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Business development manager

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £25,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but employers may ask for:

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

A business-related degree could help you get onto some companies’ graduate training programmes.

You could also:

  • work your way up from a sales or marketing role
  • get a head start by doing a college course in sales or business
  • develop useful customer service and marketing skills by volunteering

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication and IT skills
  • the ability to get on with people at all levels and influence them
  • strong problem-solving and creative skills
  • an ability to stay calm under pressure and keep to deadlines
  • strong sales and negotiation techniques
  • teamworking and leadership skills
  • attention to detail
  • time management and organisational skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll work in a variety of businesses across the public and private sectors, or for charities.

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

4. Salary

Starter: £25,000

Experienced: £30,000 to £50,000

Highly Experienced: £60,000

There are often extra benefits like a company car or private health care.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, although you may need to work longer hours to meet deadlines. 

Hours may also be longer when off-site at customers’ premises or at conferences.

Travel is often required and you’ll usually need a driving licence. You may be provided with a company car.

Standard business dress will be expected.

6. Career path and progression

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.

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Last updated: 10 September 2018