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How to become a Business Development Manager

Business Development Managers (BDMs) are responsible for helping a business attract new customers. A fusion of marketing and sales, the job involves researching new leads, creating contacts, and building strong relationships with clients, suppliers, stakeholders, and even other businesses. Their main focus is increasing awareness of products and services and creating new opportunities for sales.

If you are highly driven and self-motivated, great at making connections, and want the opportunity to work flexibly or remotely, then this job could be great for you.

If you have these skills, you could make a great Business Development Manager

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong business sense
  • Friendly and approachable
  • Strong technical skills
  • Good negotiator
  • Great problem-solver
  • Independent worker
  • Organised and efficient
  • Focused and dedicated

What tasks can I expect to do?

  • Research and understand target audiences
  • Identify potential new leads
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with clients
  • Promote the business’ products or services
  • Attend sales and networking events
  • Brainstorm with design and sales teams
  • Arrange meetings with clients and other stakeholders
  • Constantly update your knowledge about the market

Where do Business Development Managers work?

You will be doing work most of your work indoors, in an office environment. There is usually lots of opportunity to travel and meet with clients face-to-face. The growth of online conferencing platforms means that virtual and remote opportunities are also available, allowing you to work from nearly anywhere.

What kind of lifestyle can I expect as a Business Development Manager?

Most BDMs generally have a typical working week, usually aligned with standard business hours – expect to work from around 9 to 5 on weekdays, with time off on weekends and public holidays. You might occasionally need to work overtime or outside of regular hours depending on client demand and the needs of the business.

Most BDMs earn an above average salary throughout their career. In some cases, you might earn a commission on top of your regular wage.

Business headquarters, particularly for medium and large businesses, are much more common in larger cities, so you might have more luck finding jobs in these areas. Most roles are full-time, and part-time or casual work is relatively uncommon.

How to become a Business Development Manager

Tertiary qualifications are highly desirable in this career, generally in business, marketing, or economics. Work experience in sales is also very valuable.

Step 1 – Finish high school with a focus on English and Maths. Business subjects are also useful.

Step 2 – Gain relevant work experience in sales and customer service-based roles.

Step 3 – Complete a university-level qualification in business, economics, finance, marketing, or a related field.

Step 4 – Work on key skills such as communication, research, presentation, confidence, persuasion, and planning.

Step 5 – Find an industry that interests you and get a few years of experience in sales, marketing, or other departments. Keep learning, then apply for BDM roles. If possible, find a mentor and remember to network.

Find out more here:

Similar careers to Business Development Manager

  • Salesperson
  • Retail Manager
  • Customer Relationship Consultant
  • Operations Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Marketing Representative
  • Partnerships Coordinator
  • Office Manager

Find out more about alternative careers.

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