So you wanna be a Business Development Manager
Do you like buying and selling things? Are you fascinated by commercials on TV and the Internet, magazine ads and displays at malls? Are you active on social networking sites and do you always know the latest trends? If you think your talents could launch shopping and sales onto a whole new level, you could be a business development manager or a marketing manager in the making.
The job of a business development manager
Business development managers build customer relationships, uncover new business opportunities, and bring new products and services to buyers. Your job requires you to research organisations to identify new customers and find out what they need. You would also need to identify your competitors and keep up with market trends.
Often, you will work with a team to manage a budget and ensure sales targets are met. You don't need to be a maths whiz but you would need to be able to analyse data to determine what's profitable for the company. Motivating your team, meeting people, negotiating and building positive relationships are important aspects in this job.
Is this job for you?
If you're interested in sales, new products and building relationships, this job could be ideal for you. You should also be aware of the latest trends in TV and Internet commercials, magazine ads and product launches. Having excellent communication and IT skills is a big plus, for example, being active on social networking sites and being the first to know about what's trending.
The interest code for this career is EC (Enterprising and Conventional).
Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
To be successful in the role of a business development manager, the following work styles are essential:
- Work as a reliable, responsible and dependable team player
- Thorough and careful about detail when completing tasks
- Able to work well with people at all levels and influence them
- Good leadership skills that includes taking charge and offering opinions and ideas
- Good time management and organisational skills
- Flexible and able to stay calm under pressure and keep to deadlines
- Excellent communication and IT skills
- Like dealing with customers and maintain a good-natured attitude
- Enjoy problem-solving and coming up with creative strategies
- Able to convince others of your ideas through strong sales and negotiation techniques
As a business development manager, you value job security and good working conditions. You are results-oriented and support team members by allowing them to use their strongest abilities and rewarding for their accomplishments. It is important to you that you are able work independently by making your own decisions and being accountable for them.
Your work as a business development manager directly affects a firm's revenue, as such, it is common for you to work closely with top executives. There will be many meetings with clients and your team – brainstorming, planning, troubleshooting, making presentations, negotiating, and more. Your job can also be stressful, particularly near deadlines. Although you are based in an office, you might need to travel to meet with clients or media representatives.
Places of Employment
You may work in a variety of businesses across the public and private sectors in their marketing efforts, or help NGOs and charities to secure more funding and widen their influence. Examples include working for firms that offer professional or technical services, companies that sell products, manufacturing, financial institutions, or wholesale trade.
Job Entry Requirement
At entry level as a business development executive, you'll receive ongoing training with your employer. You may not need formal qualifications for this role if you have experience in sales and marketing, however, a good standard of maths, English and IT is a plus. Some employers may ask for a degree in any subject, however, a business-related degree may give you useful background knowledge and help you get onto a graduate training programme run by some companies. Higher positions such as marketing director and regional business director may require an MBA.
Education and Training Qualifications:
Thinking about getting into business development? Watch this video and find out what the job is really like.
Need some advice on becoming a business development manager? Watch this video.
Want to know what other options you have with a business degree? Watch what some graduates are doing after their business degree.