Remember when the only thing that news reporters had to think about was writing a story that would work for the morning paper? Today, reporters need a working knowledge of best practices for creating digital content, leveraging social media, and building their platforms to connect directly with their audience.

In the same way, the traditional “sales” role is evolving. For most industries, gone are the days where salespeople simply show up, get a list of prospects, and execute the same sales pitch over and over again. Today’s business development professionals must be more savvy, especially when it comes to understanding marketing.

4 Marketing Skills Every Business Development Professional Needs

So what are the marketing skills that are becoming more and more important for business development professionals? Here are four I’m noticing:

1. Writing

No matter what you’re selling, you need writing skills to succeed as a salesperson. Email is just one example of how this plays out for many of today’s business development professionals. Clear, concise writing is an invaluable skill to communicate efficiently and be understood.

2. Social Media

Social media marketing is an important skill to help you find clients or increase your influence in the industry. It’s not something that’s solely a responsibility of marketing anymore. Learning how to use social media to listen to potential customers, build relationships, and add value to your industry have become critically important skills.

3. Storytelling

Marketers have always been great at storytelling. For salespeople, learning how to tell stories can be an incredibly valuable skill. In the book Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath note that 63% of attendees remember stories after a sales presentation. Only 5% remember statistics.

4. Using Analytics

Marketing analytics such web behavior data, website engagement, purchase history, etc. is incredibly valuable information for salespeople. Knowing how to draw actionable insights from analytics data to become more attractive to potential employers has become an essential aspect of selling for business development professionals.

Taking the time to develop these skills will not only improve your ability to close more deals, it will also make you a more valuable salesperson.

What are some other marketing-related skills that have become increasingly important for business development professionals?