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Business development is an integral part of ensuring a company’s success. The business development team aims to evaluate a company’s performance and identify ways to improve. More specifically, business development managers work in sales management, strategic planning, and prospecting for new partnerships to reach goals and are considered marketing executives.
If you want an answer to some of the most common questions, such as “What does a business development manager do?” “What is the role of business development?” “Where do business development managers work?” and more, read on.
What Is Business Development?
Simply said, business development is the process of generating long-term value for an organization from markets, clients, and relationships. Therefore, it covers many ideas, initiatives, and activities to improve the business. It also extends across many departments, like sales, marketing, product management, project management, and vendor management, including different activities such as negotiations, networking, partnerships, and many more.
- Sales: The team members often focus on a particular market for a targeted revenue number.
- Marketing: It involves promoting and advertising towards the goal of increasing sales.
- Product management: Ensuring that every step of product development adheres to regulatory standards and market requirements.
- Project management: It involves planning and organizing a company’s resources toward completing specific tasks, events, or duties.
- Vendor management: It includes many activities such as negotiating contracts, selecting vendors, controlling costs, etc.
What Does a Business Development Manager Do?
Business development managers are professionals who create and implement strategies to facilitate growth, encourage success and achieve company goals. They find new opportunities, research leads, arrange meetings with sales executives, attract new clients, oversee projects, forecast revenue, etc.
Although the full scope of duties and responsibilities varies depending on the industry and company, typically, some of the tasks include:
- Identifying new prospects for the company
- Brainstorming new project strategies with the business development team
- Attending networking events
- Building long-term rapport with clients
- Managing records of sales, revenues, and other important financial data
- Finding and pursuing new sales leads
- Preparing sales presentations
- Negotiating sales contracts
- Managing company and client expectations
- Reviewing budgets
- Following the latest industry developments
- Preparing status reports on goals
- Researching the industry and industry trends
- Finding ways to improve customer experience and build brand loyalty
Where Do Business Development Managers Work?
Business development managers can work in all types of organizations and businesses across the public, private, and charity sectors. Most commonly, they can work at:
- Telecommunications and technology firms
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Manufacturing firms (businesses involved in the sales of products or services)
- IT companies
- Education institutions
Larger companies can dedicate time and resources to develop their businesses, whereas, in smaller companies, business development is a minor function with a mix of responsibilities.
How To Become a Business Development Manager
Although the path to success isn’t set in stone, you’ll need to follow a few steps to become a capable business development manager. An advantage to becoming a business development manager is that you can take different routes, depending on which you think is the right for you. And most importantly, remember that you’re set to succeed as long as you are willing to learn and are enthusiastic about achieving goals.
The first step to becoming a business development manager is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, economics, or a related field. A bachelor’s degree can take four to five years to complete, throughout which you’ll be able to get a fundamental understanding of business development, finance, data analysis, marketing, decision-making, critical thinking, etc. Although a postgraduate degree isn’t a requirement, you can choose to follow higher education in the field.
Another way to become a business development manager is by choosing the apprenticeship route and combining on-the-job experience with part-time study. Apprenticeships can help you think creatively, understand customer requirements, close sales, and develop the skills to become a successful business development manager.
To become a business development manager, it’s essential to have relevant experience with the selling process, marketing, or customer service role. You’ll need to obtain a minimum of two years of experience in business development, sales, or related roles, where you can learn strategy development, sales performance analysis, effective communication, lead generation, etc. Experience also helps with more job opportunities.
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Requirements and skills
Due to the fast-paced work environment, you’ll need to fulfill occupational requirements such as:
- Proven sales track record
- Proficiency in MS Office
- Market knowledge
- Experience in customer support
- Ability to analyze data and sales statistics
- Initiative and confidence to get things started
To become a competent business development manager, you’ll need to master a set of skills, including the following:
- Strong organizational skills
- Strong verbal and written communication
- Project management skills
- Financial management
- Decision-making skills
- Goal setting
- IT skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Flexibility to adapt to a fast-paced environment
Salary and Job Outlook for Business Development Managers
The salary for business development managers depends on many factors, such as education, certifications, additional skills, location, and experience.
- Salary.com reports an average salary of $133,034, ranging from $115,329 to $152,855.
- The data collected by Glassdoor detail an average base salary of $79,156 and estimate an additional pay of $45,682.
- Payscale estimates an average base salary of $78,933, with the 10th percentile being $49k and the 90th percentile being $129k.
Data collected by Zippia show that business development manager jobs are in demand, with an increase of 8% in job growth this decade.
As a business development manager, you’ll be able to work with others to identify and close new business deals, expand business opportunities, and build long-lasting relationships with clients. You’ll also be able to propose new business ideas that will help improve revenue margins by keeping up-to-date with trends in the industry.
If this occupation is something you’re passionate about and fulfills your life goals, you can get started on your journey today by exploring our bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance. Here you’ll be able to take courses such as Business Analytics, Statistics, Financial Analysis, Ethics, Corporate Finance, and Operation Management.