Business Development Manager: Job Description and Requirements

Business development managers are top-tier executives whose job is to drive the growth of the company, both by generating new business opportunities and by motivating and challenging employees. Depending on the size of the company, this professional usually reports to the CEO or board of directors.

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Job Description

The business development manager's main task is to facilitate the growth of the business for which he or she works. Working primarily with the sales and marketing departments, this experienced professional develops training plans to educate and motivate the employees of the company to perform at their most profitable level.

Strategic planning for future development is a key part of this job description, since it is the business manager's responsibility to develop the pipeline of new business coming in to the company. This requires a thorough knowledge of the marketplace and of the company's competitors.

A day in the life of a business development manager might include tasks like:

  • Writing proposals and specifications
  • Crafting training programs
  • Hiring instructors
  • Conducting workshops
  • Competitive analysis
  • Contract review with potential new clients
  • Collaboration with the marketing department

Requirements

A review of online job postings in September 2010 on Monster.com and PayScale.com revealed that business development management positions require a bachelor's degree and three to five years of sales or marketing experience. A graduate degree is often requested as well.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

A bachelor's degree in a business field, such as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), would prepare the aspiring business development executive for a career in management. These four-year baccalaureate programs are designed to prepare the graduate for entry-level work in business or graduate school. Since these programs are relatively common, often one can be found that emphasizes leadership in business. This type of program blends standard business school coursework with focused study of marketing, organizational behavior, and entrepreneurship.

A student in a BSBA program with an emphasis in leadership might take classes in the following:

  • Small business management
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Human resource management
  • Cost accounting
  • Managerial economics

Master of Business Administration

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) has long been held as the gold standard of graduate degrees in business. These programs take two years to complete if courses are taken full-time; however, many programs are designed for currently working professionals and take longer. Business management, corporate policy, finance, economics, organizational behavior, and strategic planning are all part of the curriculum. Graduates will be well-versed in critical thinking and analytical problem-solving skills.

Many MBA programs are tailored toward subspecialties in business; an MBA candidate in a program that emphasizes entrepreneurial business development might take courses in the subjects below:

  • Managerial communications
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Employment law for managers
  • Conflict resolution and negotiation
  • Knowledge management

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, most business development managers earn between $43,956 and $134,185 a year as of December 2013. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) indicated that the employment of training and development managers is projected to increase by about 15% between 2010 and 2020.

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