As the driving force behind generating new sales leads and contacts, a successful business development manager is a highly-prized asset to any company and bonus-related pay means the financial rewards of this career can be great. Interested? We thought you might be…
So, what will I actually be doing?
Your job as a business development manager is to identify sales leads, pitch goods or services to new clients and maintain a good working relationship with new contacts.
This role revolves around good communication and so whatever business you work in your duties are likely to include:
- Following up new business opportunities and setting up meetings
- Planning and preparing presentations (say hello to Powerpoint)
- Communicating new product developments to prospective clients
- Overseeing the development of marketing literature
- Writing reports
- Providing management with feedback
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The nitty gritty
If the thought of sitting behind a desk all day gives you itchy feet, this could be the job for you as you’ll be required to spend a large amount of time visiting clients and attending networking events. You'll usually work office hours, Monday to Friday but there are often part-time or flexible working opportunities too.
Want a job where you can progress? This career can offer that. From business development manager you can progress to become a senior development manager, business development executive or marketing director.
Or, using the selling, negotiating and project management skills you’ve gained, you can side-step into other areas of business.
Money, money, money
Those new to the role will start on a salary of around £18k per year while senior business development managers can earn £50k plus per annum. There are often perks thrown in with your job including bonus schemes and benefits such as a company car.
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The good points...
Jo Vickers works as a business development manager for an interior design company, she says: "This job is a constant challenge and requires a number of skills - good business sense and financial planning, marketing skills, strategy development and implementation.
When you are dealing with a new business, the job requires a lot of creative thinking to spot new opportunities and to establish rapid growth within the new market place and it’s very satisfying when the development strategy pays off and the results can be clearly seen."
...and the bad
"It can be a stressful trying to develop business opportunties - you are dealing with external and internal challenges some of which can end up out of your control. While there’s plenty of satisfaction when things go right, the flipside is the pressure if things don't go so well."
Is there study involved?
Personal qualities like great communication and sales skills count for more than formal qualifications in this job.
However, employers will be looking at candidates educated to at least GCSE level as well as having some sales and marketing experience.
Those with a 2:1 degree, preferably in finance, marketing and business management, will be able to take advantage of the graduate programmes run by some companies. A valid driving licence is also essential for this role.
Want to brush up on what you already know? Business development managers can polish their skills by studying for qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) or the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) who offer a variety of courses in sales and marketing.
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
This is no job for shy, retiring types as you’ll need to be bursting with self-confidence, love networking and enjoy presenting and public speaking. It also helps if you have:
- Good business sense
- A deep understanding of marketing principles
- Good communication skills
- A positive attitude
- Negotiation skills
- Plenty of initiative