Sitka Blog

Why we still need business development professionals

1 October 2018

We live in a business world dominated by technology, technology which has led to marketing and sales taking on many of the 1-to-1 conversations which traditionally have been held by business development professionals. It might seem that business development roles have become obsolete.  

But we believe business development has a distinct and extremely relevant role in our current workplace.

While marketing professionals are still primarily responsible for getting the right proposition out to prospects and sales specialists are predominantly responsible for converting them into paying clients, business development experts are essential for connecting them.

Businesses need business development people to build and nurture these key relationships, which in turn make our marketing and sales functions work. We need them to communicate the value of a product or service. We need them to build trust.

While business development is arguably everyone’s responsibility, it’s a business development manager or director who enables employees to enact this responsibility effectively. Without them, marketing and sales have the added burden of developing the strategic, mutually-beneficial partnerships which provide much of the long-term value to most businesses.

By focusing solely on building and sustaining client relationships, a business development professional with their expert knowledge can enable the rest of the business to strengthen its offering and become truly client-orientated. Marketing can use business development’s insights into client pain points and requirements to create more targeted services and messaging. Sales can benefit through increased conversion and repeat business. Business development can be a fantastic facilitator and help synchronise internal functions.

By building relationships, business development can also make HR’s job much easier. Loyal clients are an asset for referrals and employer brand, which both make it easier to reach out to new prospects and attract top talent. It’s often these relationships that make or break a business.

Another key strength of having a business development professional on board is being able to grow sustainably; they can ensure relationships are nurtured at the right pace in the right volume to ensure you meet your service agreement.

Far from being obsolete, business development professionals are vital for improving productivity, generating business growth and increasing profitability. While it’s not always feasible to have a dedicated role for business development, if resources allow it can be an extremely worthwhile investment.

At Sitka, we specialise in finding leading business development professionals for ambitious Welsh based organisations. Please get in touch to find yours.

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About the author

Ita McNeil-Jones,


Ita has nearly 20 years of experience in senior recruitment, marketing, and business development spanning the private, public and third sectors. She spent 11 years with Hays Specialist Recruitment, progressing to the role of Business Director within just six years. With a clear focus on delivering high quality services to both clients and candidates, she always specialised in appointing managers and directors to key roles. Ita left Hays in 2011 and worked as Corporate Events Manager for the Welsh charity, Tenovus Cancer Care, before becoming Business Development Manager for Cardiff and Vale College - one of the largest further education colleges in Wales - where she helped develop the College's commercial function. It was there that she identified a need for a Wales-based recruitment agency that could provide ideal, quality candidates. Ita co-founded Sitka to be that agency.

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