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Business Development Representative

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

Business development representatives (BDRs) specialize in sales and technical knowledge to find potential customers and growth opportunities for a company. Here’s what to know about a business development representative’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.


What Is a Business Development Representative?

Business development representatives research, connect with and present company information to qualified client leads in order to gain customers for a company. 


What Do Business Development Representatives Do?

Business development representatives reach out to potential leads and form customer relationships, usually by cold calling or emailing.

Business Development Representative Responsibilities

  • Identify and qualify potential customer leads.
  • Contact and schedule meetings with potential customers through cold calling or cold emailing.
  • Build customer relationships and provide company, product and/or service information.
  • Understand customer needs and make customized product recommendations.

Business Development Representatives Within a Company

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

Importance of Business Development Representatives

Business development representatives act as an important component of lead generation strategies, and can often be the first point of contact between a business and prospective customers.

Day in the Life in Sales & Business Development (SDR & BDR). | Video: Patrick Dang


What Skills Are Needed to Be a Business Development Representative?

Qualifications to Be a Business Development Representative

  • Internship or entry-level experience in business development, sales or a related field.
  • Ability to build customer relationships and understand customer needs.
  • Ability to initiate lead generation and present product relevance.

Business Development Representative Prerequisites

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

Business Development Representative Hard Skills

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

Business Development Representative Soft Skills

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

Tools and Programs Business Development Representatives Use

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

Business Development Representative Education and Experience

Business development representatives often hold a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or a similar field.

Business development representatives will also need to obtain internship or entry-level experience in business development, sales or related roles. Knowledge of lead generation, building customer relationships, sales performance analysis as well as effective communication and listening skills are recommended.

Business Development Representative Certificates and Courses

Business Development Representative Career Path

Business development representatives may move into business development manager roles after gaining several years of experience. From here, professionals can move into roles like director of business development or vice president of business development.


Business Development Representative Salary and Job Outlook

Business development representatives, falling under the category of sales representatives by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will see a 4 percent increase in employment by 2031.

The full compensation package for a business development representative 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 representative salary.


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