“Growth is never by mere chance; It is the result of forces working together” – James Cash Penney
Imagine working in a company where no one questions you about achieving your monthly targets, no one tells you about changes in the market or what your competition is up to. I am indeed tempted by the idea, but don’t you think that would make it pretty hard for the company to succeed? And this will automatically hamper your job as well.
Here, business development practices come to the rescue; to challenge you to improve, to update you about the changes in the market, or determine ways to attract your target audience. There’s a lot that goes behind running a business; a strategically designed business development plan can be elemental in the success or failure of a company. Taking a business to newer heights involves identifying long-term strategies through market studies and customer relations. That is why a business development manager plays a vital role in any organisation, and thus, every company invests in this domain.
If you are someone who wishes to understand whether the business development field is ideal for you or not, then you must learn about its responsibilities, functions and skills required. In this article, we have outlined the role, skills required and other particulars of business development in detail.
What is Business Development?
Business development is the process of identifying and gaining new customers while deducing potential business opportunities to foster growth and profitability. As per Investopedia, business development is the combination of ideas, initiatives, and activities that enhance the scope of any business.
A business development strategy has various objectives, from growth in terms of expansion, increasing revenue, and profitability to building strategic partnerships.
Almost every major industry, including IT, staffing, cybersecurity, construction, healthcare, financial services, e-commerce and many others, has a full-fledged business development management team.
What is a Business Development Manager?
Business Development Managers (BDM) bear the responsibility of driving business growth, strategic planning, sales management, and prospecting new clients for business expansion. They are often regarded as the key members of the go-to-market team. A BDM has to implement various skills such as strategic planning, negotiation, and project management.
Those who have an outgoing personality, have good communication skills and are interested in sales are a perfect fit for the business development manager role. But what does this job role involve on a daily basis? Let’s explore that in the upcoming sections.
Business Development Manager: Role & Functions
By now, you must have understood that a Business Development Manager builds business relationships with potential customers, and their goal is to benefit the company by increasing sales and expanding the business to new markets.
As Business Development Professionals are the forerunner of a business, their role is quite challenging. Though the specific role varies depending on the organisation, mentioned below are the core responsibilities of a Business Development Manager:
Research prospective customers in the target market
- Understanding the company’s product offerings, analysing the competitors in the industry and its standing in the market
- Collaborate with the sales team to ensure high-quality prospects in the customer pipeline
- Monitoring client needs and the company’s ability to fulfil them
- Preparing status reports on targets and following up with new leads generated by the sales team
- Formulating quotes and proposals for prospective clients
- Setting goals and structuring plans for business and revenue growth
How to Become a Business Development Manager?
There is no specific formal education that you need to follow to become a Business Development Manager; you can follow several routes to pursue this career. Following is the clear and simple route to becoming a Business Development Manager in future:
Acquire the Foundational Qualification
To start with, completing a bachelor’s programme, preferably in business or a related field such as BBA, BCom, etc., is an essential requirement. Most employers seek candidates with educational backgrounds in business administration, sales, marketing or entrepreneurship. A degree in these domains helps you have a foundational understanding of business ethics, decision-making in business, data analysis, management practices, accounting, and marketing. While these enhance your chance of entering this role, pursuing a master’s in such relevant fields will give you an advantage in the eyes of the recruiters.
If your academic background is different, then you can always go for short-term online courses. Such programmes from renowned institutions are equally weighed by the companies. Along with academics, you should take up appropriate industrial training and internships to better understand your skills and interests. In fact, internships add credibility to your profile when looking for a job, so it is always advised to seize good training opportunities.
Experience in sales, marketing or customer-facing roles is often preferred. It can be an internship or a full-time job. These positions require excellent communication and negotiating skills, and candidates with such backgrounds stand a high chance. Experience as an entrepreneur is also relevant as it reflects that you have the perspective of the nitty-gritty of running a business and can identify business challenges.
Develop Relevant Skills
As per a Marketing Agency Growth report by Hubspot, 35% of agencies find it hard to source employees who fit perfectly in the required position. It is because many candidates fail to understand the appropriate skills required for the particular role and miss various opportunities. According to the job portals Indeed and LinkedIn, some of the essential skills for a Business Development Manager role are:
- Leadership skills
- Software and technical skills
- Communication skills
- Time Management skills
- Organisational skills
- Decision-making capability
- Negotiation skills
- Project Management skills
- Business Intelligence
Both soft and technical skills are imperative for this role, which most candidates tend to ignore. As most organisations use a sales Content Management System (CMS) for tracking leads and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), this is one of the important skill sets. In addition, hands-on experience in Microsoft 365 and the basics of analytics can be an added advantage.
Salary in India & Future Scope
The primary goal of every sector is to grow, expand and increase its profit. This makes business development an essential part of every industry. Currently, more than 13,000+ job opportunities are available as per various job portals like LinkedIn and Indeed. Depending upon your specialisation, you can work as a BDM in various sectors, including construction, education, finance, healthcare, IT, manufacturing, telecommunications and many others. Owing to the broader involvement of business development practices, this field has a huge scope. Some of the big names in India, like Cognizant, Unacademy, Planet Spark, Amazon, etc., offer lucrative packages for this role.
- The average salary of a Business Development Manager is INR 5.50 LPA.
- The highest salary of a Business Development Manager is INR 15 LPA.
Source: Ambition Box
It may not be easy to define business development in a few words, but overall, professionals involved in this field work to fulfil the collective goal of a business organisation, which is to grow. It demands both hard and soft skills to make ends meet, be it market research, business expansion or boosting revenue.
Q1. What is the salary range for business development managers?
The average salary for a Business Development Manager is INR 5,50,000 annually.
Q2. What is the difference between a manager and a business development manager?
While managers are responsible for the daily operations of their respective teams, business development managers are responsible for identifying new business opportunities and strategies for the entire company’s growth.
Q3. What are the challenges of being a business development manager?
A few challenges often faced by BDMs are lack of training and structure, finding suitable leads, meeting targets, generating new growth opportunities, facing rejections and keeping up with technology.
Jagpreet is a Digital Marketing Expert and EdTech enthusiast. Having a total experience of over 11 years, he has been working in the Education industry for the past 6 years. Over the years, Jagpreet has mastered multiple trades such as Web Development, SEO, IT, Content Writing, Graphic Designing, etc. He is an extremely tech-savvy individual who loves gaming.