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How to Become a Business Development Manager

If you are seeking a business management career opportunity, a business development manager role might be the perfect choice for you. As a business development manager, you are often the first point of contact for potential clients who are looking for information on your company’s products and services. To be successful as a business development manager, you will need to have excellent communication skills, a compelling sales personality, and strong public relations skills. 

A business development manager is responsible for seeking out long-term growth and revenue opportunities from customers, markets, and relationships. Your sales skills should be high level as you could be selling ideas, products, services, or relationships. 

Sample job description

Business development managers create plans for revenue growth and implement new target market initiatives. One role they play is that they conduct research to develop growth strategies. They also may build relationships with customers and offer support after transactions have taken place. Business development managers will be most effective when they have market knowledge and expertise when it comes to time management and planning skills. [Your Company name] is hiring experienced business development managers. A BSc/BA in business administration, sales, or a relevant field is a great asset for a business development manager, but also if you have a proven sales track record, a position at our company may be a good fit for you. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Develop and execute business development, marketing, and external communications programs
  • Manage the development of client-specific pitch materials
  • Plan and support business development events, including seminars, webinars, and dinners
  • Provide strategic business development advice to law firm leadership and partners focused on the generation of new business leads, expansion of existing clients, and new projects and initiatives
  • Manage and coordinate the firm’s website, newsletter, brochure, and other external communications
  • Oversee and assist with the production of marketing materials

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or a related field; an MBA is preferred. Multiple years of experience in marketing and business development, and previous law firm experience is highly desirable.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Highly organized
  • Able to manage multiple tasks and projects concurrently
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Experience with — and a strong understanding of — marketing and advertising
  • Ability to provide consistent and high-quality work under tight deadlines
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Keen attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • 5+ years of management inside of a business
  • Strong marketing knowledge
  • Master’s degree in business administration or a related field

Typical work environment

Most business development managers work within the offices of businesses that they are working for. Many work with several businesses at once, and as a result, they may travel to a few offices in a day and/or to conferences and conventions. Day to day, they find new leads, establishing relationships with potential and existing clients. They also connect with design teams and may train staff members. 

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a Business Development Manager are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting.  

Available certifications

Most companies will need a business development manager to increase sales, so many institutions offer different certifications to help. Check out the following: 

  • Certified Business Development Manager. Administered by the AIBMC (The American Institute for Business Management and Communication), the CBDM allows employers to recognize your potential. You’ll be trained in management, which will help you move forward in your career.
  • The Certified Sales Professional (CSP) program gives students a better scope of understanding in the sales process. From time management to territory management, to setting goals and creating quality leads, this will help you take your position to the next level and allow you to better lead any business you work for.

Career path

The path to becoming a Business Development Manager begins with obtaining a bachelor’s degree in marketing or communications, or a related field. Beyond that, earning an MBA in one of those fields can help further one’s career possibilities, as can earning certification as a Certified Business Development Manager. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-2021

2020 Employment293,700
Projected Employment in 2030323,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 10% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift29,400 increase

Business development personnel are essential to nearly every business – large and small. These employees play a valuable part in not only promoting their organization to the general public, but also in finding and retaining clients based on their company’s unique criteria and business objectives.

According to ActiveCampaign, savvy Business Development Managers will need to keep abreast of an ever-expanding number of software options that can be useful to businesses. Also, there’s a definite trend to align a firm’s outbound development calls and communications with their marketing brand and voice, which should strengthen the impact on prospective customers.