Via Andrew Parker of Spark Capital, the key to business development is understanding your audience:
You need to recognize that the person sitting across from you at the table represents their company but will not necessarily act in their company’s best interests… Be brash enough to ask how that person is bonused. Be creative enough to strike a deal that makes that person look like a rockstar to his/her boss instead of designing the perfect deal for the partnering corporation.
The core of this idea is more broad than BD; rarely are organizational interests in perfect alignment with individual incentives. In product, marketing and sales—just like BD—and across companies of all sizes, this concept is the single biggest predictor of GSD.