This week, Baseline celebrates National Administrative Professionals Week, recognizing the professionals who keep our offices running smoothly every day. Today is National Administrative Professionals Day! All this week, Baseline celebrates these professionals. While Baseline doesn’t have secretaries, this week recognizes the work of our admin team, which includes a variety of talents: office managers, HR, marketing, business development, accounting, and leadership.
Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.
As long as we have had business, we have had some form or another of business development (BD). Even in the times of agriculture farmers looked for opportunity in new crops and tools as well as when they had surplus to trade. The Iron Age brought new tools and more efficient practices; however, what truly changed the face of business was the invention of coinage. It increased the economic importance of business in Greek and Roman city states. This allowed for another form of business aside from bartering. Economic exchange became quicker and values for supply and demand improved. Business owners could seek out new opportunities and expand operations. However, the dedicated role of a business development professional wasn’t officially introduced until much later. As globalization became more prevalent and business grew the need for a person dedicated to building relationships and furthering opportunities. Now, we rely on our business development professionals to ensure the business grows and maintains successful partnerships.
The one core responsibility of business development is to grow business. The strategies to operationalize and accomplish this goal will vary greatly across industries, but the idea is generally the same for all companies. Business development professionals need to stay knowledgeable about the current market in order to effectively target opportunities for growth. This means having expert knowledge of your target audience and engaging with (yes, this means cold-calling) prospects in order to generate new business. Every business needs to acquire new customers to grow, but not every potential customer is going to be the right fit for your business. Evaluating whether or not a prospect is qualified to buy what your business is selling is essential to business development.
Day to day, these prospecting activities are carried out by BD. Typically, BD is responsible for prospecting and qualifying leads before handing them off to the sales team to nurture the relationship and close the deal. This process is crucial in keeping the company’s revenue engine running and creating long-term value. At Baseline, our BD manager, Deanne Frederickson, explores new opportunities and clients, she also helps to close the deal on projects that make sense for both the client and the company—creating successful partnerships that last longer than the immediate project at hand.
Survey the Admin Team
National Administrative Professionals Week, celebrated annually during the last week of April, to acknowledge the services performed by this group. This year’s event takes place April 20-24, 2020. In honor of National Administrative Professionals Week and the important role our admins have played in our firm’s success, we recently sat down with members of our admin staff to learn more about their profession/role at Baseline.
Baseline’s admin team were asked to reflect upon their professional experiences, and answer questions in our “Survey the Admins.” Check out what our admins had to say each day this week for their survey responses. Today, we feature Deanne Frederickson, Baseline’s business development manager!
- Please tell us about yourself and your background and how you came to Baseline: I have a rather eclectic background that set the foundation for where I am today. In my early years, I worked in the Gas Distribution Engineering Department at Public Service Company. I didn’t want anyone to know I could type for fear it would lead me down a more “secretarial” path. So, I purposely blew the typing test, I was placed as a dispatcher for the underground utility locators. During my lunch hours, I learned how to draft and applied for – and was given- a promotion to the Drafting Department (I became the first woman drafter!!). I actually drew subdivisions from legal descriptions using a Machine and a Leroy. (That REALLY dates me…). From there, I qualified for a position in the Real Estate and Asset Management Division, doing facilities planning.
Fast forward to an opportunity to go to college full-time as (what we called ourselves) a chronologically disadvantaged student (Ok, OLD). I graduated from CSU with my degree in Landscape Architecture. The first few years out of college, I worked on a team of planners to create what is now known as the Colorado Scenic Byway program. I also worked on Comprehensive Plans for Avon, Westminster, and Brighton. Land development was really my niche and my career focus for the last 20+ years. I worked on commercial and residential projects primarily in Northern Colorado.
My entrepreneurial spirit grew when I opened my own consulting business in 2000. Marketing, contracting, project management, project delivery, hiring, firing, accounting and collections gave me a deep understanding of how the system works – and an appreciation for each business aspect. I firmly believe no function is more important than the other. I sold my business to my business partner and went to work in the agricultural industry. My roots are entirely urban and my decision to become an Aggie was due primarily to professional curiosity. I developed deep respect for our farmers, but knew my best work would be in a more urban setting.
Baseline gives me an opportunity to express my entrepreneurial spirit, to practice stewardship of my surroundings, and to continue professional growth.
- What is the most rewarding aspect of your position? Winning work shows a level of confidence in our team by our client.
- What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your position? Making cold calls to prospective clients who don’t yet know they are in need of our services.
- What advice you give someone who would like to do what you do? Have an open mind. Listen carefully to find the heart of the problem in order to find a true solution.
- Please share a funny or interesting story about your role (doesn’t have to be at Baseline). Sales isn’t something that most people sign up for. We all have experiences with the classic used car salesperson that causes us to cringe at the thought of having to interact with this person, let alone BE this person. Honestly, when I first considered the role of “business development manager,” I had more of my friends and family ask “Are you out of your mind?” We have all had those experiences when the conversation begins and ends with our response to a pushy sales person, “I’m just looking.” Which, we all know, is probably a lie. We wouldn’t be “just looking” if we hadn’t first considered actually buying. The thing is, the pushy used car salesman is thinking more about himself, than he is about you, the buyer. He is filled with the “hopium” of thinking if he talks you into doing something, he gets paid. This never ends well, and it most definitely doesn’t lead to repeat business.
My job is all about problem seeking. I enjoy conversations that lead to a clear understanding of why we’re even talking in the first place, what is the possible solution being sought, is Baseline the best fit for the needs being expressed, and finally, is the current situation the best fit for Baseline? Can you imagine what buying a used car would be like if the sales person actually cared about you, the buyer, and whether or not the current inventory met your needs or expectations? Seems like we wouldn’t avoid the salesperson any more. In fact, I believe we would seek them out to find out more about what they have to offer.