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Business Development Manager

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What Is a Business Development Manager? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Business development managers (BDMs) supervise business development representatives and generate company revenue through maintaining customer relationships. Here’s what to know about a business development manager’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is a Business Development Manager?

Business development managers solidify client leads and assist in strategic growth planning. While business development representatives may generate and transfer leads to account executives or similar professionals, business development managers often foster existing customer relationships and seek out upsell opportunities.


What Do Business Development Managers Do?

Business development managers nurture customer relationships, explore growth opportunities and manage lead generation processes.

Business Development Manager Responsibilities

  • Research and plan new growth opportunities, strategies and initiatives.
  • Contact potential customers, maintain current customers and increase customer value.
  • Establish business development goals and ensure quotas are met.
  • Oversee business development representatives and early sales cycle operations.

Business Development Managers Within a Company

Business development managers are part of a sales team within a company and may report to a director of business development.

Importance of Business Development Managers

Business development managers ensure that customer relationships are producing value for both parties, as well as help determine sales revenue and growth goals. They act as a significant resource for companies looking to maximize long-term profits.

Business Development - Day in the Life in Business Development. | Video: Patrick Dang


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Business Development Manager?

Qualifications to Be a Business Development Manager

  • Two or more years of experience in business development, sales or a similar field.
  • Ability to build, maintain and produce value from customer relationships.
  • Ability to guide growth planning, strategies and initiatives.

Business Development Manager Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or related field.

Business Development Manager Hard Skills

  • Expertise with customer relationship management (CRM) software.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets and related analysis tools.
  • Experience with sales performance analysis tools.
  • Understanding of sales automation tools.
  • Knowledge of presentation and data visualization tools.

Business Development Manager Soft Skills

  • Customer service skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Management and leadership skills.
  • Verbal and written communication skills.

Tools and Programs Business Development Managers Use

  • ActiveCampaign
  • Gong
  • HubSpot
  • LinkedIn
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Outreach
  • Salesforce 
  • Salesloft 
  • Tableau 
  • ZoomInfo 
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How to Become a Business Development Manager

Business Development Manager Education and Experience

Business development managers tend to hold a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or a related field.

Business development managers will need to obtain two or more years of experience in business development, sales or similar roles. Knowledge in the areas of strategy development, lead generation, customer relationship management, sales performance analysis and effective communication are recommended.

Business Development Manager Certificates and Courses

Business Development Manager Career Path

After gaining experience as a business development representative or related role, professionals may move into the business development manager role. From this point, professionals can progress into roles like director of business development or vice president of business development.


Business Development Manager Salary and Job Outlook

Business development managers are expected to see a job growth rate of 8 percent by 2028, according to Zippia.

The full compensation package for a business development manager depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average business development manager salary.


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