Those interested in helping businesses develop long-term relationships with clients may be drawn to a career in business development. Business development managers play a crucial role in the success of an organization. These professionals generate new sales leads, negotiate client pricing, and forecast sales revenue, all to support one of the most important business development manager responsibilities — helping organizations maximize their profits.
Business development managers must evaluate current sales performance and identify ways an organization can expand and grow. Consequently, this career is an ideal choice for those who are self-motivated, goal-oriented, and commission-driven. Students seeking a career in business development should start by building the knowledge and skills they’ll need to be successful. Earning an advanced degree, such as Maryville University’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, can prepare graduates for business development manager positions in a variety of fields.
Work Settings for Business Development Managers
Most business development managers work full time, Monday through Friday, but their work environments may vary. Some business development managers work in an office, some work entirely from home, and others split their time between the two. In addition, professionals in this field often travel for conferences, conventions, and client meetings.
Business development managers work in a number of industries, including:
- Software and hardware
- Financial services
What Do Business Development Managers Do?
Although the responsibilities of a business development manager may vary by industry, many day-to-day duties are uniform. Some of those include:
- Setting goals and developing plans for business and revenue growth
- Researching, planning, and implementing new target market initiatives
- Researching prospective accounts in target markets
- Pursuing leads and moving them through the sales cycle
- Developing quotes and proposals for prospective clients
- Setting goals for the business development team and developing strategies to meet those goals
- Training business development staff
- Attending conferences and industry events
Fundamental Skills for Business Development Managers
Aspiring business development managers need a variety of hard and soft skills. Examples include communication, organizational, time-management, and technical and computer skills, as well as drive and self-motivation.
- Communication skills: Business development managers must be able to communicate with clients of all backgrounds and educational levels. Well-developed written and verbal communication skills are must-haves for professionals who work in this field.
- Organizational skills: Professionals who choose this career path must be comfortable juggling numerous clients, on- and off-site meetings, and deadlines. Individuals who are highly organized are best equipped to manage the many parts of the job and keep client proposals and other tasks on track.
- Time-management skills: Business development managers must understand how to prioritize their time. Individuals who work in this field must be comfortable managing a calendar and adjusting their schedule as needed.
- Technical and computer skills: Most organizations use a sales content management system (CMS) to track leads and client calls and document where each prospect is in the sales cycle. Aspiring business development managers must have basic technical and computer skills.
- Drive and self-motivation: The most successful business development managers are goal-oriented and commission-driven. Professionals who have drive and motivation will push themselves to succeed.
Salary Range for Business Development Managers
PayScale reports the median salary for business development managers in July 2020 was around $73,000. Earners in the bottom 10% of the salary range made around $45,000, while those in the top 10% made around $122,000. Most compensation packages for business development managers consist of a base salary plus commission.
In addition to a business development manager’s responsibilities, other factors impacting earnings include the industry, the geographic location of the job, and the employee’s level of experience. It should also be noted that individuals who have earned an advanced degree, such as an online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, may receive additional compensation.
Your Path Toward a Career as a Business Development Manager Starts at Maryville
Professionals looking to take their career to the next level may find that earning an advanced degree, such as Maryville University’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, can help them achieve their goal. This dynamic program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in business while developing their problem-solving, critical-thinking, and leadership skills. The curriculum includes classes in business ethics, project management, leadership, and management policies as well as courses for specialized concentrations.
Are you ready to take the first brave step toward a career as a business development manager? Learn how Maryville’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership program can help prepare you for the job you want.
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Betterteam, Business Development Manager
Forbes, “New to Business Development? 10 Hot Industries to Join Right Now”
Houston Chronicle, “Difference Between a Business Development Manager & a Sales Manager”
Indeed, Learn About Being a Business Development Manager
PayScale, Average Business Development Manager Salary
Robert Half, Business Development Manager Job Description Guide