what is a business development manager?

A business development manager is a member of the sales team, and you will work with people inside and outside the organisation to create new business opportunities. Your job is offering proposals to new clients and building long-term relationships with the company's customers.

As part of the marketing team, you build sales leads, pitch to new prospects and develop a company's client list. Your goal is to push people through the sales funnel and sign them up as customers. Since you are the company's public face, you need to convey professionalism to prospects and potential clients. Making the right decisions and using the best strategies can help you achieve strategic goals.

Business development managers spend most of the time generating new business opportunities and ensuring the peak performance of sales staff. Hence, they need exceptional interpersonal and negotiation skills. Expertise in conducting research and developing business trends aids in sound decision-making and helps steer the company towards growth opportunities. Collaborating well with others, especially the senior members of the sales and marketing teams, makes your job easier.

Most industries rely on business development managers to generate new opportunities. You could work in the construction, manufacturing or retail industries or for a consultancy firm.

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

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average business development manager salary

According to National Careers, the median business development manager salary starts at £26,000 per year. The salary grows as you improve your experience and expertise, and you can earn over £64,000 annually at the expert level.

Most employers offer commissions for bringing in clients or end-year bonuses to reward your contribution to business growth. Apart from salaries and commissions, your compensation includes various allowances to make it easier to do your job. For instance, you will have a transport allowance for travelling to meet with customers and medical insurance. Companies also pay a pension contribution for their employees and provide paid holidays and sick leave.

how to increase your salary as a business development manager

The compensation package of a business development manager depends on your work experience and level of expertise. When you have experience working in the field, you are likely to earn more since you are an expert in closing deals and studying business trends. Your qualifications also influence your salary prospects. For instance, a business development manager with a master's degree will likely earn a higher salary. Your location also affects your wages, as urban areas have a higher demand for business development managers.

smiling male wearing necktie
smiling male wearing necktie

types of business development managers

The types of business development managers depend on the industry they work for, including:

  • construction business development managers: your job in construction is to look for new building projects on behalf of your employer. Apart from identifying new prospects, you ensure the project meets the clients' needs and develop relationships with all the construction project stakeholders. 
  • cybersecurity business development managers: you study trends in cybersecurity and develop ways to improve computer systems' security. If your employer offers cybersecurity as a service, you identify prospective clients in various industries.
  • financial services business development managers: you monitor the performance and upcoming trends in financial services and help your employer stay ahead in the sector. You also find new ways to reach existing markets.


working as a business development manager

Working as a business development manager involves helping businesses develop long term relationships with their clients and find new customers. Let's explore some of the business development managers' duties and work schedules.


education and skills

Some of the educational requirements of a business development manager include:

  • university and college courses: become a business development manager by completing a degree in a relevant subject like marketing, business management, international relations or business development. A college course in sales or marketing is also a good step into the role. For instance, you can pursue a Level 3 Certificate in sales and account management or a Level 3 Award in business development skills.
  • work experience: most employers hire someone with a background in sales or marketing. That means you need extensive work experience through internships or industry placement to gain the required skills to excel in the role.

skills and competencies

Some qualities of a business development manager include:

  • communication skills: as a business development manager, you communicate with clients from diverse backgrounds and education levels. Your verbal and written communication skills can improve rapport with clients and build better relationships.
  • time management skills: you should have exceptional time management skills to help you prioritise tasks and adjust your schedule as needed.
  • technical and computer skills: you need computing skills to operate customer management systems and content management platforms for tracking leads and client calls.
  • personal drive: you have to be goal-oriented and driven to achieve your objectives in this role. When you have drive and self-motivation, you can push yourself to meet targets.
smiling female wearing red top and pearl necklace
smiling female wearing red top and pearl necklace


FAQs about working as a business development manager

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