How Do I Become a Business Development Manager?

If you have ambition, critical-thinking skills, creativity and good judgment, you might wonder how to become a business development manager. Business development managers are high-level professionals that steer their companies in the right direction to increase business and revenue. The goal of a business development manager is to find and utilize all possible opportunities for growth to make the business as profitable as possible.

Businesses thrive most when all aspects of the company are functioning efficiently. For a business development manager, this means that all departments of a company must be receptive toward new projects and opportunities. Business development managers work most closely with sales, product development and marketing teams. They develop methods of training personnel and devise ways to keep employees engaged with their work and always working toward growth. A business development manager may coordinate special workshops and training programs to keep employees motivated.

A major part of a business development manager’s duties is creating effective strategies for gaining new business. Business development managers may research and analyze the company’s competitors to gain insight into business opportunities that their company has not yet fully explored. They may propose that the company offer new products or services and collaborate with product development teams to create those products. Business development managers also work with the marketing department to promote new products or old products in new ways. A business development manager may help sales teams develop new sales pitches. Business growth relies on successful relationships, so a business development manager must represent the business professionally in dealings with vendors, partners and current or prospective customers.

Since business development managers have such significant responsibilities in the running of a company, the job calls for a combination of formal education and experience. Aspiring business development managers should begin preparing for their careers by earning a bachelor’s degree in a business major. For many high-level business development manager positions, candidates must also possess a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Coursework may include business administration, human resources management, finance, organizational development, marketing, accounting, leadership, economics, organizational development, communications, entrepreneurship and even information technology. In this position, experience may be as important as formal education. Candidates must often complete at least three years of successful experience in sales or marketing before being deemed qualified for promotion to a business development manager position.

Business development managers enjoy high earning potential and a fast-paced work environment. According to, the median annual salary for a business development manager is $104,163, which is significantly higher than the $33,840 median annual salary that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports for all occupations. Business development managers are often ambitious and personally driven individuals who enjoy the satisfaction of expanding business opportunities and boosting profits. If you have a passion to be the best and the problem-solving and decision-making skills to create new business opportunities, knowing how to become a business development manager could be the start of a rewarding new career.

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