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Business Development Director Duties and Responsibilities

Depending on a company's size and industry, business development directors' roles can change significantly from organization to organization. However, most business development directors share the same core duties:

Build Internal and External Relationships Business development directors identify opportunities to develop and strengthen relationships to advance the business. This can mean building cross-functional teams within the organization by connecting personnel across business lines, or managing external vendor and supplier relations. Business development directors may also manage customer relations to increase the business's visibility and reputation.

Identify Business Opportunities Business development directors identify areas where the business can increase its footprint. They may identify potential partnerships, opportunities to enhance distribution and open up new markets, and methods to enhance efficiency within the organization's sales and marketing departments.

Direct Strategic Marketing Many business development directors take a hands-on approach to the company's marketing efforts. They may present market research and customer profiles to marketing directors and team members, recommending improved strategies to expand market reach. Business development directors also coordinate activities between sales and marketing teams to introduce new campaigns and make decisions that drive sales growth.

Support Operations Planning Business development directors work closely with executives and operations specialists to improve operations planning and overall efficiency. They assess marketing and sales operations, along with supplier and vendor activities, making recommendations for improvements and enhancements. They also make long-term operations decisions regarding product development and distribution strategies.

Develop Proposals and Presentations Business development directors often make presentations to company executives and management teams to highlight business or marketing opportunities or to present the results of new strategies. Many business development directors also prepare documents and information for requests for proposals (RFPs). These RFPs often present new opportunities for business growth and enhanced operations.


Business Development Director Skills and Qualifications

Business development directors balance strategic direction with active relationship management to expand their organizations' market share and revenues. Companies typically hire candidates with at least a bachelor's degree and the following skills:
  • Relationship management - business development directors need excellent relationship development and management skills to build both internal and external relationships
  • Strategic planning - to develop and enact long-term growth strategies; business development directors take a high-level view of company goals and objectives to drive business growth
  • Operations enhancement - because they frequently play a role in improving operations, business development directors should also be able to enhance efficiency and collaboration between business lines
  • Team coordination - to build and lead effective cross-functional teams
  • Communication skills - written and verbal communication are both vital to prepare proposals and present ideas to executives to enhance business performance

Business Development Director Education and Training

Generally, business development directors have at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as business administration or marketing. However, many companies prefer to hire candidates who have also completed their master's degree in one of these fields. Companies typically value experience in sales and marketing while hiring for this role, so most business development directors have a proven record of success and expertise in related activities, and many work their way up to this role after working directly in sales, development, or marketing.

Business Development Director Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary estimates for business development directors; its estimates for training and development managers may provide a starting point. The BLS found that training and development managers earned a median annual salary of $105,830 as of May 2016, with the highest-paid earning more than $184,990 per year and the lowest-paid 10 percent earning less than $57,760 per year. The BLS estimates that employment for training and development directors will grow at a faster-than-average rate of 10 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Helpful Resources

If you'd like to learn more about a career as a business development director, we found a number of resources on the web for further reading and information:

How to Hire a Business Development Director - Find out what companies look for in applicants for this role, including how the right person in this role can help a business grow.

New Sales. Simplified. The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development - This book explores best practices in business development, providing advice and real-world examples.

A Day in the Life of a Business Development Manager - Read about the daily schedule and duties of a business development director, as well as tips on how to be successful in this role.

What, Exactly, Is Business Development? A Primer on Getting Deals Done - This book explores the basics of business development, focusing on sales, marketing, and operations.

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