short term. You go after oneprecise, ideal customer profile. You want to close them. decens developmentdoes okay great. Now we have an ideal customer profile. What else can we doto grow the company besides getting this crient? So that's really the mindset shift. You know that makes all the difference it's funny, because I probably have seen very very fewbusiness development reps that you know. I think I think I horrable been meetingwith. We sells people, I think, the in our space and definitely from ourclans in our clints a little bit from across the warld, but there would be tobe software. They all speak about a sea as internal resources focused on focuson the more short tam activity. So it's quite interesting what you saying,because you're almost describing the business devotement function as themost strategic function, a function. It will be responsible for I notifyingyour Reveni trends and or potentially you know, new opportunities for acompany where, in our space, the other tactical guys. In fact, you knowBusiness Development, bread is the game, will go and get the meetings go and getit is. It will call you Lucia and say hey. This is what I've got joint. Youwanted good meeting book beyond and the SD and the way we've been- and I guessyou know, as I was saying, it is not a strange definition, but the way I kindof portray them if I was to make generity the SD would actually be a bitmore strategy in the Tebidi, and I will be the person that I, what I'm sayingmost strategic is that they would not just think about getting thatopportunity to engage, but they would be getting that opportunity to engagewith the mean to send to thee. So the S S D would probably be probably thefunction that you will expect to see again from a generating perspectivefrom what I'm earing from clans daily. They would you mow the type of guysthat would average in value be fifty dollars Certis, like kind of thingsthat you couldn't sell from being sedentary, so from working from fromOmer from us and kind of online selling? That's the ISD from from, I guess thebides more the person that would be okay, I'm targeting a lot of very largecorporate accounts. We are complex. There is loss of decision Centes, so Ineed a bid that can go and investigate sniff everywhere and see what theopportunities could be and then make sure that we don't every single stone.But then the Ol Tam made gold and again...

...making a bit of a generality across allthe people. And speaking doing you know, industry is to get thatengagement is to get that open up the door business development. For then thecall is going to come and sell the stuff. That's interesting, yourperception, yeah, and I mean the thing is that we didn't really inventanything. We just ask the people you know and and when we asked- and we runthis survey like we're, really impressed at the amount of differentways that people like would use to describe the world like one one bigsurprise for us, for example, was that business developers working productdevelopment, which was not something like I kind of did that when I was in astart up and so like. I would always talk to everyone within the company,but I always thought like this, because it's me you know, like you know, I kindof pave my way like that, but then now it turns out that this is there's sometype of business developers that actually their only job is to talk withthe product development team. So they gather the feedback. They go back tothe product development team. They work on features together. They launchedthem the same for market entry like there's some business developers thatally work on opening up new markets, so they do market research, they docompetitor analysis and son for this new market and then they go and launchthis new market. So it really. It is a very complex field and there are somany different ways of doing it, of course. So my idea is that most of thetimes were actually wasting talent, because I think you know as a Bdsha,your job can be to set meetings for your count executives or for your stror whether health is closing these deals or you could come up with newways to close to find. You know new opportunities to give you an example intwo thousand and seventeen, which is then, when I started thinking about thebed school, I was working for Sacconi active in the recruitment into requiensector, so what we were doing at the beginning. So of course we all readpredictable revenue and so on. It's like you, know, you're going to betalking to you, know low ticket people, which was already not the case becauseI was start Wi a start, getting big corporate, so obviously very complexdeals as you were saying before, but basically my job became to operate tosoftware. That was my job. You know like I had this super sophisticatedsoftware is called Apollo dotate still there. I didn't have to do anythingthan click sent on an email which already was like okay, whatever, butbecause we were starting with a new segment and so on. We didn't reallyhave any information about them, so what we would do was just like blasting,these emails around using ten plates that we found on sale, succor and so on.Like all the major you know, industry leaders, but guess what that didn't,really work out. So at some time my frustration was growing. The firesidemy manager was also growing is like you know. I feels like we're doing so much,but we were not really because we were doing was just you know like keeprepeating the same process that everybody else in the industry wasdoing. You know. So at some time I was, I started getting closer and closer tothe growth team. Eventually I became a sort of a hybrid ro, so I was stealingthe safe steam but more towards the bro Tim, and there is really where I couldhave an impact, because I was like look. I see that everybody is doing webbiest.Why don't? We do a weddinge and already there I had to convince my boss. Youknow to do it, but then we did it and we got. Eight hundred leaves just onthe webbing Ar four hundred people showed that, but the webbing are and wesold the software like the first one when we were still doing the Webbites Iwas like okay look. I can send as many Mais as I want, but look if you justyou know, let me use my creativity and little bit more. I can come up withsome new stuff, you know, and this new stuff. Of course they come fromobserving, what's happening around you,...

...which is a big part of the job of thebusiness developer, but yeah I feel sometimes we waste a bit of talentbecause we like a look, is like these just and evils like okay. But to ismore, you know, I know what you mean we get. We get the question as Cofano prettymuch as soon as you start a conversation sometimes, and youprospect the S T. was your technology stack? Okay, before we speak about theEchoy at which what stage are you at you know, because, as you mentioned,there is so many companies that want to automate and scale a businessdevelopment says development team that you know they get to the point wherethey just want to to send emails and put things and look at it and the thingat the beginning. I don't think it's a non bog game. I think at the beginning,what you've got to do is to define the blue friend and you find in the blue.Braid means okay. Well, this is our stuff right. So who could we set out asthat stuff to so fossil? Let let's look at the companies that are like it and,let's not waste time with people in the organization at one bias, theneed to look at the people in this organization at the sector to buy yourstuff and and when you find them you've got to really understand what the roadis a need to wander, some not out your very proposition will fit into them,but what's the actual issues and when you engage with them, you got to speakabout the issues because they don't care about your new product, there's athousand coming out every day. So it's about explaining to cline. Look, youwant to bring the y? U Automation, but we don't have it's like if you bringthe bird up before the architect, exactly a Er and if you had to plod would haveyou would have you could, you know, have burned up, restructure, seaincredible that night, ses is laying breaks, because that on and I copetonthe stone which you are saying now from your perspective, what next a greatbusiness development, professional water, the qualities that these peopleshould have? Actually that that that's a good question. I love that so and-and I can answer you from something we created at the bet school, which is theso called the now famous in our community club framework like litter, aclap like a cabin. We even have a small like jingle, which is cappy like it'sOt, clap it like it's ot, but that's internal, but I do say to our students sobasically like w e. We found out when we're doing our research, so we reallytried to you know, understand, like business developers really inside out,and we want you to know everything and I was in an advantage position becauseI've been doing this job for a long time. So, of course, I had a lot ofinsight on my own, but I'm also the kind of person that you know needs tosee the data I was like. I don't trust my own experience ally, so what we did.Basically, we started analyzing some friends that working desinesdevelopment and then we ask question to about like a thousand businessdevelopers or in the first year only and that just kept growing and weidentified for main personality traits of very successful business developersand these then we what we created the club frame were based on that and wethink, like we think, we've seen it with with our connections. They reallythe four more essential things that you need, and if you have those four things,then you can build upon that all the time. These are creativity, so goodbusiness developers are very creative because, of course, like coming up withnew growth opportunity requires. You know having an open mind and thinkingout of the box and not surprising or not surprisingly, most of the managers.We talk to now that we're doing research for companies. They all wantproactively thinking out of the box, and so on that the other one islearning a gibt as a business developer,...

...you need to love learning like if youdon't like learning. If you don't like you know, exploring you're, not curiousyou're not going to go really far, because big part of your job is to beattentive, to win to the input exactly investigate to totally a bit of aSherlocko type. Totally then. The third scares adaptability I think, like withcoved. We all understood that we need to be all a little bit more adaptablebecause wise, we just don't really move forward, but especially in decensdevelopment, because I mean, regardless of the company or targeting which ofcourse, is very different and so on, but you're going to talk with so manydifferent stakeholders. Internal, like your manager, your colleagues externalwhich can be clients, parnes and so on, everybody's so different, so you needto be able to adapt to them and you need to be able to bring value at allthese different levels, and because of that you need adaptability and then thelast one is of course persistence. This like when I started working in thestart up word in two thousand and fourteen like we had it in our playbook. The first thing you would see was persistency key, like we addedabsolutely everywhere, so I kind of internalized that, but absolutely youknow, whenever you're, starting something new new initiatives or evenjust like a new potential client that has never heard of you, you're nevergoing to commince. Anyone in you know one email, one call or you know oneshake of hands like you need to gain the trust of the people. You need to becredible. You need to build up all these things and people know so that weall use a tonation and so on, so that doesn't help Ye. So you need to bepersistent. Even if you use your tools like make sure that you keep contactingpeople like as long as it's needed, you know so this one's creativity, learning,agility, adaptability and persistence. So if you have the club in you, thenyou can make it yeah. I like that you know mackel exactly now. I like itbecause it's you know, we've been a we've, been reworking completely ourrecruitment process of a cabin man, because I think you can get a good goodfeel when you meet people in person, but it's sort o the fait oot for soit's a little bit more complex and- and you know what we kind of called thelearning agility, we call it, we could it coutait, so we can co, see wherethey are and in fact you know, we make some other inde recruitment process. We need them trip and then we createthe odor again to see if they're going to take it, I jump it right, teal andpersistence. The same. We actually one of the one of the question that we askin the in the process is something along the line of Poe Lucia. Thank youvery much for your time today. You know the on the person on standby. Theythink you are a great person, but I don't think you've got putty text towork for us. You are to Paretic, so it's going to be a know today and thenwe look at what out the are reacting and is terrible, but you've got somepeople at who have intelvi very very well. At this point you just look atthem, picking their babe and living and why you just want to close thedoors in a Tai was just testing you have to let them go ye the day theywill get on the objection they will go. These are people that are showing thatthey don't have that presidens to believe in them to believe in what theythink is right or wrong. What you want is some one as as we completelydisagree with you and I don't get it you've got to explain to me why,because I've not come so or for someone dining and the good for the job, I'vegot these. I've got that and then you are okay, see your Mombay. That was thelast absolutely no important, because at theend of the day he bid O sends rule. It's really about. You know, I thinkbelieving in your product and even if you have a great product, you've got tofind a way to believe in your product. You've got to re frame and reframe andrefrain, and if you find something that...

...you get or done to, let you really likehe totally and then I got when you engage with someone we take in ourtraining. We take the the reference to like A. I think. It's a boxing match orsomething like that. But if you've got mamede going on to the ring, even God Ithink it you will get absolutely destroyed by yes, a guy now mentallyyou gonna go through that game. You're gonna Punch him out, you on you knowexactly what to do. You've got a game plan and that's how you in, but in sens.I think if you have that some sort of of confidence that that some sort ofdrive it ends with the persistence, but youalso add with the way you communicate with people. You know people wants toget something from someone who fascinated by it. You don't I speak toyou like that about the podcast today. You know you probably would prove it. So you've got to speak aboutyour topic with passions. If not stay at home. I don't do it do somethingelse to any. I think that that that's really that's very interesting and Iwas taking notes and I was like, which is the Enoko, and I think I do like theteatable ty. I think we need wait to walk more on that. I think the tactthat we are the way we look at adaptability. We've been looking atscoring emotional indiligence because for us it's about you know Iwas. I was mentioning. The camelion only yeah need to find Sdel people in generalthat don't think just about themselves. They need to have that little dose ofselfishness. That will you five the resilience and everything but a lot ofempathy, so they can also always when they speak to people put themselves intheir shoes, foot of them on the side of them and then that sort of self. ForWonders of, what's going on so that sort of ledest type of thinking in selfand if we can to go those books is where we clap big and we give them ajob. That's good a we are getting to the end of thesession today, but he was really really good. So if anyone wants to carry onthe conversation with you, if anyone wants to get in touch find the detersof your blo platform and everything the bit is cool. What's the best get old ofyou looking absolutely so, you can visit our website. The bed Scholamthere you're going to find all the tools you need to improve your businessdevelopment skills and, of course, if you want some more insight into whatwe're doing or about me personally by fearful to connect on link Tim, I'malways available so feel free to share the link in your summary after yeahwith well. Thank you so much Lucia. It was a natural pleasure to war on theCortina. Thank you rig for having me operatics has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies world wide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams in househas existed for many years. Companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see how operatics can help your company accelerate pipelineat operatics, dot net you've been listening to be to be revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime. I.

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