How to become a Business Development Manager

What is a Business Development Manager?

Business development managers are responsible for finding new opportunities, researching leads, establishing relationships with potential clients and arranging appointments for sales executives. They are considered the cornerstone of any successful organisation because they ultimately generate new revenue and help a company grow.

How to become a Business Development Manager?

You can get into this career by doing a degree. Useful subjects include Business Management, Business Development, Accountancy, Economics, and International Relations. Employers usually want you to have experience in sales, marketing or business management. 

You could also study a college course in sales or business. If you’ve started work in a junior role, you could think about taking qualifications like:

  • Level 3 Award in Business Development Skills
  • Level 3 Certificate in Sales Management

Business Development Manager Duties

Business Development Manager duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Follow up new business opportunities and setting up meeting
  • Have an in-depth knowledge of business products and value proposition
  • Ensure staff are on board throughout the organisation, and understand the need for change and what is required of them
  • Liaise with the finance team, warehousing and logistics departments as appropriate
  • Oversee the development of marketing literature
  • Increase the value of current customers while attracting new ones
  • Develop quotes and proposals for clients
  • Report on successes and areas needing improvements

Business Development Manager Skills

To be an effective business development manager you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and statistical analysis software
  • Motivation for sales
  • Prospecting skills
  • Team working skills and a collaborative approach to work
  • Decision-making skills
  • Flexible approach to work with the ability to adapt to a fast-paced, ever-changing environment

How to find a business development manager job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the business development manager jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for business development manager jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Business Development Manager Job Titles

When you search for business development manager jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for business development manager jobs include;

  • Business Development Specialist
  • Business Development Representative
  • Business Development Associate
  • Business Development Analyst
  • Business Development Executive
  • Business Development Lead
  • Business Development Consultant
  • Chief Business Development Officer

What does a business development manager do?

The day-to-day tasks of a business development manager include;

  • Research organisations to find new customers
  • ‘Cold call’ to arrange meetings at customers’ premises
  • Find out what an organisation needs and plan proposals and pricing
  • Sell products and services to new and existing customers
  • Negotiate with customers and build positive relationships
  • Write reports and make presentations to customers and senior management
  • Identify new methods and opportunities for sales campaigns
  • Forecast sales targets and make sure they’re met