The Role of the Business Development Manager
The Africa Job Business Development Manager works to improve an organization’s market position and achieve financial growth. This person defines long-term organizational strategic goals, builds key customer relationships, identifies business opportunities, negotiates and closes business deals and maintains extensive knowledge of current market conditions.
Business Development Managers work in a senior sales position within the company. It is their job to work with the internal team, marketing staff, and other managers to increase sales opportunities and thereby maximize revenue for their organization. To achieve this, they need to find potential new customers, present to them, ultimately convert them into clients, and continue to grow business in the future. Business Development Managers will also help manage existing clients and ensure they stay satisfied and positive. They call on clients, often being required to make presentations on solutions and services that meet or predict their clients’ future needs.
The primary role of the Business Development Manager is to prospect for new clients by networking, cold calling, advertising or other means of generating interest from potential clients. They must then plan persuasive approaches and pitches that will convince potential clients to do business with the company. They must develop a rapport with new clients, and set targets for sales and provide support that will continually improve the relationship. They are also required to grow and retain existing accounts by presenting new solutions and services to clients. Business Development Managers work with mid and senior level management, marketing, and technical staff. He/she may manage the activities of others responsible for developing business for the company. Strategic planning 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 market, the solutions/services the company can provide, and of the company’s competitors. While the exact responsibilities will vary from company to company, the main duties of the Business Development Manager can be summarized as follows:
New Business Development
- Prospect for potential new clients and turn this into increased business.
- Cold call as appropriate within your market or geographic area to ensure a robust pipeline of opportunities. * Meet potential clients by growing, maintaining, and leveraging your network.
- Identify potential clients, and the decision makers within the client organization.
- Research and build relationships with new clients.
- Set up meetings between client decision makers and company’s practice leaders/Principals.
- Plan approaches and pitches. * Work with team to develop proposals that speaks to the client’s needs, concerns, and objectives.
- Participate in pricing the solution/service.
- Handle objections by clarifying, emphasizing agreements and working through differences to a positive conclusion. * Use a variety of styles to persuade or negotiate appropriately.
- Present an image that mirrors that of the client.
- Present new products and services and enhance existing relationships.
- Work with technical staff and other internal colleagues to meet customer needs.
- Arrange and participate in internal and external client debriefs.
Business Development Planning
- Attend industry functions, such as association events and conferences, and provide feedback and information on market and creative trends.
- Present to and consult with mid and senior level management on business trends with a view to developing new services, products, and distribution channels.
- Identify opportunities for campaigns, services, and distribution channels that will lead to an increase in sales.
- Using knowledge of the market and competitors, identify and develop the company’s unique selling propositions and differentiators.
Management and Research
- Submit weekly progress reports and ensure data is accurate.
- Ensure that data is accurately entered and managed within the company’s CRM or other sales management system.
- Forecast sales targets and ensure they are met by the team.
- Track and record activity on accounts and help to close deals to meet these targets.
- Work with marketing staff to ensure that prerequisites (like prequalification or getting on a vendor list) are fulfilled within a timely manner.
- Ensure all team members represent the company in the best light.
- Present business development training and mentoring to business developers and other internal staff.
- Research and develop a thorough understanding of the company’s people and capabilities.
- Understand the company’s goal and purpose so that will continual to enhance the company’s performance.
Business development management positions require a bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of sales or marketing experience. An MBA is often requested as well.
Other Skills and Qualifications
Networking, Persuasion, Prospecting, Public Speaking, Research, Writing, Closing Skills, Motivation for Sales, Prospecting Skills, Sales Planning, Identification of Customer Needs and Challenges, Territory Management, Market Knowledge, Meeting Sales Goals, Professionalism, CRM, and Microsoft Office.