A Day in the Life of a Business Development Director: Mohammad Zughayer

July 19 2020

We spent some time catching up with Mohammad Zughayer, Business Development Director for the leading tech startup, arabot, to gain some insight on the complexities of the world of Business Development.

Mohammad, you’ve been working at arabot for two years now. How are you liking it so far?

I am almost in my 2nd year with arabot. For the last 20 months I have taken the role of Business Development Director. I am responsible for approaching new customers and helping to guide them on finding an appropriate chatbot solution for their business.

I enjoy working here so much! The quality of work I’ve seen is excellent and it becomes easier to work since the goals they lay out are crystal clear. I also like how I’m given freedom to work on what I want and can request a change anytime. Plus, I’ve known our CEO, Abdallah Faza, for a long time since we professionally worked together in the past and he’s a great mentor, so the learning opportunities are unbelievable.

arabot office

How do you start your working day?

My work schedule varies according to the projects I’m working on. So far, I've come in as early as 7am and as late as 11 pm. As a BD, my day usually starts around 8am with my phone & laptop up and running, I spend time during the morning preparing quotations for enquiries that I can receive during anytime of the day. I may also have meetings with a potential new customer ensuring that I have all the relevant information required for the customer’s needs or requests.

Once I arrive at the office, I take a few minutes to get situated and prioritize my tasks for the day. I start my day by fixing myself a cup of coffee and then I check my calendar to see if I have any meetings on that day to have a better overview of how my work fits into the greater plan. My afternoon usually involves preparing presentations for business demo meetings related to the projects that I'm working on.

I check email and my schedule to make sure that I don't have anything pending, and then I head outside for lunch. We have a lot of flexibility in how we manage our diaries, which means you can structure your day in a way which works for you. By the end of the day, I update our records using Salesforce.

Why do you like working for arabot?

I really enjoy working for arabot, I have had many challenges and have had great pleasure in helping our customers thrive and develop, and every day has different challenges, you never get bored! I can envision a lot of interesting opportunities for personal and professional growth with arabot.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside of work?

I enjoy travelling, and try to jet off somewhere warm and sunny whenever I get the chance.

Mohammad Zughayer

What does your role as a Business Development Director at arabot entail?

I’m responsible for lead generation and bringing new customers to the table. I make many phone calls a day to prospective customers who are shippers and manufacturers across the UAE and the MENA region. In my current role, I’m responsible for the overall management of strategic and operational marketing and customer relationship activities. I’m very glad to be working at arabot since they provide me the right resources to succeed and create long-term value from customers, markets and relationships.

Do you have any advice for those interested in pursuing a business development career?

I would say that if you are seeking a challenging and varied role which looks to make a real difference in addressing issues at an individual level, then Business Development is worth considering. To be successful in this role, you have to be patient, ambitious and persistent and you have to have the drive to succeed.

Preparation is critical for potential meetings. You have to be perceptive and help the prospect feel that you’re interested in their problem and what they are looking to achieve. One of the important elements to succeed in this position is to always follow up and be very proactive in communication and set commitments and expectations that you can definitely satisfy. Lastly, don’t forget to bring an optimistic and enthusiastic excitement to the table all the way through.

What’s the best part of your role?

I couldn’t mention just one! There are a number of things I enjoy in my role, networking and meeting new people, speaking at events and conferences and gaining great satisfaction from seeing new clients benefiting from our services, to name but a few!

I believe that understanding business verticals is an important component of a company's product development to fully meet their consumers' needs. In my current role, I enjoy learning about product and business verticals and competitor acknowledgment, and I’ve gained new experience and expertise talking to customers in automotive and telecommunication industries as it gives me an opportunity to explore new opportunities for digital transformation which ultimately contributes to increased success and exposure in the market.

It has been a real joy being able to offer our specialized AI-powered products and services to some of the biggest names out there and build strong relationships with customers and partners.

arabot office

What was your background before joining arabot?

I have close to 13 years’ experience within the tech industry, including contact centers, Artificial Intelligence customer interaction and digital transformation.

Prior to joining arabot, I held several senior positions in Jordan and the UAE where I designed and implemented strategic sales plans to capture key demographics and managed the customer experience life cycle from start to finish, which really helped me to understand the needs of the industry and prepared me for the sales aspect of my current role.

What are some of the challenges in your role as a BD?

The COVID-19 pandemic affected a lot of industries, but it has also presented an exciting opportunity since there is an increased demand for our products and technologies. It’s obvious messaging has an important part to play for both consumers and brands alike. However, we still face a challenge in helping customers understand the need for chatbots and the benefits of this relatively new technology for businesses in a time of rapid digital change.

What time do you usually finish work?

I like to pause in the evening and spend some time with my family but it all depends on how busy I’ve been during the day. I could finish as late as 9pm some days.

arabot office

What's your best piece of advice for companies trying to improve their work environment?

Businesses need to scope and define pain points in order to address employees’ needs properly and add value. Employees need to know how to work under pressure, be patient and learn how to approach uncomfortable situations with confidence, and they’ll find themselves much more at peace with their job.

As an entrepreneur, I know that I need to make sacrifices and take some time off my weekends to work on projects. Sometimes, I think about business even when I’m away from the office. Part of being an entrepreneur means stepping out of your comfort zone, often multiple times every day.