what is a business development executive?

As a business development executive, you improve the supply of products and services to customers. You work with the company or clients to determine the current sales shortfalls and build ideas for a smooth selling process. Your primary role is to promote business growth and expansion. That means you develop strategies to improve sales in the current market and find opportunities for business expansion. Unlike sales teams, you focus on lead generation by helping the business attract new clients and manage prospects.

Since you promote the company’s products to prospective buyers, you require extensive knowledge of the products and services. When you understand the product features, you can match them to customer needs. You also build relationships with current and new customers to ensure they are satisfied with the company's services. As a business development executive, you develop a prospective client list and help them move down the sales funnel.

As a business development executive, you increase the value of a company. That's why you work in any industry sector to help improve revenue streams and build lasting relationships. For instance, you can work in construction, education, healthcare, finance and telecommunications companies. Some business development roles are sales-oriented, like developing leads and creating a sales pipeline. However, some business development positions focus on building business strategies for expansion.

Would working as a business development executive suit your commercial awareness? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a business development executive role.

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average business development executive salary

According to ONS, a business development executive takes home an average salary of £30,000 per year. The compensation package varies depending on the experience and qualifications in the role. That’s why business development executives in entry-level positions receive a salary of £25,000 annually. As you improve your skills and expertise, your salary also improves, and you can take home over £45,000 yearly. If your business development executive role is focused on generating sales for the company, you receive additional incentives. Some companies have commissions based on sales or bonuses.

what affects the salary of a business development executive?

As a business development executive, your compensation package depends on your expertise. When you have a few years of experience in the role, you are likely to earn more due to your expertise. Experienced business development executives are experts in generating new business for the company. Your qualification also improves your salary prospects.

The location also influences your earnings. When you work in large cities like London, you are likely to earn more due to the high demand for the role. Large cities also have high living costs, and employers pay more to ensure employees live comfortably.


types of business development executives

The types of business development executives depend on the customers they handle, including:

  • B2B business development executives: as a business development executive, you seek business opportunities from other businesses. You sell products to companies as opposed to selling to customers directly. You close sales with large companies and businesses to expand your company's business relationships.
  • B2C business development executives: as a B2C business development executive, you sell company products to customers directly. Your job is to generate product leads and guide clients through the sales funnel. You explain the business products or services to customers and draw up contracts to sell products to them.

working as a business development executive

Working as a business development executive requires a lot of research and strategic planning to identify new business opportunities. Discover the duties, responsibilities and work environment of business development executives.


education and skills

While you can become a business development executive without a degree, having the following qualifications improves your career prospects:

  • undergraduate degree: join the business development executive role by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management, economics, marketing or business development. Aside from an undergraduate degree, a college course in sales and business also prepares you for the role. For instance, a Level 3 Award of certificate in business development skills or sales and account management prepares you for the role.
  • work experience: employers prefer business development executives with a customer-facing or sales role. Complete an internship in sales or marketing or work part-time in a retail or sales position that involves plenty of contact with customers.

business development executive skills and competencies

The following skills improve your career outcomes as a business development executive:

  • sales skills: as a business development executive, your primary role is to find and attract new clients to the company. You rely on your sales skills to source clients and build relationships with existing customers. Your sales skills help you meet your targets and grow the company’s revenue.
  • technical skills: as a business development executive, you rely on computers to manage clients and generate leads. Having the technical expertise in using job-specific software like customer relationship management and cloud computing solutions is helpful.
  • analytical skills: as a business development expert, you perform multiple tasks that require creativity and extensive research. For instance, you rely on your analysis of the financial processes to develop strategies that improve business growth. Your analytical skills give you better results in market research.
  • communication skills: as a business development executive, you interact with clients and business partners of a company. You rely on your communication skills to promote good relationships and develop a rapport with your team. Your communication skills also help you oversee projects in the company.

FAQs about working as a business development executive

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a business development executive.

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