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Business development manager

Alternative titles for this job include

Business development managers find new customers, and persuade existing ones to buy extra services.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

How to become a business development manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • graduate training scheme


You'll find a degree in business development or business management may give you useful background knowledge and help you get onto the graduate training programmes, which are run by some companies.Other useful subjects include:

  • accountancy
  • economics
  • international relations

Employers will also usually want you to have experience in sales, marketing or business management.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could study a college course in sales or business. If you've started work in a junior role, you could consider taking qualifications like:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Skills for Business: Sales and Marketing
  • Level 3 Award in Business Development Skills
  • Level 3 Certificate in Sales Management

Entry requirements

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


You can work towards this role by doing a business to business sales professional or retail leadership degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could work your way up from a sales or marketing role.


You could develop useful customer service and marketing skills by volunteering.

Do It has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct Application

You could apply directly to become a business development manager, as there are no formal entry requirements. Employers may ask for:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in maths, English and IT
  • sales, marketing or business management experience
  • a degree in any subject

Other Routes

Graduate training schemes are offered by some companies.

More Information

Career tips

In some jobs you could travel around the world to meet customers, so it may be helpful to speak a second language.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Sales Management and The Managing & Marketing Sales Association, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to sell products and services
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • leadership skills
  • maths knowledge
  • customer service skills
  • business management skills
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • research organisations to find new customers and identify who makes the decisions
  • ‘cold call’ to arrange meetings at customers’ premises
  • find out what an organisation needs and work with a team to plan proposals and pricing
  • sell products and services to new and existing customers
  • negotiate with customers and build positive relationships
  • attend events and conferences
  • write reports and make presentations to customers and senior management
  • identify new methods and opportunities for sales campaigns
  • forecast sales targets and make sure they’re met
  • run training for business developers and junior sales teams

Working environment

You could work at a client's business or in an office.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior development manager, business development executive or marketing director. 

You could also use your skills in sales, marketing and project management to move into other areas of business.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Sales Specialist

  • Wage: £16,422.00 Annually
  • Location: London

Courses In England

Business Management

  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Dartford

Business Management IB Standard

  • Start date: 02 September 2021
  • Location: INGATESTONE

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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