Career Development

Business Development Manager Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More

The role of a business development manager is one that requires a unique combination of skills. It’s essentially about selling an idea, but it also requires strong analytical and critical thinking skills.

The role of a business development manager is one that requires a unique combination of skills. It’s essentially about selling an idea, but it also requires strong analytical and critical thinking skills.

Business development managers are specialists in the field of business development; they are responsible for finding new ways to grow or evolve their company’s business. These may include developing strategies to target new clients, finding new revenue streams, establishing new partnerships, exploring mergers and acquisitions opportunities, etc. They not only play an active role in determining which new opportunities to pursue, but also in helping to implement these plans into action.

Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a business development manager and what it takes to become one yourself.

Business Development Manager Job Duties

Business development managers are responsible for the following:

  • Establishing and maintaining productive relationships with clients to help them achieve their goals
  • Helping clients with product selection, providing them with consultation related to various management issues, and aiding them in managing their businesses
  • Developing sales leads based on the client’s needs, interests, or brand preferences
  • Selling new products or services that meet the customer’s goals or satisfy an unmet need
  • Managing the sales cycle from start to finish by following up on leads provided by marketing efforts and using time management skills to ensure they are able to stay on top of all incoming leads
  • Improving client retention rates through cross selling opportunities
  • Ensuring the client has adequate knowledge of any new products or services they have purchased so they can use these offerings effectively

Business Development Manager Salary & Outlook

The median annual wage for business development managers is $73,119. The highest earners make over $146,000 per year. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the finance and insurance industry.

Job opportunities for business development managers are expected to decline over the next decade. This is due to the growing popularity of technology that allows companies to market their products and services without hiring a manager. Business development will continue to be an important function of businesses, but it will become less of a hands-on role and more of a strategic one.

Business Development Manager Job Requirements

The requirements for business development managers are as follows:

Education: Business development managers usually need a bachelor’s degree in marketing, management, or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates with an MBA.

Experience: Business development managers usually start out as account executives or in other sales positions and work their way up to this position.

Certifications & Licenses: The business development manager field has several certifications that show an employee’s competency in the position. These certifications include Certified Business Development Manager, Certified Professional Sales Person and Project Management Professional.

Business Development Manager Skills

A business development manager should possess the following skills:

Communication skills: The ability to communicate with customers, colleagues, and superiors is crucial for this job.

Leadership skills: A business development manager must be able to lead a team and motivate his or her staff to perform well.

Business sense: Business development managers must have a good understanding of their company’s goals and how they relate to sales. They must also understand their customers needs and how those needs relate to the product or service being sold.

Creativity: Creativity is important because business development managers often come up with new ways to reach customers and solve problems. For example, if a customer has difficulty using a certain part of a product, the business development manager might come up with an alternative design that makes it easier for the customer to use.

Time management skills: The role requires individuals to manage time well, which includes planning projects and scheduling deadlines. In addition, they need good time management skills when dealing with clients because many of them will want updates on progress throughout the project’s duration. 

Business Development Manager Work Environment

Business development managers typically work in offices with other coworkers. Their schedules tend to be irregular, so they may work evenings or weekends on occasion. Business development managers spend much of their time talking on the telephone, meeting with clients and business partners, and traveling to meet new contacts.

The job can be stressful because many deals come down to the wire. Business development specialists can also feel stressed about whether or not their deals will lead to successful long-term relationships with clients.

Business Development Manager Career Advancement

If you want to advance in your career as a business development manager, you may want to do some networking and exploring of new opportunities. These managers may choose to move into a leadership position within their company or look for a challenge at a new company.

To improve your career prospects, consider taking courses in project management, marketing, and communication. This will help you work on your communication and presentation skills.

Eventually, you might become a VP of Sales & Business Development, a general manager, or a division manager. Each of these positions offers more responsibility and leadership opportunities. You might be responsible for leading a team or an entire division, as well as managing a budget and leading a team of strategic thinkers.

Business Development Manager Trends

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

Strategic Marketing

Marketing today is a more strategic, collaborative process than ever before. The shift from a focus on advertising to a focus on building a brand has been made possible largely by the development of new tools that allow businesses to measure the success of their efforts in real-time.

In addition, social media platforms have also changed the way that companies reach customers, making it necessary for business development managers to be able to create strong relationships with customers and influencers who can help spread the word about their brand’s message.

Increasing Importance of Cultural Sensitivity

To stay competitive in the business world, business development managers will need to work on their cultural sensitivity.

Globalization has led to an increased number of companies operating across borders, which means that managers must be aware of different cultures and customs in order to establish mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses and markets.

Increasing Focus on Sustainability

The rising popularity of environmental sustainability has led to an increased focus on finding ways to make businesses more sustainable.

In particular, this has lead to the rise of a new role—the sustainability consultant—which combines traditional business consulting with expertise in sustainable technologies and solutions. Business development managers may find themselves having to be aware of their business’s environmental impact to answer the concerns of potential clients.

How to Become a Business Development Manager

1. Planning Your Career Path

Business development managers work with internal teams to grow the company’s market share, so it is important to think about how you will motivate your colleagues and make them want to do their best work.

These positions often require knowledge of the industries in which the company operates, so it’s important to have a solid understanding of what you want to do before starting your job search. By getting more involved with the area of business, you will be able to better understand how to create strong relationships with clients. The more knowledge you gain about an industry, the easier it will be to build bridges between companies that need help growing and those that can provide solutions.

2. Writing a Resume

The best business development manager resumes should highlight an ability to increase sales and revenue, their ability to work with others, and ability to negotiate deals.

To demonstrate these skills, be sure to include specific examples of increasing customer satisfaction and market share. This could be done by comparing your previous job’s performance to that of your current or past employers’ performance. If you’ve created any new products or services, then be sure to include these in the description of your work history. Also include details of how you managed projects, your leadership ability in meetings and teams, and any sales awards/accolades you may have received.

Finally, make sure you include any certifications or awards that demonstrate your knowledge of the industry or company in question.

3. Applying for Jobs

The best way to land a job as a Business Development Manager is to become active in the business community. Attend local networking events, speak with local businesses, and network on social media to increase your visibility. This will help you make connections that may eventually lead to an offer. If you’re looking for a  managerial position, focus on connecting with as many people in your industry as possible. If you want to find a sales position, use networking as well as cold calling to try to set up informational interviews. 

While it’s true that you can apply directly to companies online, you should be selective about which companies you apply to. Think about the type of environment you’d be most comfortable working in. Does the company’s mission fit with your own personal goals? It’s helpful to research competitors so that you can understand what makes one business more successful than another. After submitting an application or being interviewed, make sure to follow up with an email or phone call. Keep notes about the people you want to contact again later.

4. Ace the Interview

An interview for a business development manager position will consist of questions about your experience, management style, what you’ve accomplished in the past, and what your expectations are for the future.

To craft your answers, it will help if you share anecdotes and specific examples from your previous work experiences. This will show the interviewer how you capably handled situations and worked with a team. Tailor specific responses and include measurable results, so your job qualifications will come through loud and clear.

Most interviewers will focus on two distinct aspects of the managerial experience—whether you get results and how well you deal with people. Both are equally important to prepare answers for.


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