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How to become a Business Development Manager

Business Development Manager
avg. starting salary

Looking for a career where development comes with the title? You’ve come to the right place…

Business Development Managers are senior sales people who are responsible for improving an organisation’s financial growth.

Their role could involve anything from sourcing new clients and developing relationships, to coming up with strategic goals (both short-term and long-term) and generating business interest through advertising, client calls, and networking.

Business Development Managers are needed in almost every sector, and usually work in office environments – although travelling to conferences, and events could also be part of their day-to-day.

Typical duties for a Business Development Manager could include:

  • Seeking out opportunities and pursuing potential sales leads
  • Assessing the needs of an organisation and tailoring sales pitches accordingly
  • Selling products and/or services and negotiating costs with clients
  • Building on existing client relationships via phone, email, and face-to-face
  • Setting and monitoring sales targets
  • Managing, training, and motivating a team of sales people
  • Writing and pitching sales proposals

Not only will you need excellent communication (see also: sales) skills, and a knack for negotiation to become a Business Development Manager, you’ll also need to be a strategic thinker with good business sense.

A fast-paced working environment and tight deadlines come with the territory for anyone working in this field, so self-motivation, initiative, and a vested passion for what you do is also a must.

A Business Development Manager will also need to be:

  • Knowledgeable about sales methods and strategies
  • Able to give excellent customer service
  • Persuasive and personable
  • A team player with good leadership skills
  • Able to manage time effectively
  • A creative problem solver
  • Computer literate


Entry-level Business Development Manager

Up to £25,000

Business Development Manager

Up to £40,000

Senior Business Development Manager

Up to £65,000

"After realising I wanted a job working with people, I started out as a Sales Executive – and I’ve never looked back (OK, maybe a few times). Even with the tough sales calls, it’s a really great industry to work in if you enjoy building relationships and thinking of strategic ways to do things. Being a Business Development Manager allows me to combine both of these strengths, and while one day I could be motivating my team, the next I could be contacting clients, arranging meetings, and persuading them to get on board with our business’s products. There’s also a huge sense of community in my office, and the fact that we’re all working towards a joint goal makes meeting sales targets that little bit easier."

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