To become a Business Development Manager, you must have an extensive education, experience, and track record in business administration, sales, marketing, or any other comparable field.

Working as a Business Development Manager may be intellectually demanding and fulfilling, especially in devising revenue-generating methods. 

BDMs are more prevalent and in demand nowadays as this position becomes more significant to organisations making strategic business-related choices.

Here's a closer look at what Business Development Managers are and do, and how to become one.

What is a Business Development Manager?

Business Development Managers negotiate with existing clientele or use their networks to locate and produce sales leads. You can think of them as marketing professionals responsible for promoting corporate expansion. Hence, this job holds a crucial position in the company as BDMs are in charge of establishing new revenue. 

Roles and Responsibilities

The main goal of a Business Development Manager is to acquire new clients and generate more revenue for the company. The methods that a BDM can use in achieving these goals would largely depend on the organisation's general strategic direction. 

business development manager roles

 

Finding new collaborations, segments, and ways to reach current markets aside, a Business Development Manager may also bring new customers on board by:

  • Fostering relationships with essential customers
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Monitoring emerging trends
  • Recommending products
  • Creating business alliance proposals, and 
  • Participating in the organisation's long-term growth initiatives

In addition, Business Development Managers serve as the point of contact for prospective clients and designated clientele — all while raising awareness about the company's products and services.

As a result, they decide how, when, where, and why a brand will grow.

For this reason, BDMs are responsible for creating business solutions. Their primary objective is to increase the company's income. They will create new sales concepts and handle customer accounts, including other sales tactics, proposals, and company ideas.

Business Development Managers are also the strategic brains behind driving corporate growth inside and outside the organisation to boost its profits, grow its business, and forge new commercial ties.

Specifically, a Business Development Manager’s tasks, roles, and responsibilities fall under three major parts — strategic planning, marketing and sales, and business partnerships.

Strategic planning

  • Establishing growth strategies and programs by evaluating and mapping the capabilities of the business and the demands of the consumer
  • Monitoring regional and global market trends and identifying how the organization should interpret and apply it
  • Brainstorming new project strategies with the business development team
  • Assessing budget and timetables for business development projects
  • Planning and analysing sales strategies and their potential outcomes
  • Establishing procedures to enhance customer experience and foster brand loyalty
  • Monitoring recent changes in the industry, including competitors' market positioning
  • Creating reports on the status of business development projects
  • Make sure all employees are on board and are aware of the need for change, including the expectations that the organisation has for them
  • Liaising with the warehousing, logistics, and finance teams

business development manager strategic planning

Marketing and sales

  • Cultivating favorable interactions and relationships with sales personnel, team leaders and managers, and executives
  • Spearhead teams in maintaining and fostering ties with current clients
  • Lead the increasing of clientele by conducting market research, cold-calling new clients
  • Identifying, pursuing, and responding to new leads
  • Developing and presenting company pitches and proposals to prospective customers
  • Providing knowledgeable guidance on the company's products and services
  • Identifying products and services that would interest potential new customers
  • Controlling customer and corporation expectations
  • Meeting sales objectives
  • Establishing long-term customer relationships based on trust
  • Keeping track of sales, revenue, and other crucial information
  • Forecasting sales targets and discussing ways how to achieve them
  • Conducting training for junior sales teams and business developers, arranging external training when necessary
  • Going through promotional plans and methods
  • Aid in organising sales campaigns
  • Establishing a sales pipeline with intended teams
  • Making and supervising new marketing campaigns

Business partnerships

  • Engaging in networking events
  • Negotiating with suppliers over price
  • Creating, analyzing, and negotiating contracts per business policies

What kind of companies hire Business Development Managers?

Different kinds of companies and organizations hire Business Development Managers. These institutions are often in the public, commercial, and non-profit industries.

Businesses that hire BDMs are prominent firms with the time and resources to invest in their growth and development. 

Meanwhile, organisations that do not have the money to hire BDMs to distribute the duties and responsibilities involved in business development to an extensive mix of people with different job titles.

Some examples of Business Development Manager companies include:

  • Financial organizations like banks, brokerage firms, and insurance companies
  • Enterprises engaged in the selling of products and services
  • NHS and medical facilities
  • Academic and educational institutions such as training centers, colleges, and universities
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • IT businesses
  • Manufacturing companies 
  • Technology and telecommunications companies

Salary

In Australia, the typical yearly compensation for a Business Development Manager is between $90,000 to $110,000. However, this amount may vary depending on a BDM's degree of expertise.

 

business development salary

For instance, a Business Development Manager with less experience will earn less than one with three or more years of experience in the field. Additionally, a Business Development Manager's salary may be lower if the employer gives the commission to augment the compensation.

BDMs in Australia make $59.95 per hour. But then again, this rate may change depending on the person's experience level, workplace, and industry.

  • Entry-level Business Development Managers: $90,000
  • Experienced Business Development Managers: $116,906
  • Senior Business Development Managers: $150,000

A Business Development Manager's chosen industry might also impact his average wage. You can narrow a BDM's average salary search by industry on Glassdoor

What qualifications and skills do you need?

Other than technical and organisational skills, business development management positions demand 3-5 years of experience in sales or marketing, as well as a bachelor's degree and an MBA, ideally in business and management. 

Qualifications

Business Development Manager qualifications include:

  • A bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship, business administration, or sales and marketing
  • An MBA. Some organisations like BDMs with an MBA, so candidates can genuinely strengthen their business expertise in managerial accounting, quantitative methods, and economics when hired.
  • Prior work history in a sales or marketing role. For many companies, an MBA does not replace real-life experience as a BDM cultivates commercial ties or strategic alliances to benefit the organisation. 

Skills and traits

A Business Development Manager has to be:

  • A structured, goal-oriented team player
  • Supportive of the company and its employees
  • Competent in leading, guiding, and mentoring teams
  • Diligent and resourceful in acquiring new customers, clients, and markets
  • Capable of doing data and sales statistics analysis, interpreting findings, and producing superior solutions
  • Good in oral and written communication
  • Able to properly manage time, prioritise tasks, and multitask
  • Self-driven, organised, and motivated
  • Skilled in creating and implementing rigorous budgets
  • Capable of creating and providing quarterly goals and predictions for new initiatives supported by a proven track record
  • A problem-solver with a creative approach who enjoys a challenge
  • Experienced in sales, management, customer service, finance, administration, or a related subject of three to five years
  • Capable of developing provable and observable sales outcomes
  • Knowledgeable in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Excel)
  • Computer literate
  • Adept at communicating via phone, email, and in person
  • With universal technical skills like CRM management and pipeline reporting
  • Skilled negotiators
  • Perceptive when it comes to maintaining and growing sales connections
  • An efficient researcher in discovering potential leads and markets
  • Proficient in all aspects of project administration, including efficient delegation and budget management
  • Analytical thinkers that can extract knowledge and valuable insights from data-rich sales reports

Steps to become a Business Development Manager

Here are some steps on how to become a Business Development Manager:

Obtain a degree

Some companies do not require Business Development Managers to have any formal education. 

However, many companies prefer applicants for a Business Development Manager job with a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship, business administration, or sales and marketing.

You could even obtain a master's degree, depending on your level of seniority, particularly if you intend to become a part of the company's upper management.

Acquire the experience necessary for the position

People who want to become Business Development Managers may gain the experience necessary for BDMs via prior employment or internship. However, previous experience in marketing, sales, and other related fields may be encouraged but not essential if you seek an entry-level Business Development Manager position.

A proven track record of building and executing your expertise in marketing, sales, technology, or employment involving direct contact with customers is an advantage as jobs like these allow you to practice your interpersonal relations, negotiation, and communication skills in a work setting.

It is also advantageous if you have expertise in running a firm because you know all the necessary steps. Learning about their business problems and seeking solutions will help you connect with potential customers.

Improve your technical abilities

Technical expertise is a need if you want to manage business development. 

It will be beneficial to have an in-depth understanding of the software your firm and potential customers use (such as CRM databases, communication and collaboration tools, and marketing automation platforms), particularly if you want to work for a SaaS firm. 

As such, you can take software skills training. 

Create a resume that stands out

Write a CV that emphasises your most important learnings. Be sure to include the results that you have brought to the companies listed on your resume. 

Obtain your first position as a company development manager

You may find Business Development Manager positions by:

  • Contacting friends, relatives, and acquaintances, 
  • Using social networking sites like LinkedIn, or 
  • Browsing online job boards

You may use your strategic thinking and commercial expertise as a Business Development Manager. That way, you'll develop personally and professionally while assisting your organisation's expansion.

Alternative Careers

Business Development Managers are a good fit for a few other occupations due to their diverse talents, skills, and expertise.

With the things they can do, here is a list of similar professions, potential career changes, and alternative jobs:

  • Founder
  • Vice President for Sales
  • Account Manager
  • Sales Director
  • Marketing Director
  • Account Executive
  • Sales Manager
  • Operations Director
  • Salesperson
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Manager

Opportunities for advancement

Here's what a Business Development Manager's career path looks like:

The industry that Business Development Managers will choose to work in will determine the direction of their careers.

With relevant experience, they might advance to positions like senior development managers, business development executives, or marketing directors.

Within a specialised industry, such as manufacturing or healthcare, they may eventually become viable for executive positions related to sales and marketing.

BDMs can also use their expertise in project management, sales, and marketing to transition into different positions, such as business analysts and management consultants.

FAQs / Resources

Other questions about Business Development Managers include:

How long does it take to become a Business Development Manager?

A person may become a Business Development Manager after taking an MBA and working for 3 to 5 years in sales and marketing.

What do I need to do to become a Business Development Manager?

To become a BDM, you need to get a Business Development Manager degree in business administration, sales, and marketing, or any other related field. 

You also need to gain some work experience relevant to the position, develop technical and computer-related skills, create a viable track record on your resume, and apply for a Business Development Manager position in companies.

You can refer to the steps we have listed above for more information.

Conclusion

Becoming a Business Development Manager may take time, experience, and effort. But in the end, an in-demand and challenging career awaits, and the growth opportunities, both personally and professionally, are enormous. 

Start your journey toward becoming a Business Development Manager today. Hone your soft skills by enrolling in one of our courses now.

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