Every company shares one key goal: to bring in revenue. Business Developers are essential for any company as they take care of that exact element. Their role is to find new ways to increase revenue and help the business grow and succeed.
If you’ve ever wondered what a business development manager does exactly, you’re in the right place. We’ll zoom in on what is involved in this role, the essential skills you’ll need to pursue a career in this field, and how to become a Business Development Manager.
What Does a Business Development Manager Do?
In essence, a Business Development Manager generates new revenue for a company to encourage it to grow. This may involve identifying and cultivating new clients, driving sales, managing customer relationships, developing new products, and strategic planning. Once this professional has found these kinds of new opportunities, they leverage them to increase the business’ revenue
Business development managers can work across a range of industries, from finance and healthcare to IT and manufacturing
The day-to-day work of a business development manager may include:
- Attending industry events
- Actioning sales leads
- Running booths at conferences
- Cold calling potential clients
- Meeting with existing clients
- Researching new markets, clients, and products
- Developing strategies to reach new markets
Essential Skills for Business Development Managers
Business Development Managers play a crucial, and complex role that demands a range of different capabilities. To become a Business Development Manager, you’ll need to master certain skills.
Strong communication skills are absolutely essential if you want to be an effective Business Developer or Business Development Manager. A key part of these roles is communicating with internal and external stakeholders, whether delivering a report to the company’s top executives, or cold calling a potential client. An excellent Business Development Manager can listen to and understand their client’s needs, communicate them to other team members, and make persuasive recommendations to senior leadership to convince them to adopt the best strategies to drive company growth and increase revenue.
A big part of business development is sales and customer relations. A Business Development Manager needs to reach out to new prospects, strengthen existing client relationships, and drive new sales. This involves a high degree of persuasion, and careful negotiation to make sure the company meets its goals while keeping external stakeholders happy. Negotiation skills are also critical when dealing with internal stakeholders: working across various departments and levels of an organisation to push business development objectives requires excellent tact and diplomacy.
Very few business professionals work alone, and this is particularly true of a Business Development Manager. As part of this role, you’ll work closely with the sales and customer service teams, company leadership, and a range of other members of the organisation. As such, you need to be able to collaborate, manage conflict, and work effectively as part of a team. It’s almost impossible to drive business development goals if you can’t get other team members on board, or are unable to harvest their talents and energy to help achieve these objectives.
Thorough research underpins a lot of what a Business Development Manager does. In this role, you’ll need to look into new markets, prospective clients, and explore products and services that could increase the company’s revenue. You’ll need to extensively research potential and existing clients, their needs, goals, and pain points, in order to make them the most attractive offer. Excellent research skills will allow you to keep track of others in the industry so that the business can stay competitive.
Business Intelligence, or BI, describes the approaches, tools, and technologies that companies use to analyse data and use it to come up with strategies to increase their revenue and meet their goals. A key part of business intelligence is competence in data analytics: as a Business Developer, you need to analyse data around the company’s performance, in order to come up with strategies to expand its revenue. You also need to use data to deeply understand the market, top competitors, and various service offerings.
Most Business Development Manager roles involve some degree of project management. You’ll likely need to run a variety of projects to drive more revenue, from identifying and targeting prospects to expanding into new markets. Therefore, you need the same skills as you would to run a successful project in any context, such as planning, budgeting, tracking deadlines, and managing risk, as well as supervising team members to make sure the project reaches its objectives on time and on budget.
How to Pursue a Career in Business Development
Now you have a clearer picture of what business development managers do and the essential skills they need to succeed, all that’s left is to make it happen!
To pursue a career in this field you’ll need a combination of technical skills such as business intelligence, and vital soft skills such as communication and teamwork