what is a business development manager?

As a business development manager (BDM), you are a member of the company's sales and marketing team, working with people inside and outside the organization. You are responsible for creating new business opportunities. Your job is to offer proposals to new clients and build long-term relationships with customers or clients.

As a BDM, you build sales leads, pitch to new prospects and develop a client list for the company. Your goal is to push people through the sales funnel and sign them up as customers. Since you are the company's public face, you convey professionalism to prospects and potential clients. Making the right decisions and using the best strategies can help you achieve strategic goals.

Business development managers spend most of their time generating new business opportunities and ensuring the peak performance of sales staff. Hence, you need exceptional interpersonal and negotiation skills. Expertise in conducting research and developing business trends aids in sound decision-making, helping you steer the company toward growth opportunities. Collaborating well with others, especially the senior members of the sales and marketing teams, makes your job easier.

Most industries rely on business development managers to generate new opportunities. You could work in the construction, manufacturing or retail industries or be employed by a consultancy firm.

Would working as a business development manager suit your relationship-building skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a business development manager role.

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average business development manager salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of a business development manager in Canada is $162,784 per year. In an entry-level position, you start with a salary of $90,013 annually. As you improve your qualifications, your earnings increase gradually, and you can take home over $183,549 annually.

what factors affect your salary as a business development manager?

Your experience and educational qualifications influence your earnings as a business development manager. When you have additional qualifications and experience, you earn a higher salary compared to business development managers in junior positions. The industry you work in also determines your earnings. When you work in a company that sells high-end goods or technical products, you are likely to earn more due to the value of the products. For instance, working as a business development manager in vehicle manufacturing industries could attract higher compensation than retail companies.

Working in large companies also increases your salary prospects since big organizations have more resources and can afford to pay higher wages. Small companies have limited resources, and you typically have fewer responsibilities.

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types of business development managers

Depending on the industry they work in, the different types of business development managers include:

  • Construction business development managers: your job in construction is to look for new building projects on behalf of your employer. Apart from identifying new prospects, you ensure projects meet clients’ needs and develop relationships with all the construction project stakeholders.
  • Cybersecurity business development managers: you study trends in cybersecurity and develop ways to improve the security of computer systems. If your employer offers cybersecurity services, you identify prospective clients in various industries.
  • Financial services business development managers: you monitor the performance and upcoming trends in financial services, helping your employer stay ahead in the sector. You also find new ways to reach existing markets.
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working as a business development manager

Working as a business development manager involves helping businesses develop long-term relationships with their clients and finding new customers. Let's explore some typical duties and the work schedule of a business development manager.


business development manager skills and education

Some of the educational requirements for becoming a business development manager include:

  • University degree: in Canada, many employers require a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field to become a business development manager. Pursue a degree in marketing, economics or business administration. Some employers may even expect you to possess a master’s degree in marketing or business administration.
  • Work experience and certifications: you require extensive experience to become a business development manager. Gain experience through executive business development roles and marketing careers. You should also consider pursuing professional certification, such as a Certified Marketing Research Professional (CMRP) or Certified Economic Developer (Ec.D.) certificate.

competencies and characteristics of business development managers

Some qualities of a business development manager include:

  • Communication skills: as a business development manager, you communicate with clients from diverse backgrounds and education levels. Your excellent verbal and written communication skills improve rapport with clients and help you build better relationships.
  • Time management skills: you need exceptional time management skills to help you prioritize tasks and adjust your schedule as needed. With time management skills, you can offer the best service to your customers or clients. Organization skills also help you keep up with the client list and ensure their needs are met.
  • Technical and computer skills: you rely on your computing skills to operate customer relationship management (CRM) systems. You are also likely to use a content management system (CMS) to track leads and client calls.
  • Personal drive: you should be goal-oriented and driven to achieve your objectives in the role of a BDM. When you have self-drive and self-motivation, you can push yourself to meet targets.
  • Sales skills: as a business development manager, you persuade customers to buy the company’s products. Your sales skills help you convince clients to purchase the products or services offered by your organization.

FAQs about business development manager jobs

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a business development manager.


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