Career Development

What Does a Business Development Executive Do?

Find out what a business development executive does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a business development executive.

Business development executives (BDEs) are the driving force behind new business growth. They’re responsible for identifying, cultivating and closing deals with potential clients or customers.

Business development executives work in a variety of industries—from technology to healthcare to finance—but they all have one thing in common: they help their company grow by finding new ways to generate revenue.

Business Development Executive Job Duties

A business development executive typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing support to sales staff by conducting research and providing information on prospective clients or markets
  • Meeting with prospective clients to determine their needs and interests, identifying potential sales opportunities, and recommending solutions
  • Coordinating with marketing teams to create materials such as brochures and advertisements that support sales efforts
  • Conducting research on competitors’ products and services to identify opportunities for improving the company’s offerings
  • Developing and implementing marketing plans for new products or services by establishing relationships with potential clients and identifying potential areas of interest for them
  • Assisting with the development of proposals to be submitted to potential clients
  • Preparing reports summarizing sales activities and results for managers’ review
  • Meeting regularly with existing clients to ensure they are satisfied with services provided
  • Helping develop proposals for new business opportunities by identifying potential clients and researching their needs

Business Development Executive Salary & Outlook

Business development executives’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $82,500 ($39.66/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $207,000 ($99.52/hour)

The employment of business development executives is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for these workers will be driven by the need for new products and services as well as by the desire to expand into new markets. Business development executives will be needed to help their companies stay competitive in a global economy.

Business Development Executive Job Requirements

A business development executive typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Business development executives are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or a related field. Some companies prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). An MBA is a two-year program that includes coursework in finance, accounting, marketing, human resources and business law.

Training & Experience: Business development executives typically receive on-the-job training in the form of an orientation period with a company. This training period allows the business development executive to learn about the company’s products and services, the target market, the competition and the current marketing strategies. The business development executive will also learn about the company’s goals and objectives, and they will work with the current sales team to develop a plan for increasing sales.

Certifications & Licenses: Professional certifications can validate a professional’s qualifications to current and future employers. Business development executives can earn certifications to gain more practical knowledge of their daily responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Business Development Executive Skills

Business development executives need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is another important skill for business development executives. You may use communication skills to present proposals to clients, negotiate contracts and communicate with other members of your company. Effective communication can help you persuade clients to try new products, agree to contracts and provide feedback on ideas.

Relationship building: Relationship building is the ability to form and maintain professional connections with others. Business development executives use this skill to build trust with potential clients and encourage them to work with the company. They also use this skill to build relationships with other businesses to form partnerships that can help their company grow.

Strategic thinking: Business development executives need to be strategic thinkers to develop plans for increasing sales and growing their company’s market share. Strategic thinking involves considering all aspects of a situation and finding the best course of action.

Problem-solving: Business development executives often work with sales teams to help clients find solutions to their problems. For example, if a client is interested in a product but isn’t sure if it’s the right fit, a business development executive might work with a sales representative to help the client find a solution.

Leadership: Leadership skills can help you develop business relationships and encourage collaboration among your team. As a business development executive, you might be responsible for managing a team of sales representatives or marketing professionals. Leadership skills can help you motivate your team and encourage them to work together to meet company goals.

Business Development Executive Work Environment

Business development executives typically work in an office environment, although they may travel frequently to meet with clients or potential clients. They usually work regular business hours, although they may occasionally work evenings or weekends to attend events or meet deadlines. Business development executives may work under a great deal of pressure to meet sales targets or deadlines. They may also experience stress due to the competitive nature of the business world.

Business Development Executive Trends

Here are three trends influencing how business development executives work. Business development executives will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for a More Strategic Approach to Sales

The role of the sales professional is changing. In order to be successful, they need to adopt a more strategic approach to selling that focuses on long-term relationships rather than just making a quick sale.

Business development executives can capitalize on this trend by developing skills in areas such as marketing and product development. This will allow them to help their company develop products that are more aligned with customer needs and create lasting relationships with customers.

More Focus on Digital Marketing

As businesses continue to focus on digital marketing, the need for business development executives who are skilled in digital marketing will continue to grow.

Business development executives who are able to utilize digital marketing tools and platforms will be in high demand, as they will be able to help businesses reach new customers and generate leads online. Additionally, businesses are increasingly looking for professionals who can help them manage their social media channels, which requires strong communication and organizational skills.

A Greater Emphasis on Customer Experience

Customer experience has become an increasingly important factor in determining the success of a business. As a result, business development executives need to be aware of how to create a positive customer experience.

This means that business development executives need to be able to understand what customers want and how to meet those needs. They also need to be able to communicate with customers effectively and be able to track customer feedback.

How to Become a Business Development Executive

A business development executive (BDE) career can be a great way to start your career in business. As a BDE, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about different industries and companies, develop relationships with key decision makers, and hone your sales skills.

To become a BDE, it’s important to have a strong foundation in business fundamentals. This includes having an understanding of marketing, finance, and operations. You should also be able to communicate effectively and build relationships with people at all levels of an organization.

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance in this career is to get more experience. Business development executives with more experience are more likely to be promoted to higher positions. They may also be given more responsibility, such as leading a team of salespeople or managing a larger territory. As they gain experience, business development executives may also move into other related positions, such as marketing or product development.

Those who are interested in moving into management may want to get a master’s degree in business administration. This will give them the skills they need to manage a team of salespeople or a larger territory. Those who want to move into marketing may want to get a master’s degree in marketing. This will give them the skills they need to develop marketing campaigns and to understand consumer behavior.

Business Development Executive Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re looking for a Business Development Executive (BDE) to join our team and help us continue our rapid growth. The BDE will be responsible for generating new business opportunities by identifying, developing, and closing new accounts. He or she will work closely with the sales team to develop and execute sales strategies, as well as with the marketing team to develop and implement marketing plans. The ideal candidate will have at least 3 years of sales or business development experience, with a proven track record of achieving or exceeding quotas. He or she will be a self-starter with strong negotiation and closing skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute business development plans to identify and pursue new sales opportunities
  • Research and build relationships with potential customers, partners, and investors
  • Negotiate and close deals that drive revenue growth
  • Achieve quarterly and annual sales targets
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and news to identify new business opportunities
  • Attend trade shows, conferences, and other events to network and build relationships
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key decision-makers at target accounts
  • Generate leads through market research, cold-calling, and email campaigns
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to prospective customers and partners
  • Write proposals and contracts
  • Manage the entire sales cycle from prospecting to close
  • Provide accurate forecasting and pipeline reporting to upper management

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Minimum 5 years in a sales leadership role with a proven track record of success
  • Experience developing and executing business strategy
  • Demonstrated ability to manage budgets and P&L
  • Proven experience building and leading high-performing teams
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA—or equivalent advanced degree
  • 10+ years in a sales leadership role
  • Experience in the software industry
  • Strong technical background and understanding of software development
  • Experience with CRM software, such as Salesforce

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