Are you ready to hire a Business Development Graduate?

Are you ready to hire a Business Development Graduate?

Many businesses, particularly in the fast-growing SAAS sales business, are looking to hire business development graduates who can help sell products and connect to clients. Hiring the right graduate can significantly impact your business sales results, so this article discusses what you should look for when hiring a business development graduate.

Based on our experience of placing successful graduates, we have written this blog to assist you in thinking about what you might be looking for in a business development graduate hire.

Six traits to look out for in a graduate who will succeed in business development:

  1. Natural selling ability: It is essential that your selected business development graduate has solid natural sales and people skills. You’ll be able to identify this quite quickly during their interview process by how well they sell themselves is a good indicator of ability.
  2. Resilience: They must maintain positivity and momentum when repeatedly getting rejected or disappointed, and not take rejection personally. 
  3. Problem-solving: They must also be able to pitch the product/service to prospective customers in a way that solves their problems and addresses their pain points, as well as be strategic in their sales pipelines and when contacting prospective clients. Overcoming client objections through quick thinking will be key to their success.
  4. Relationship building: The potential candidate must effectively build relationships with clients. How warm and likeable is the graduate? Relationship management can be taught according to your specific procedure, but relationship building is a trait that comes from human connection and understanding of the value of relationships.
  5. Negotiation skills: Negotiation skills can be taught, yet some people naturally thrive on negotiation and the challenge of closing a deal. Understanding that “everything is negotiable” is a mindset that will serve the company well.
  6. Communication skills: Sales is all about communicating well, whether verbally or written. Something to consider is if a person has a neutral accent, mainly if they will be communicating via a telephone with a myriad of people. South African graduates often have a neutral accent and are hired to call prospective international clients. 
  7. Energised by people: Business development requires large amounts of people interaction daily. Once you’ve determined the skills required for the job, write the job description and send it to us.


Here is an example of a business development job description:

This is an exciting opportunity for graduates with a passion for business development and a drive to succeed. With this role, you will be at the forefront of delivering innovative solutions, strategies and campaigns to our clients. You will have the chance to learn from senior team members, build relationships with key stakeholders and drive sales forward. You can read on to learn more about this job role and how you could take the next step into business development.


Job description

In your role as a Business Development Graduate, you will be responsible for supporting the Business Development team in all aspects of their work. This will include conducting market research, preparing presentations and proposals, calling clients, coordinating events and activities, and providing administrative support.

You will need to be an excellent communicator, both written and verbal, as well as be highly organised and able to work well under pressure. You must also be comfortable working with various people, including clients and senior staff members.

This is an exciting role to learn about all aspects of business sales and gain valuable experience in a fast-paced environment. This could be your perfect role if you are a motivated individual with strong interpersonal skills.


Qualifications required

For software as a service (SAAS) sales graduates, you may require IT or other qualifications. Complete the qualifications as required.


Skills required

If you're thinking of a career in business development and sales, you'll need excellent communication, negotiation and presentation skills. You should enjoy speaking to people and be challenged by the opportunity to convince someone to buy our product.  As a business development graduate, you'll be responsible for generating new business opportunities and developing relationships with new and existing clients.

To succeed in this role, you'll need to be able to identify potential customers, call them, build relationships and close deals. You'll need to be proactive, tenacious, resilient and capable of working under pressure. If you're looking for a challenging and exciting role with excellent earning potential, this could be for you. 


Key responsibilities of a business development sales graduate:

  • As a business development sales graduate, your key responsibilities will be to:
  • Contact new customers and develop relationships with them
  • Build and maintain a strong pipeline of potential customers
  • Conduct market research to identify new business opportunities
  • Negotiate contracts with customers and suppliers
  • Develop and implement sales strategies
  • Achieve sales targets


The importance of developing a graduate pipeline strategy

Have you considered implementing a graduate pipeline strategy to narrow the skills gap? In an ideal world, it would be great to always have a steady flow of qualified graduate candidates to extract talent from. 

​​As a starting point, it might be a good idea to consider the following when building a graduate pipeline for your business:

  • Be data driven by identifying the metrics in quality of hire overriding the time it takes to hire. 
  • Ensure your company culture is suitable for graduate hiring.
  • Which areas in your business will benefit from hiring graduates?
  • Identify potential challenges and provide safety net solutions to overcome them.
  • Partner with a specialist graduate recruiter like RecruitAGraduate to fill the pipeline. 

Hire a Business Development Graduate

If you are unsure how to hire Business Development Graduates, ask us. We are a specialist graduate recruitment agency based in South Africa. We place thousands of people into jobs. 


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