Business development manager

Managerial Career Profiles from The CV Writer - Creating Brand YOU - #creatingbrandYOU

Business development managers find new customers, and persuade existing ones to buy extra services.

Salary Range: £25,000 to £60,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • graduate training scheme
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You’ll find a degree in business development or business management may give you useful background knowledge and help you get onto the graduate training programmes, which are run by some companies.Other useful subjects include:

  • accountancy
  • economics
  • international relations

Employers will also usually want you to have experience in sales, marketing or business management.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More information

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You could study a college course in sales or business. If you’ve started work in a junior role, you could consider taking qualifications like:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Skills for Business: Sales and Marketing
  • Level 3 Award in Business Development Skills
  • Level 3 Certificate in Sales Management

Entry requirements

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More information

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You can work towards this role by doing a business to business sales professional or retail leadership degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More information

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You could work your way up from a sales or marketing role.

Volunteering and experience

You could develop useful customer service and marketing skills by volunteering.

Do It has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct application

You could apply directly to become a business development manager, as there are no formal entry requirements. Employers may ask for:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in maths, English and IT
  • sales, marketing or business management experience
  • a degree in any subject

Other routes

Graduate training schemes are offered by some companies.

More information

Career tips

In some jobs you could travel around the world to meet customers, so it may be helpful to speak a second language.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Sales Management and The Managing & Marketing Sales Association, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • the ability to sell products and services
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • leadership skills
  • maths knowledge
  • customer service skills
  • business management skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • researching organisations to find new customers and identify who makes the decisions
  • ‘cold calling’ to arrange meetings at customers’ premises
  • finding out what an organisation needs and working with a team to plan proposals and pricing
  • selling products and services to new and existing customers
  • negotiating with customers and building positive relationships
  • attending events and conferences
  • writing reports and making presentations to customers and senior management
  • identifying new methods and opportunities for sales campaigns
  • forecasting sales targets and making sure they’re met
  • delivering training to business developers and junior sales teams

Working environment

You could work at a client’s business or in an office.

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With experience, you could progress to senior development manager, business development executive or marketing director. 

You could also use your skills in sales, marketing and project management to move into other areas of business.