Business Development Representative | Ask the BD

by | May 19, 2022

What’s it like to work as a business development representative? Read more in this exclusive interview with Nienke Vonk, BDR at Appronto.

Business Development Representatives are popular figures in the tech world. They are the first point of contact for a potential customer. Specifically, they cold call and cold email people to create new opportunities.  

One of their main responsibilities is to qualify leads from their marketing campaigns. And once they qualify a potential customer, they coordinate a meeting for them with an Account Executive.

In this way, they help shape the overall sales strategy for a company.

So, to understand more about the different business development roles, we decided to ask directly to people working in the field every day.

In this new series called “Ask the BD”, we ask business development pros to tell us more about their challenges, strategies, and tasks they do on a daily basis. So you can have a better understanding of this field and decide if it’s the right career choice for you.

Our first guest is Nienke Vonk.

Nienke is based in the Netherlands. She works as a Business Development Representative for Appronto.

Keep on reading to find out more about the business development representative role.

How did you learn about business development?

Before my Master’s, I took up a job in telemarketing. And I really liked IT and telemarketing. But I wanted something more to do. I searched for a business development role, and that’s how I landed in business development.

What is your definition of business development?

Business development for me involves creating opportunities. We are a partner of Mendix, which is an application development platform. So, we do IT projects to create applications for businesses.

Business development for me is getting in touch with people, mostly IT managers to get to know what the IT landscape looks like. Also, to nurture them to see if there’s an opportunity in the near future. Then qualify them to see if we could work together, if so I connect the prospect to the Account Executive.

What’s your favorite thing about working as a Business Development Representative?

My favorite thing about working as a Business Development Representative is getting to know the company and especially the people behind the company. I really like to help other organizations to become better versions of themselves, to help them reach the next level, achieve their goals, and be a part of it.

Where do you find information on business development?

I use mainly LinkedIn where I’m a member of a BDR group. Also, I have industry-specific subscriptions. Of course, I use Google searches and learn from other business development professionals and how they work.

Read also: How to learn business development

What are some challenges you face in your work?

They used to be gatekeepers. You know, when you call the office and you find someone that filters out the calls. Now I try to call mostly cellphone numbers, so I don’t have to convince the gatekeeper and I can speak directly to the right person.

However, the biggest challenge is getting “No’s” all the time. 

Nienke Vonk, BDR at Appronto

How do you solve problems like these?

I seek help from others. For example, I ask my manager: “How would you tackle this?”. Or brainstorm with colleagues and research online.

What’s your proudest accomplishment so far?

My proudest accomplishment is scheduling appointments with great organizations. Sometimes it can be hard to reach them, so I’m happy when they accept to talk further. My ambition is to become an Account Executive. So I’m learning more about the sales cycle as well now.

What are some skills business developers should have?

If you have experience with cold-calling, it will help you a lot.

You should not be afraid to cold-call people.

Nienke Vonk BDR at Appronto

This is a skill that every business development professional should have. Also, you should work on your creative skills. For example, I really like to send videos. After sending them, I’ll call them and ask if they looked at the video. It’s a great icebreaker that helps me get a foot in the door.

If you’re creative and stand out from the crowd, you’ll be more successful.

Read also: 8 Business Development Skills you should master

What does a normal office day look like for you?

In the morning, I’ll send some emails, and work on a PowerPoint. I do have many meetings during the day. So, in between meetings, I’ll do cold-calling or look for new people to contact. Every day is different. I also do sales in addition to my Business Development Representative role.

What are your goals for the next three to six months?

I’d like to get better at what I do, obviously. My goal is to become an Account Executive. To learn more. So, getting more knowledge about sales in general.

What’s your advice to someone starting out in business development?

Just call people. 99% of them are nice to you. If they’re not nice to you, always be nicer. Or email them. Don’t be afraid.

Would you like to learn more about a successful career in business development?

Then, join our personalized learning platform and become a business development pro!

What’s it like to work as a business development representative? Read more in this exclusive interview with Nienke Vonk, BDR at Appronto.

Business Development Representatives are popular figures in the tech world. They are the first point of contact for a potential customer. Specifically, they cold call and cold email people to create new opportunities.

One of their main responsibilities is to qualify leads from their marketing campaigns. And once they qualify a potential customer, they coordinate a meeting for them with an Account Executive.

In this way, they help shape the overall sales strategy for a company.

So, to understand more about the different business development roles, we decided to ask directly to people working in the field every day.

In this new series called “Ask the BD”, we ask business development pros to tell us more about their challenges, strategies, and tasks they do on a daily basis. So you can have a better understanding of this field and decide if it’s the right career choice for you.

Our first guest is Nienke Vonk.

Nienke is based in the Netherlands. She works as a Business Development Representative for Appronto.

Keep on reading to find out more about the business development representative role.

How did you learn about business development?

Before my Master’s, I took up a job in telemarketing. And I really liked IT and telemarketing. But I wanted something more to do. I searched for a business development role, and that’s how I landed in business development.

What is your definition of business development?

Business development for me involves creating opportunities. We are a partner of Mendix, which is an application development platform. So, we do IT projects to create applications for businesses.

Business development for me is getting in touch with people, mostly IT managers to get to know what the IT landscape looks like. Also, to nurture them to see if there’s an opportunity in the near future. Then qualify them to see if we could work together, if so I connect the prospect to the Account Executive.

What’s your favorite thing about working as a Business Development Representative?

My favorite thing about working as a Business Development Representative is getting to know the company and especially the people behind the company. I really like to help other organizations to become better versions of themselves, to help them reach the next level, achieve their goals, and be a part of it.

Where do you find information on business development?

I use mainly LinkedIn where I’m a member of a BDR group. Also, I have industry-specific subscriptions. Of course, I use Google searches and learn from other business development professionals and how they work.

Read also: How to learn business development

What are some challenges you face in your work?

They used to be gatekeepers. You know, when you call the office and you find someone that filters out the calls. Now I try to call mostly cellphone numbers, so I don’t have to convince the gatekeeper and I can speak directly to the right person.

However, the biggest challenge is getting “No’s” all the time.

Nienke Vonk, BDR at Appronto

How do you solve problems like these?

I seek help from others. For example, I ask my manager: “How would you tackle this?”. Or brainstorm with colleagues and research online.

What’s your proudest accomplishment so far?

My proudest accomplishment is scheduling appointments with great organizations. Sometimes it can be hard to reach them, so I’m happy when they accept to talk further. My ambition is to become an Account Executive. So I’m learning more about the sales cycle as well now.

What are some skills business developers should have?

If you have experience with cold-calling, it will help you a lot.

You should not be afraid to cold-call people.

Nienke Vonk BDR at Appronto

This is a skill that every business development professional should have. Also, you should work on your creative skills. For example, I really like to send videos. After sending them, I’ll call them and ask if they looked at the video. It’s a great icebreaker that helps me get a foot in the door.

If you’re creative and stand out from the crowd, you’ll be more successful.

Read also: 8 Business Development Skills you should master

What does a normal office day look like for you?

In the morning, I’ll send some emails, and work on a PowerPoint. I do have many meetings during the day. So, in between meetings, I’ll do cold-calling or look for new people to contact. Every day is different. I also do sales in addition to my Business Development Representative role.

What are your goals for the next three to six months?

I’d like to get better at what I do, obviously. My goal is to become an Account Executive. To learn more. So, getting more knowledge about sales in general.

What’s your advice to someone starting out in business development?

Just call people. 99% of them are nice to you. If they’re not nice to you, always be nicer. Or email them. Don’t be afraid.

Would you like to learn more about a successful career in business development?

Then, join our personalized learning platform and become a business development pro!

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Author

Egzon Syla

Content Writer at The BD School

I’m a passionate storyteller who believes in the power of the written word. I like creating content that is relatable, honest and original to help you become a more successful business development pro.

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