The Plain English Guide to Becoming a Business Development Manager

Are you skilled in effective communication? Do you thrive on acquiring new business acumen as a quick learner? If so, embarking on a career as a Business Development Manager (BDM) could prove to be immensely rewarding and tailored to your strengths.

Business Development Manager explaining to a candidate how to become a BDM

Business development management provides an opportunity to showcase your prowess in relationship-building and problem-solving. In this post, we will delve into the role’s responsibilities and provide you with actionable steps to embark on this rewarding career path.

What is a business development manager?

A business development manager plays a crucial role in generating leads, exploring new opportunities, and driving company growth through strategic planning. They are vital to sales organizations, responsible for generating and safeguarding new revenue streams. By nurturing relationships with key clients, cultivating new connections, and expanding the brand’s presence, they establish their value. Now, let’s dive into how they achieve all of this!

what does a business development manager do

Discover the fundamental duties of business development managers, along with the essential skills required for their triumph.

Business Development Manager Responsibilities

Conduct thorough research on potential customers within the target market of the Business Development Manager (BDM). Utilize effective prospecting and qualifying strategies to engage with new leads. Nurture and maintain strong relationships with existing customers. Actively reach out to current customers and clients to generate new business opportunities. Develop a deep understanding of the company’s product offerings, competitors in the industry, and the organization’s position within the market. Collaborate closely with the sales team to ensure the BDM establishes a high-quality pipeline for converting prospects into satisfied customers.

roles of a business development manager

Business Development Manager Skills

What does it take to succeed as a business development manager? These are the recommended skills a BDM should have to excel in their role.

  • Self-motivation: A BDM should be driven, disciplined, and able to work and hit their targets with limited supervision.
  • Organizational skills: Business development managers should be able to manage their time and prioritize important tasks.
  • Communication skills: BDMs should handle themselves professionally with prospects, customers, and colleagues. And they should have the ability to develop relationships.
  • Technical skills: Experience entering data and using a CRM database helps BDMs track and manage their prospects. Specialized knowledge of their company’s software ,tools, and target customers is especially valuable.

Business Development Manager Salary

According to Indeed, business development managers earn an average annual salary of $73,969. However, this figure can vary based on an individual’s experience and chosen workplace. Furthermore, average salaries can also differ across industries. Glassdoor allows you to search for average wages, enabling you to filter results by industry. Keep in mind that if a company offers a commission-based compensation plan or a percentage of monthly sales, the base salary for a business development manager may be lower than the expected average.

1. Get business credentials.

Although a formal education is not typically required for a business development manager position, employers often prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees in sales, marketing, business administration, or entrepreneurship. If you aspire to reach higher levels of seniority within a company’s business development team, pursuing a master’s degree may prove beneficial.

2. Gain relevant experience.

Having prior job or internship experience can greatly contribute to your professional growth. While applying for an entry-level business development manager role, having previous exposure to this position can be beneficial, but it is not mandatory.

Furthermore, experience in sales, marketing, technology, or customer-facing roles is often considered acceptable as they typically require strong communication, negotiation, and relationship-building skills. Additionally, having experience as an entrepreneur can be valuable as it provides valuable insights into the intricacies of running a business. This can help you better understand and address the specific challenges faced by prospects and find suitable solutions.

3. Develop your technical skills.

To excel as a business development manager, a solid grasp of technical skills is vital. Having an extensive understanding of the software applications utilized by your company and potential clients – such as CRM databases, communication and collaboration tools, or marketing automation platforms – can greatly aid you in this role. This is especially pertinent if your aspirations lie within the realm of a Software as a Service (SaaS) company.

4. Create a compelling resume.

Once you’re prepared to make your application, craft a compelling resume showcasing the valuable’ve acquired. Should you require inspiration to kick-start your resume-writing process, explore a collection of business development manager resume templates that we’ve curated just for you.

5. Start your job hunt.

Discover business development manager positions by leveraging social media platforms such as LinkedIn or exploring online job boards. Additionally, enhance your prospects by attending local sales networking events or virtual gatherings to connect with companies and startups actively seeking to hire exceptional talent.

Begin Your Career as a Business Development Manager

Utilize your strategic prowess and business acumen in the role of a business development manager. By doing so, you will not only gain valuable knowledge and experience, but also contribute to the growth and success of your company.

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