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Business Development Manager Job Description

A Job With Great Market Value

Business Development Manager Job Description

Every business that sells a product or service needs effective salespeople to drive their revenues. If you are good in sales, you have tremendous market value.

A Business Development Manager (BDM) is often the first point of contact a new potential client will have with a business when they are seeking information on the products and services the company provides. A BDM also responds to Request For Proposals (RFP's), tenders, and develops sales in new sales territories.

Business Development Managers also work to improve a business' profitability through careful strategic planning and positioning in appropriate markets, or by enhancing the operation of the business, its position or reputation in some way.

How all of this happens exactly depends on the industry sector, but it can often be a combination of attending events & networking, taking stands at exhibitions & conferences, performing cold calling, and responding to incoming leads generated for example by digital marketing. BDMs are also more than likely expected to identify partner opportunities to cross and up sell products/services.

Although not always the case, the majority of BDMs are involved in either Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C) sales, allowing them to tailor their focus and pitches to a specific target audience.

What does a Business Development Manager do?

While it can be difficult to generalise, most business development managers will be expected to:

  • Contacting potential clients to establish rapport and arrange meetings.
  • Planning and overseeing new marketing initiatives.
  • Researching organisations and individuals to find new opportunities.
  • Increasing the value of current customers while attracting new ones.
  • Finding and developing new markets and improving sales.
  • Attending conferences, meetings, and industry events.
  • Developing quotes and proposals for clients.
  • Developing goals for the development team and business growth and ensuring they are met.
  • Training personnel and helping team members develop their skills.
  • Create a sales pipelines
  • Negotiate pricing with customers, and suppliers in some cases
  • Carry out sales forecasts and analysis and present your findings to senior management.

What hours do Business Development Managers work?

BDMs usually work a regular 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday week, though they may on occasion have to work longer to meet a project deadline or when attending an event or conference.

Flexible work hours can often be arranged in business development roles should this be a requirement.

What skills Business Development Managers need to have?

  • Tenacity and drive to seek new business and meet or exceed targets
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbally & written
  • Good IT and numeracy skills, including the use of spreadsheets (such as MS Excel)
  • Possess a professional manner and presentable appearance for meeting customers/clients
  • Ability to work on own initiative and have good decision-making skills
  • Potentially require project management skills dependent upon the role
  • Great organisational skills
  • Good networking skills
  • Strategic & logical thinker
  • Ability to analyse sales figures and write reports

How much does a Business Development Manager earn?

As a general guideline, as a new starter you can expect to earn between £22,000 and £25,000 a year. As you enter mid-management level with several years' experience, you can expect to earn £30,000 to £60,000, averaging at £37,500 depending on the region and sector you work in.

As a senior business development manager or business director, it's possible to earn around £70,000 to £80,000 per annum.

What knowledge and experience is required?

Work experience is really important and can in some cases lead to permanent employment.

To secure a business development manager position, most are required to have a strong sales track record. Specifically, companies and recruiters look for a proven ability to hit targets, a consistent background of winning new business and – often – relevant sector experience. A good book of contacts is also looked upon favourably.

In terms of personality traits, employers generally look for people who are articulate, polished and professional who have a good telephone manner. A self-motivated and disciplined approach is essential.

What are the career prospects like?

Business development is carried out across many sectors, in most towns and cities and within many different types of organisation. As a result, there are huge possibilities for career development, limited perhaps only by geographical constraints and your willingness to change sectors.

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