Business development managers are the minds behind any sales team. They are the driving force that generates new sales leads and contacts, while still keeping in touch with existing clients in order to ensure their purchased products or services are still working as they should; and even up-selling to these contacts in the event that things are not working entirely as they should.

A successful business manager is one of the most valued parts of a sales team and is often rewarded handsomely through bonus schemes and commission, which can be unlimited and skyrocket their earnings without any true cap. It is easy to see why this sort of position attracts a variety of candidates, but who makes it in the field?

the ideal business development job candidate.

People in business development manager jobs have one sole purpose and that is to identify leads, pitch their business' products or services to leads, and to pass these leads onto sales executives for closing the deal if they are not able to do it themselves at the time of the pitch. They will also often find themselves responsible for maintaining good working relationships with contacts. 

The job is usually best suited towards those who cannot fathom the thought of sitting behind a desk all day. Most of the time, business development managers will spend quite a bit of time in the field visiting clients and attending networking events. The majority of work will take place during typical office hours, but developers will have to be prepared to commit to schedules outside of the norm, as these networking events usually take place during the evenings or on weekends. Flexible opportunities do exist for this role, but are rare. 

Progression opportunities exist from this stage, too. There is a well-defined structure from this position that leads towards becoming a marketing director after gaining considerable amounts of experience and having proven success in generating large volumes of cold leads.

hard skills.

ICT is at the core of this role since development managers will be required to plan and prepare presentations that will be shown to prospective clients and leads, which is almost exclusively presented on Powerpoint. Therefore, candidates will need to demonstrate that they have an advanced level of understanding when it comes to presentation software and may be required to acquire qualifications in place of live experience or a portfolio of pre-made presentations. 

Writing skills are also essential to a business development manager and are as important as their own verbal persuasion abilities. This is because development managers will be responsible for writing reports and overseeing the creation of marketing literature related to the business' products and/or services, since they will be responsible for the promotion of it to new clients.

Academically speaking, those with a 2:1 degree in finance, marketing, or business management are usually sought after when it comes to business development and will often be able to take advantage of graduate programs provided by their employers. This does not exclude those from other fields however. 

soft skills.

Communication skills are highly prized for business developers, but they will also need to be approachable and charismatic in addition to having the ability to persuade. This is because they are sometimes the only point of contact between a business and its potential leads. They will need to maintain high standards of personal appearance and cleanliness in line with their business' mission, but adhering to conservative standards of dress is often required. 

employment opportunities.

There are several opportunities existing for those who wish to become business development managers at this time. Salaries start within the region of £18,000 to £20,000 and increase as developers gain more experience and prove their worth to the sales team. Senior business development managers are often cited as earning in excess of £50,000 per year.

There are also quite a few perks thrown into the mix such as bonus schemes or fringe benefits, like a company car. Developers will often find work in the southeast or northernmost parts of England where permanent, full time opportunities are currently being advertised in large numbers. To achieve success in these opportunities, business development interview tips could help swing the balance in your favour.