What Does A Business Development Manager Do?

business development manager

A business development manager, or BDM is responsible for strategic planning, sales management, and identifying new clients to drive organizational growth.

If strategic planning, goal setting, and collaborating with both internal and external stakeholders appeal to you, consider a career path as a business development manager. As part of the sales team, you will play a pivotal role in identifying leads, presenting proposals to potential clients, nurturing relationships with customers and colleagues. Business development serves as the cornerstone of an organization’s growth and success.

Let’s delve deeper into this job profile.

Who is a Business Development Manager?

Business Development Managers are the integral members of the Go-To-Market (GTM) team, play a crucial role in expanding a company’s client base. Their responsibilities include creating lists of potential sales leads and pitching to them to secure new clients.

In sales terms, they guide prospects through the sales funnel to becoming valued customers. This role demands a range of business skills, including strategic planning, project management, and effective negotiation.

Tasks and Responsibilities of a BDM

While the role will differs depending on the company and the industry, the typical responsibilities of a BDM include:

  • Identifying lucrative prospects in your target markets for your organization’s offerings.
  • Generating leads by cold calling potential clients or networking at industry events.
  • Cultivating relationships with crucial customer accounts.
  • Staying updated on industry trends and competitive positioning.
  • Evaluating client requirements and the company’s capacity to fulfill them.
  • Following up on leads and referrals from the sales team.
  • Compiling progress reports on objectives.
  • Utilizing CRM software like Salesforce to streamline interactions.
  • Training the team to strengthen their skills and improve workforce capabilities.

Successful business development managers often progress into higher-level positions, such as  senior business development manager and sales manager.

What Skills Are Required To Become A Business Development Manager?

To become a business development manager, you would need the following skills:

  1. Strong Communication

Business development managers engage with a diverse range of professionals, stakeholders, and business owners on a daily basis. Having strong verbal and written communication skills is essential for effectively sending and receiving messages in this role.

  1. Problem-Solving

As a business development manager, one must possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills. This comprises carefully analyzing business operations to identify issues and finding effective strategies to address and resolve them.

  1. Interpersonal skills

For individuals serving as a BDM, strong interpersonal skills are essential for promoting productive relationships with diverse professionals. Business development managers should excel in customer support, gaining buyers’ confidence by attentively addressing specific concerns, posing relevant questions, and guiding them through the sales process.

  1. Decision-making

The decisions taken by a business development manager can significantly impact a company’s growth. They frequently must devise rapid, feasible solutions.

  1. Computer Skills

Even if you’re collaborating with a team of IT professionals, having a foundation in computer literacy can greatly enhance your success in this field. These skills prove invaluable for tasks like analysis, research, and communication.

  1. Negotiation Skills

In this position, you will need to convince your fellow professionals  to see things from your perspective. It’s crucial to construct compelling arguments backed by evidence during negotiations, using engaging conversational techniques to invoke curiosity and capture interest.

  1. Strategic Thinking

Business development managers thrive when they can navigate both short-term challenges and long-term strategies. A key responsibility is analyzing current strategies, improving them, and anticipating future obstacles.

  1. Time Management

In this line of work, maintaining a set daily schedule can be challenging. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and creatively solve new problems, known as flexibility, plays a crucial role in navigating such situations.

  1. Self-Motivated

As a successful BDM, you must be driven by goals and commissions. Professionals who possess determination and motivation consistently push themselves to achieve success.

  1. Organization

Professionals who pursue this career path need to juggle a lot of work, including adeptly managing multiple clients, attending both on and off site meetings, and meeting deadlines. Individuals with exceptional organizational skills are best equipped to handle the various aspects of their job and ensuring that client proposals and other tasks are completed on schedule.

 The Top Three Skills For A Business Development Executive

The primary skills for a business development executive comprises sales, marketing and business intelligence. These professionals are responsible for identifying the target audience, finding opportunities, and enhancing the possibilities of business growth.

Sales and marketing expertise are crucial for expanding operations, developing brand promotion strategies, and acquiring new customers.

To have good business intelligence, one must be able to closely understand the specific needs of a company and its primary competitors in terms of business development. Business intelligence is important for drawing valuable insights from available data and resources.

And to develop this skill, keeping abreast of major developments in your business sector is the key.

Work Settings For A Business Development Manager

Business managers typically work full-time, Monday through Friday. However, their work environments can vary. Some work in office settings, while others work entirely from home or split their time between the two. Additionally, professionals in this field often travel for conferences, client meetings, and conventions.

BDMs work in a range of industry verticals, including:

  •   Software and hardware
  •   Staffing
  •   Cybersecurity
  •   Construction
  •   Healthcare
  •   Financial services
  •   E-commerce

Why Pursue A Career As A Business Development Manager?

A role as a business development manager suits individuals who are extroverted, intrigued by sales tactics, and thrive on interpersonal interactions. Successful business development managers embrace the challenge of prospecting and handle rejection with poise, viewing each “no” as a step closer to a “yes.” They relish collaborating within a team to develop and implement business growth strategies.

Business Development Management Salary

According to PayScale, the median salary for business managers in July 2020 was approximately $73,000. Those in the bottom 10% of the salary range earned about $45,000 while those in the top 10% earned around $122,000. Compensation packages for business development managers typically include a base salary along with commission.

It is worth noting that business development manager salary can vary depending upon the industry, overall experience, and location.

How To Become A Business Development Manager?

To become a business development manager, follow these steps:

1. Complete Your Senior Secondary Education

To get started with your career as a BDM, you should choose commerce, economics or accounting as subjects in 10+2. You can also pursue courses that focus on business, sales, or marketing. Renowned colleges in these streams often set minimum board exam percentages (cut-off) that you must meet to qualify for admission.

2. Acquire A Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or finance can significantly boost your career prospects in this field. To enroll in an undergraduate program, you typically need a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in a recognized board examination.

It’s true that some institutions give admissions based on entrance exams. However, most institutions consider  a candidate’s performance in board examinations. To pursue your career as a BDM, consider the following degrees:

  •   BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)
  •   BA (Bachelor of Arts) in mass communication
  •   BBA in business management
  •   BSc in accountancy
  •   BBA in marketing
  •   BSc (Bachelor of Science) in finance
  •   BBA in human resources management

3. Get Relevant Work Experience

As you progress through your studies or after graduation, consider completing internships to gain insight into job roles and work cultures. To qualify for a business development manager position at a large or reputable firm, gaining a few years of work experience and securing letters of recommendation may be necessary. Enhance your job prospects by collecting client testimonials and references, which provide hiring managers with a deeper understanding of your qualifications.

As you familiarize yourself with the role, it can be significant in gaining working knowledge of computer applications like spreadsheets, word processing software, social media and other communication tools.

This practical knowledge will support your success in the BDMs position. Additionally, gaining insights into marketing and sales strategies will prepare you for executing successful business expansion in the future.

4. Take Online Certification Course For Additional Skills

In addition to formal education, consider pursuing certifications to enhance your resume. Platforms such as Udemy and Coursera offer convenient short courses for continuous learning. Include these certifications on your CV to showcase your industry knowledge and commitment to your career as a BDM.

For more such informational blogs on various career prospects, keep following Easy Management Notes.

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Joe David