IN THE MIDDLE | beyond the job description

Going Beyond the Job Description: Business Development Professionals

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published June 02, 2021

A fancy title for salespeople.

This is how most people view business development. But little did they know, beyond the sales leads and product development is a whole lot more depth to the crucial role of a business development professional.

To shed light on the real nature of business development, Lazada Philippines' VP Head of Business Development, Petrus Paolo Carbonell, joins Icon Executive Asia’s managing director, Patt Soyao, in the latest episode of Job Defined to talk about the good, the bad, and the undeniable facts of his job that he has learned to love. And in this article, we make sense of how professionals with the same career as Carbonell create opportunities out of even the smallest things awaiting discovery.

The Definition

Based on his experiences, Carbonell defines business development as an occupation that entails the responsibility of pinning down all forms, kinds, and sizes of growth opportunities and coming up with helpful ideas, initiatives, and activities for the benefit of the business.

In other words, business development is about looking for areas to improve and actually improving those by providing lasting solutions that will lead the business and its people to continued development and further growth. And while the goal for each opportunity and strategy may vary from driving more sales to growing brand awareness or expanding market share, the ultimate mission will never be altered, and that is to set the business up for success.

It's an ideal profession for those looking for a fulfilling career as it enables a professional to help individuals and businesses thrive with impactful solutions while setting up a personal growth plan and potential.

The Misconception

During the interview, Carbonell debunked the misconception that business development is a function that is an ending in itself. Contrasting the common myth, Carbonell emphasized that business development can be a "springboard" that can take you to higher places, different industries, or various roles within the organization, whether it be in strategy, marketing, or sales. With the diverse environment of business development, one can acquire a wide array of skills, which can be handy in both finding opportunities that will lead the company to success and opportunities for career growth.

The Skills

In business development, there is no templated approach. Every opportunity is unique on its own, and that, according to Carbonell, is what keeps it from being boring. With this, Carbonell said there are at least three important skills that a professional must have to be able to handle the depths of business development: (1) Analytical Skills, (2) Creativity, (3) Project Management Skills.

The ability to collect and analyze information and the skill to think creatively and bring new perspectives can ultimately push a professional to thrive in business development. The responsibilities of a business development professional are so diverse and subject to change, so displaying flexibility to adapt to a wide range of situations will aid a professional to maintain stability and efficiency in identifying potential opportunities, solving different and unique problems, and taking care of any potential restraints to the growth of the business. Add project management skills to that and you have the perfect candidate who can efficiently identify windows of opportunity, resolve problems, and manage projects and the risks included to maximize every chance that comes their way.

Eager for more? Check out the full episode here for a deeper understanding of a business development professional’s role, or listen to previous job-defining and career myth-debunking episodes of Job Defined.

Job Defined is hosted by Mr. Patt Soyao, Icon Executive Asia’s managing director, and powered by Podcast Network Asia, Southeast Asia’s first and biggest podcast network agency. For more information, visit the series’ official Facebook page here.