What does a business development manager do

What does a business development manager do?

That is why a business development manager is a Job with a future. The demand for these skilled workers will continue to grow over the next few years.

Here we explain to you what exactly is behind this job title, what tasks you have in business development management and what requirements you have to meet for this job.

What do you do in business development?

The profession denotes the constant development and implementation of new business ideas, especially to further promote sales. As a Business Development Manager, or BDM for short, you are responsible for ensuring that your company continues to develop successfully - both strategically and operationally. Your task is to identify business areas that have not yet been developed or to develop and implement new products. The aim is to satisfy and retain loyal existing customers, to win new customers and to increase company sales.

In summary, business development translates as nothing else than Business development. And this task is tough. A business development manager is basically a strategist, visionary and doer all in one.

A business development manager is responsible for ensuring that his company is and remains successful. And that's a pretty big job. In small and medium-sized companies, the managing director usually takes on this task himself. From around 5-10 employees in sales, this is a separate job. Typically, the Business Development Manager works on a par with Sales and Marketing or is part of Sales.

So in this position you deal with Questions about the future of the company: Where does my company want to be in two or three years? Who has to do what on both the customer and partner side in order to achieve this goal? Which partnerships do we want to develop and what can a cooperation look like?

The core tasks of a business development manager are:

  • Targeted further development of the company
  • Securing market share
  • Placement of new products in the market
  • Elaboration of strategic ideas and projects
  • Further development of existing business areas
  • Development of new business areas, sales markets, products
  • Identification of new opportunities and potential
  • Evaluation of sales opportunities
  • Establishing new business relationships and alliances
  • Preparation of forecasts for future trends and developments
  • Preparation of business plans
  • Strategy development
  • Creation and management of teams
  • Monitoring & reporting
  • Maintenance of customer contacts
  • Analysis of the competition

What qualities does a business development manager need?

Technical knowledge, technical understanding and strategic skills in marketing and sales are an absolute must for business development managers. Further prerequisites for this job are analytical skills in relation to markets, customers and competitors as well as excellent knowledge of English.

But for the job, you should also have a number of so-called Soft skills, so bring social and personal skills with you.

  • Negotiating skills with customers and partners
  • Perseverance
  • motivation
  • Courage to fail
  • Good analytical skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Creativity for developing new business areas
  • Ability to work in a team and to organize, as Business Development Manager is usually a cross-sectional task
  • Independent, responsible and goal-oriented way of working
  • Analytical thinking
  • A feeling for trends and future developments

Willingness to travel and language skills

Business development managers sometimes spend a large part of their time traveling. You will meet international customers or partners and explore new, foreign markets. That is why most companies do Willingness to travel and intercultural skills Requirements for this profession. Business fluent English skills are also essential. Depending on the area of ​​application, other European or Asian languages ​​may be advantageous.

What do you have to study for business development?

Although this profession has not yet been standardized, one is generally recommended University degree in business administration or economics. In some master’s courses it is now even possible to focus on business development. The right course also depends on the area in which you will work as a Business Development Manager. A degree in the natural sciences or the humanities can also be advantageous if you have the questions asked for the respective focus Business skills you bring with you. There is currently a particularly high need for business development managers in the following industries:

  • IT
  • telecommunications
  • Mechanical and plant engineering
  • Pharma
  • chemistry
  • biotechnology

Often a slow rise to Business Development Manager within a company is also possible. Through regular further training and specializations in the required sub-areas, you will gradually acquire the necessary specialist knowledge.

If you apply as a Business Development Manager immediately after completing your academic training, you should always state in your application which focus you have set in your studies. Emphasize your strengths and the course content that you want to deepen in your job. With the cover letter you can already prove your communication skills - one of the core competencies for this position.

How much does a Business Development Manager earn?

As a rule, the job in business development is adequately paid. Newcomers to the profession can use a Starting salary averaging € 46,000 calculate. Depending on professional experience, the size of the company and the scope of personnel responsibility, salaries are from up to € 100,000 per year possible. And executive employees who perform excellently can get even more.

Additional qualifications, further training and professional success also play a major role in salary negotiations.

What career opportunities does a business development manager have?

Business development management is an indispensable topic for every company. Because due to digitization and globalization, competition has intensified in all markets. That is why it is imperative in almost all industries to be one step ahead of the competition. And this is exactly where business development comes in: Strategic innovation plans guarantee the future viability of companies. Because if you do without it, you have to expect to be displaced by other players in the market.

Often the position as a manager for business development is only used as a Passage position or as a stepping stone seen for a job in a managerial position.

As a business development manager, you have extensive management responsibility right from the start. And if you have proven yourself in your job and have shown a high level of motivation, you have a good chance of moving up to management.


A business development manager works to constantly develop and improve his company. The aim is to remain competitive, to satisfy customers and to increase company sales and save costs.

For this, the employee in this position needs a lot of experience and soft skills. The ideal prerequisite is a completed business or economics degree and several years of professional experience.

The job is not only challenging, but also very exciting and varied. He is internationally oriented and since this is a position with great responsibility, it is also extremely attractive financially.

This video also gives you a good insight into the job.