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Becoming a business development manager

Business development managers are the cornerstone of any successful organisation because they ultimately generate new revenue and help a company grow. But what does the job involve on a day-to-day basis? We explore in more detail.

What are the main responsibilities?

The primary objective is to identify new business opportunities. What form this takes will depend on the exact nature of the company. But you’ll more than likely be looking to identify new markets, new partnerships, new ways to reach existing markets, or new product or service offerings to better meet the needs of existing markets. And then you’ll be expected use these opportunities to bring in more revenue.

How that happens exactly depends on the industry. It can be a combination of attending events and networking, taking stands at exhibitions and conferences, cold calling, and responding to incoming leads. You will also more than likely be expected to identify partner opportunities to cross and up sell services.

What will I be doing on a day-to-day basis?

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

  • Generate leads and cold calling prospective customers
  • Develop opportunities in target markets with support of marketing
  • Nurturing and developing relationships with key customer accounts
  • Attending face-to-face meetings with clients
  • Providing specialist advice on the products and/or services you’re selling


What are the other aspects involved in the job?

You’ll more than likely be looking to identify new markets, new partnerships, new ways to reach existing markets, or new product or service offerings to better meet the needs of existing markets.

 

You’ll need to negotiate pricing with clients in line with internal guidelines. You’ll also need to keep your superiors updated on both your progress and timeline, providing them with accurate forecasting of anticipated sales.

This being a sales role, you will be subject to sales and KPI targets; this is a crucial part of the role. With face-to-face client meetings key, you’ll be expected to travel – although the extent to which this is the case will depend on where the job is based. If you’re based in London, you may find that the majority of your meetings are in the capital. But if your employer is based elsewhere in the South-East, Midlands or the North, you may be required to travel a substantial amount.

How much can I expect to earn?

Our Salary Survey shows that salaries vary depending on sector and location. For example, an IT business development manager can expect to earn £50 – 70k in the North of the UK and £50 – 75k in the South-East. Similarly, a B2B business development manager can expect to earn £30 – 45k in the North and £35 – 50k in London and the South-East. But all these figures are basic salary exclusive of benefits/bonuses. Actual earning potential will be far higher than this.

What knowledge and experience is required?

To secure a business development manager job, you’ll need a strong sales track record. Specifically, hiring companies 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.

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