What Does a Business Development Manager Do? (With Salary)

Updated 3 September 2023

A business development manager works to improve an organisation's business operations, reputation and brand identity. They also help companies save operational costs and increase profits. If you are interested in this career, you may want to know what these professionals do on a day-to-day basis. In this article, we answer, "What does a business development manager do?" and some commonly asked questions about this profession.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

What does a business development manager do?

Business development managers are responsible for helping businesses grow by finding new opportunities, researching leads, establishing professional relationships with potential clients and arranging appointments for sales executives. Some of the daily duties of a business development manager include:

  • Researching prospective clients in targeted markets, pursuing leads and facilitating successful alliances

  • Understanding the target markets, including industries, competitors, projects and market strategies

  • Collaborating with design and sales teams to develop products and services

  • Maintaining relationships with existing clients and identifying new prospects within a market

  • Developing a strong understanding of a company's products and services

  • Following latest developments and trends in the industry

  • Developing innovative ideas to expand the profitability of a business

  • Attending meetings and conferences to build business strategies

  • Training a team to strengthen their skills and improve the capabilities of the workforce

Related: What Is Business Development? Definition and Skills

What skills does a business development manager need?

If you want to become a business development manager, consider developing these skills:

  • Communication: Business development managers communicate with a variety of professionals, stakeholders and business owners daily. It can be helpful to have good verbal and written communication skills so you can send and receive messages effectively.

  • Interpersonal skills: Individuals in this role should also have good interpersonal skills in order to build working relationships with different types of professionals. Business development managers must be good with customer support to gain a buyer's confidence by listening to specific concerns and raising valid queries and help them navigate a sales cycle.

  • Problem-solving: The job of a business development manager requires them to have good analytical and problem-solving skills. They analyse business operations to identify problems, then try to eliminate those problems through effective strategies.

  • Decision-making: A business development manager's decisions can have important consequences on a company's growth. They often need to come up with fast solutions that are feasible to implement.

  • Negotiation skills: In this role, you may have to convince other professionals and persuade them to see your perspective. It is important to be able to make strong arguments and support them with facts during a negotiation process while employing effective conversation tactics to invoke curiosity and interest among listeners.

  • Computer skills: Although you may be working with a team of IT professionals, basic computer literacy can be helpful to succeed in this line of work. Computer skills can be useful during analysis, research and communication.

  • Flexibility: In this type of work, it is difficult to have a fixed day-to-day schedule. Flexibility is a personality trait that determines how well a person can adapt to changing circumstances and find creative solutions to new problems.

  • Strategic thinking: Business development managers benefit from being able to think both in long-term and short-term contexts. One of the primary duties of a business development manager is to analyse existing strategies and develop methods to enhance them while forecasting future difficulties.

Related: Business Strategy Components and Examples

What are the top three skills for a business development executive?

The top three skills for a business development executive include sales skills, marketing skills and business intelligence. These professionals need to identify members of a company's target audience, successfully locate opportunities and enhance the possibility of growth. Sales and marketing skills allow a business developer to expand the scale of a company's operations. They also require these skills to develop strategies to promote their brand, raise awareness and gain new customers.

Having good business intelligence includes being able to understand the specific needs of a company and its primary competitors in the context of development. Business intelligence is crucial for generating useful inferences from existing data and resources. In order to develop this skill, it is important to stay up-to-date on major developments and advancements in your specific business domain.

Related: What Is the Difference Between Sales and Business Development?

How to become a business development manager

Follow these steps to become a business development manager:

1. Complete your higher secondary education

Taking commerce, economics or accounting as subjects in 10+2 can help you get started. You can also take courses that focus on business, marketing or sales. Reputed colleges in these disciplines may have cut-off percentages for board exams, which you have to clear to be eligible for admission.

2. Get a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree in business, marketing or finance can greatly improve your job prospects in this field. To pursue an undergraduate degree course, you may require a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in a recognised board exam. While some institutions conduct admissions based on entrance exams, most institutions give weight to a candidate's performance on board examinations. You may consider pursuing the following degrees:

  • BA (Bachelor of Arts) in mass communication

  • BSc (Bachelor of Science) in finance

  • BSc in accountancy

  • BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)

  • BBA in marketing

  • BBA in business management

  • BBA in human resources management

3. Consider pursuing a master's degree

To improve your professional network and career prospects, consider pursuing a post-graduate degree or diploma in fields like finance or management. Popular courses are MBA (Master of Business Administration), MBA in marketing, MBA in business management, MBA in finance and PGDM (Post-Graduate Diploma in Management). The Indian Institutes of Management conduct admissions through the CAT (Common Admission Test). To clear this exam, be sure to thoroughly prepare.

Related: How To Write A Business Development Manager Resume

4. Gain work experience

During your studies or after, you can complete internships to understand the job role and the work culture better. To become a business development manager for a large company or reputed firm, you may need a few years of work experience and letters of recommendation. Client testimonials and references can help improve your job prospects, as they serve as a way to let hiring managers know more about your qualifications.

As you learn more about the position, it can be helpful to develop a working knowledge of computer applications like word processing software, spreadsheets, social media and other communication tools. This knowledge can help you succeed in the role. Also, you will likely learn more about marketing and sales strategies so you are able to execute a successful business expansion in the future.

Related: How To Write Work Experience on Your CV

5. Take online certification courses

Parallel to formal educational qualifications, you may also try to pursue certifications to add to your resume. Platforms like Coursera and Udemy allow you to participate and learn from short courses you can take at your convenience. Include these certifications on your CV so hiring managers are aware of how you have developed your knowledge of your industry and how committed you are to your career path.

Is business development a good career field?

In the last few decades, many small and medium scale businesses have had the opportunity to expand their operations globally. There is an increasing volume of work opportunities for professionals in this field. Business development strategies evolve greatly with technological progress, and most companies are trying to adapt to constantly changing market trends. In such a situation, it is crucial for companies to rely on the service of business development executives, especially if they are looking to establish their presence in new markets with different legislative frameworks, work cultures and languages.

Business development is a generally safe domain to start a career in. You may work for a company as a regular salaried employee, or start your own consultancy service and work with multiple clients simultaneously. Additionally, you can also think of specializing within specific industries to improve your employability.

Related: 36 Business Development Manager Interview Questions And Tips

How much do business development managers make?

The average base salary of a business development manager is ₹5,27,784 per year. This figure has the potential to increase, depending on your educational qualifications, expertise and work history. The average base salary of a senior business development manager is ₹6,11,140 per year. Salaries may also vary between industries.

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