In the past, we’ve talked about what qualities you should look for in a Business Development Director for your agency, but now we want to break down the different personas of Biz Dev people that will cross your path on your hiring journey. Throughout our experience, there are really three main types of people that are drawn to business development – The Storyteller, The Hunter, and The Builder.
Each of these new biz types can appear similar in an interview if you are asking stock questions, but when put to work, they operate completely differently. Your agency may be ready to thrive with a Hunter or stagnate with a Builder. Being able to identify which you need is vital to ensuring your growth in 2021. Let’s break down each of these business development personas.
What business development director persona is best for your agency?
- Ready to create a true differentiator for your agency
- Able to look at your value prop and understand how it is different from your competition, and more importantly, how interesting it is for your prospects
- Often great in pitches and late stage funnel activities due to their ability to connect and build rapport
- As a late stage funnel manager, most likely not desperate to start conversations cold
- Proactive top funnel outreach is often ignored for the comfort of working known relationships with current and potential prospects
- Typically not as comfortable with hearing “no”
When to hire (and not hire) a Storyteller?
If you find yourself with a full tech stack, all the data you need, and someone that can help own some of the top of the funnel proactive outreach, a Storyteller is going to provide a ton of benefit to your team by handling those 2nd and 3rd phone calls, managing the pitch process, and helping continue to define and tweak your value proposition. What they aren’t going to do is the constant touchpoints needed to make a new conversation happen, or build a sophisticated tech stack that creates a more efficient and repeatable process.
- High energy and high activity, you know these folks are working every day to make conversations happen with the prospects you want/need
- Understand that proactive new business is sales, and that means it takes time, energy, numerous touchpoints, and the willingness to hear “no” often in order to get the next meeting
- Do not get discouraged by an objection or rejection as it is all part of the hunt
- As an early stage funnel operator, the high energy that they operate under may not translate to highly organized thoughtful pitches, and as such balls can get dropped in later stages
- Living for the hunt can often mean being highly focused on what’s working, and may not always translate to flexibility in trying new approaches
- High energy also doesn’t typically lend itself well to create complex new systems within CRMs and automation tools
When to hire (and not hire) a Hunter?
If you find yourself with a well thought out, differentiated value proposition, and you have a full tech stack and data that is ready for a sales rep, then drop this person in and watch them go! BUT, if you don’t have an organized process or you have a sub-par story to tell at the moment, then you will have someone out there putting a ton of energy into conversations with them constantly going nowhere. The agency needs to properly channel this energy through organized easy processes and a clear story.
- Great at organizing a tech stack of CRM, marketing or sales automation, and data in order to compliment any new business efforts
- Constantly digging up research that can be beneficial to any new business effort at either the top or the bottom of the funnel
- Understands attribution, which allows them to better follow which approaches are working best and where
- These folks are analysts and thinkers, which is a positive, EXCEPT that eventually we have to stop analyzing and start communicating
- Often outreach does not happen, because we are looking for a perfect silver bullet for each individual prospect which in turn causes paralysis
- This is not a top of funnel warrior and as such, each opportunity that does get uncovered will be that much more important because there will be fewer in the pipeline
When to hire (and not hire) a Builder?
If you find yourself at the beginning of your new business journey and you feel like you have a hunter/storyteller already that can generate the conversations you need, but you have no back end system put in place, then get yourself a builder. Sometimes these people already exist within your organization in Account Management or Marketing, so take an extra look in house. Don’t hire them if you are looking for pure top of funnel activities as their energy will not be properly directed at hunting those new prospects you are aiming for.
Now, these are over-generalizations of people and certainly, people exist in the world that inhabits two or even all three of these new business types. The problem is that they can be hard to identify in the wild, and some may misrepresent themselves (knowingly or unknowingly). So as an agency owner, take your time thinking through exactly where your firm is at in your new business process. If you have everything covered, but just need those calls made – get yourself a Hunter. If you don’t have a great value prop identified and need to reposition your agency – think about a new Storyteller. If you want better attribution and to create a scalable and repeatable new business process – look harder at that Builder persona.
There is a reason that we here at Catapult are built-in pods of 3-5 people per client. We want to maximize the skills of each individual in order to help drive new business at each stage in your funnel process. If you want help identifying the persona you need next, or to hire a ready made team, get in touch!