Business Development Manager

Job Description:

Business development managers plan business strategies, find new customers and markets, and help companies grow.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

Your job as a business development manager is to identify sales leads, pitch goods or services to new clients, and maintain a good working relationship with existing contacts.

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


You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • the ability to sell products and services
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • leadership skills
  • customer service skills
  • persuading skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Business Development Manager, specific qualifications are not typically required. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for a career in business development and management roles. Business Development Managers typically require a combination of education, relevant work experience, and skills. Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: Strong math skills are important for financial analysis, budgeting, and understanding business metrics and data.
  2. English Language: Effective written and verbal communication skills are essential for Business Development Managers, as they need to communicate with clients, team members, and other stakeholders.
  3. Business Studies (Optional): Courses in business studies can provide foundational knowledge of business principles, marketing concepts, and sales strategies.
  4. Economics (Optional): Courses in economics can provide insights into economic theories, market dynamics, and financial decision-making, which are relevant to business development roles.
  5. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Proficiency in computer applications, data analysis tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems can be valuable.

Post School

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

  • school qualifications in maths, English and IT
  • sales, marketing or business management experience
  • a degree in any subject

A business-related degree (such as business management, accountancy, or economics) could help you get onto some companies’ graduate training programmes.

Alternatively, a degree relevant to the specific industry sector you want to work in can be useful.

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

Working Hours and Environment:

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

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.

Career Path & 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.