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How to become a business development manager?

Updated on August 29, 2014

Work profile of a business development manager-

Business development includes a number of techniques, activities and strategies which are designed for improving the efficiency and augmenting the productivity of a company. As a manager, you play an imperative role in growing an enterprise.

When appointed as a business development manager, there is a drastic increase in the duties and responsibilities. The entire work of bolstering the company and products, improving credibility and rising productivity comes under the belt of the manager. Some of the important duties of a business development manager are as follows-

  • Keeping data updated with latest economic and business developments
  • Working in sync with overall business objectives
  • Making use of quantitative and qualitative techniques for collecting useful data
  • Creating a detailed business plan to market the company's products/services.
  • Looking after the company's financial resources and ensuring its judicious use
  • Liaising with other professionals of the company, including account managers
  • Attending trade shows and fairs

In the past few years, there has been a considerable rise in the demand of business development managers (BDMs) as companies need to ramp up their efforts to get market share and expand business. Business development manager is responsible for viably developing the business side of a company and dealing with abundant opportunities that may generate throughout the year.

Business development managers play a potent role in the success of a company. These managers have a knack of understanding of the business theories and use the skills to allow enterprises to grow. Apart from evaluating the current status of a company and making suitable changes to enhance its potential, business development managers perform numerous tasks and thorough assessments of the prevailing trends to identify specific target markets.

Business development managers perform various tasks that are more similar to the job of a market researcher. Like marketing professionals, business development manager collects informative data about prevailing customer trends as well as information about the current market status. However, their role differs from a marketing researcher as they use the collected data efficiently before launching the new product to anticipate its future.

Business development manager works towards expanding their current market base by reinforcing their relation with existing clients and attracting new customers. They work towards protecting their investments and those of the company by continuously interacting with current customers and engaging them into fruitful relationships. Safeguarding client information & offering proactive customer service help in regulating the company-client relationship is also a job of the BDM.


What is the most important quality of a good Business Development Manager?

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Students who wish to work in business development field should first get a bachelor's degree as it is the minimum education requirement to get the job. Business development manager can come from different backgrounds, although companies prefer candidates who possess a degree in business administration/computer or equivalent with an MBA in marketing. Large corporations prefer to hire candidates with a masters degree, specifically in business administration. Also aspiring candidates should have good numeric and literary capabilities.

Requisite skills

Excellent communication skills
Entrepreneurial drive
Ability to facilitate and manage good working conditions between employees and partners
Interpersonal skills
Able to work in an inter-country atmosphere
Negotiation skills
Zeal and ability to shape the company's marketing department
Exceptional rapport building and networking skills
Market knowledge
Able to review budgets and different financial reports to see the implications in the management of projects
Great flexibility
Organisational skills
Good business knowledge

No prior experience is required to get the job

No prior work experience is required to become a business development manager. However, any managerial experience on a resume looks good. The in-depth understanding of how a large business runs will help you in your job and work experience in one or more departments is a nice idea for those interested to become a business development manager. The right way to get into this position is by first gaining vast experience in finance or corporate sales.

Excellent knowledge of the mechanics of negotiations- how to structure and strike deals — is the basic requirement of the job.

Although, all leading companies are offering BDM jobs, below is a list of the popular employers in terms of salaries and perks-

  • TCS
  • Cognizant
  • Frost and Sullivan

The advent of the internet and social networking websites have also encouraged companies to hire professionals who can foster business relationships by harnessing the strengths of the internet. For the career growth, business development professionals should pursue certification courses to stay abreast of the market trends.

Where to look for jobs?

There is no dearth of opportunities for BDMs.

In the present scenario, various top-notch companies are hiring candidates on a good package. Furthermore, Indian cities like Bangalore, Gurgaon, New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Noida offer abundant options to BDMs.

Almost every company or organization hires business development managers and most commonly it includes-

  • Software companies
  • Consultancy companies
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Infrastructure
  • Telecommunications

Remuneration and other perks

Usually, the pay package includes basic salary + commission structure. As you enter into the management level, there would be a considerable increase in the base salary as well as commission.

On an average, a business development manager can earn around Rs 80,000- 1 lakh/month. The more experience and knowledge you gain over time, more potentially you can earn. A business developer with years of experience usually handles complex work assignments at once than the person who has just started out, so the salary may continue to grow with work experience.

Moreover, it has been seen that many business development managers are self-employed and they simultaneously work for different companies. This gives them plenty of benefits and flexibility to work.

How to land a business development manager job?

Although there are no particular requirements that you need to follow to enter the field but successful business development managers possess excellent capabilities in the business administration, economic and financial areas along with strong communication skills. Let's have a look on some useful tips on how to become a business development manager-

1= If you are a fresher then it is advised to conduct a thorough research in the field of business development. It is crucial to do because in this way you can learn more about the prevailing market trends and can prepare yourself to combat the situation.

2= The core aptitude requirements to become a business development manager include excellent interpersonal skills as the job-profile entails frequent contacts with current and potential clients. To successfully discharge your duties, it is important to have viable public relations and presentation abilities.

3= As a business development manager, you may need to oversee the work of your colleagues. A typical workday may comprise of human resource duties like organizing training sessions and workshops.

4= To work as a business development manager, you should have strong analytical abilities and organizational skills along with leadership skills. The nature of a job demands an in-depth knowledge of the business operations.

5= It is inevitable to note that when you decide to work as a business development manager, you may need to do over time, including extended hours on weekends. Due to the nature of a job, you may required to do frequent traveling. So take all these factors into consideration before applying for a job.

6= It is a nice idea to register with a reputed online professional association that caters to the burgeoning demands of the industry. You will get the knowledge of industrial tools and equipments that will assist you during your stint in the real work life.

Working environment

Typically, business development managers work in an office ambiance, therefore, working conditions are quite comfortable. However, business development managers will require to make frequent visit to other offices for meeting or doing some extensive research. Moreover, the position brings abundant overseas traveling options, since BDMs require to test the waters of a global marketplace.

However, the job is quite intricate and challenging, since it is a senior position within any company. As a BDM, you may need to work under strict work deadlines and will be held solely responsible for the success or failure of a company. The challenging ingredient of the job makes it quite rewarding. Typically, the position follows 9-5 timetable, but overtime and weekend work may be required to do when there is a tight condition.

What is the career progression?

From the position of a BDM, you can progress to a senior business development position and after gaining years of experience and skills, you can become Vice President of business development.


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    • profile image

      satish yadav 

      3 years ago

      I am a computer science engineer recently completed the degree but I want to make my career in management field . what can I do for that please help me

    • dhimanreena profile imageAUTHOR

      Reena Dhiman 

      4 years ago

      @Vicky0011 thanks for appreciating this hub.


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