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Business Development Manager Job Description

This page was created to help you:

  • Put together a great job description for a Business Development Manager position
  • Understand what a Business Development Manager is and what you should expect from one
  • Learn more about being a Business Development Manager

This specific page simply gives you the Business Development Manager job description. This site also provides supplementary material related to business development and what you should expect from your Business Development Manager.

You may use this Business Development Manager Job Description as a starting point for your company’s ad. Please spend the time to customize it to your company’s needs.

This description contains just about everything you would ask a Business Development Manager to do. Therefore, it would be a lot to ask of one person.

The Role of the Business Development Manager

A Business Development Manager works to improve an organization’s market position and achieve financial growth. This person defines long-term organizational strategic goals, builds key customer relationships, identifies business opportunities, negotiates and closes business deals and maintains extensive knowledge of current market conditions.

Business Development Managers work in a senior sales position within the company. It is their job to work with the internal team, marketing staff, and other managers to increase sales opportunities and thereby maximize revenue for their organization. To achieve this, they need to find potential new customers, present to them, ultimately convert them into clients, and continue to grow business in the future.

Business Development Managers will also help manage existing clients and ensure they stay satisfied and positive. They call on clients, often being required to make presentations on solutions and services that meet or predict their clients’ future needs.

Job Description

The primary role of the Business Development Manager is to prospect for new clients by networking, cold calling, advertising or other means of generating interest from potential clients. They must then plan persuasive approaches and pitches that will convince potential clients to do business with the company.

They must develop a rapport with new clients, and set targets for sales and provide support that will continually improve the relationship. They are also required to grow and retain existing accounts by presenting new solutions and services to clients. Business Development Managers work with mid and senior level management, marketing, and technical staff.

He/she may manage the activities of others responsible for developing business for the company. Strategic planning is a key part of this job description since it is the business manager’s responsibility to develop the pipeline of new business coming into the company. This requires a thorough knowledge of the market, the solutions/services the company can provide, and of the company’s competitors.

While the exact responsibilities will vary from company to company, the main duties of the Business Development Manager can be summarized as follows:

New Business Development

  • Prospect for potential new clients and turn this into increased business.
  • Cold call as appropriate within your market or geographic area to ensure a robust pipeline of opportunities. * Meet potential clients by growing, maintaining, and leveraging your network.
  • Identify potential clients, and the decision makers within the client organization.
  • Research and build relationships with new clients.
  • Set up meetings between client decision makers and company’s practice leaders/Principals.
  • Plan approaches and pitches.

  • Work with team to develop proposals that speaks to the client’s needs, concerns, and objectives.

  • Participate in pricing the solution/service.
  • Handle objections by clarifying, emphasizing agreements and working through differences to a positive conclusion.
  • Use a variety of styles to persuade or negotiate appropriately.
  • Present an image that mirrors that of the client.

Client Retention

  • Present new products and services and enhance existing relationships.
  • Work with technical staff and other internal colleagues to meet customer needs.
  • Arrange and participate in internal and external client debriefs.

Business Development Planning

  • Attend industry functions, such as association events and conferences, and provide feedback and information on market and creative trends.
  • Present to and consult with mid and senior level management on business trends with a view to developing new services, products, and distribution channels.
  • Identify opportunities for campaigns, services, and distribution channels that will lead to an increase in sales.
  • Using knowledge of the market and competitors, identify and develop the company’s unique selling propositions and differentiators.

Management and Research

  • Submit weekly progress reports and ensure data is accurate.
  • Ensure that data is accurately entered and managed within the company’s CRM or other sales management system.
  • Forecast sales targets and ensure they are met by the team.
  • Track and record activity on accounts and help to close deals to meet these targets.
  • Work with marketing staff to ensure that prerequisites (like prequalification or getting on a vendor list) are fulfilled within a timely manner.
  • Ensure all team members represent the company in the best light.
  • Present business development training and mentoring to business developers and other internal staff.
  • Research and develop a thorough understanding of the company’s people and capabilities.
  • Understand the company’s goal and purpose to continue to enhance the company’s performance.

Education

Business development management positions require a bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of sales or marketing experience. An MBA is often requested as well.

Other Skills and Qualifications

Networking, Persuasion, Prospecting, Public Speaking, Research, Writing, Closing Skills, Motivation for Sales, Prospecting Skills, Sales Planning, Identification of Customer Needs and Challenges, Territory Management, Market Knowledge, Meeting Sales Goals, Professionalism, CRM, and Microsoft Office.

Helpful Links

What is Business Development?​

People reading the Business Development Manager Job Description might ask themselves, “What is business development, exactly?” or “what is business development’s role?” or “Why is business development so important?”

Therefore, I’ll try to make it clear and straightforward.

Business development is a commonly-used term for businesses that provide services. Businesses that sell products often use the term, “sales.”

The Difference Between Business Development and Sales

When selling services, you are often selling the knowledge and capabilities of the people in your company. Therefore, a business developer doesn’t have a tangible product. Instead, he or she is tasked with selling people’s time or the result of people’s time.

Very often, a client will not order the company’s service until they have met with the people who will provide this service. As a result, the business developer must also present the internal team to the potential client (usually in the form of a meeting, proposal, and/or presentation).

The responsibilities of a business developer are often broader than that of a salesperson. They could include activities such as research, strategic planning, or even training.

The business developer is often brought on to complement the seller-doer model, where the people who do the work are also tasked with bringing in new clients. Business developers help seller-doers increase their sales by providing the strategic approach these people sometimes lack.

The Similarities Between Business Development and Sales

Both business developers and salespeople are expected to identify potential clients, approach them, and participate in the closing of deals. They are both responsible for meeting sales targets and growing the firm (or company).

Two nuances distinguish the different roles. If you are a salesperson selling pencils (product), you’ll bring those pencils to the prospective client. That client may look at the pencils. Heck, he or she may even write with one of them. But they will not speak with any of the pencils.

But if you are a business developer selling services (let’s say architecture services), you’ll bring an architect to your prospective client. Unlike the pencil, the architect talks. The architect will ultimately play a role in closing that deal.

The other nuance relates to strategy. You send your salesperson off to go sell pencils. Your salespeople are your foot soldiers.

But business developers are often tasked with pursuing strategic opportunities. Business development activities could include things like by cultivating partnerships, tracking trends, or identifying new markets.

That doesn’t mean business developers don’t go out and “pound the pavement.” Most often, they do. But there is more to business development than that.

What Is Business Development Strategy?

It might be hard to distinguish between a business development strategy and a marketing strategy.

The line between marketing and sales is pretty clear in the world of products. But in the world of services, the line between marketing and business development isn’t as clear.

In a service business, your business development department and your marketing department might even be a single entity.

To learn about specific business development strategies see: Business Development Strategy: The 8 Strategies You Need To Know

What Skills Are Required For Business Development?

Now that we understand what business development is and how it differs from sales, what are the skills a business developer needs and how do those differ from a salesperson?

Ultimately, you want whoever is leading this effort to be able to come up with useful business development ideas and see them through to execution.

Critical thinking and the ability to see a plan through to completion are probably your two most essential skillsets. Another critical skill is the ability to spot trends or situations your business can capitalize on.

For a full description of the skills you might want in a business developer, see my Business Development Manager Job Description.

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