If you’re considering a career as a Business Development Manager here are some competencies you might need (not an exhaustive list!!):
Influencing and Negotiation
Is able to negotiate and sell ideas and suggestions. Drives and influences and convinces others. Has presence and impact combined with credibility. Can gain respect, inspires confidence and can lead and take an up-front approach, asserting and standing up for beliefs.
Taking Responsibility and Control
Seeks responsibility and wants authority. Is streetwise and can take a common-sense approach. Takes ownership of problems and willingly accepts responsibility for them. Is prepared to handle conflict and will deliver what is promised. Monitors the situation and spots problems early. Uses network and maximises the opportunity to solve the issue via other people or expertise if need be.
Communication and Interpersonal Sensitivity
Is confident and effective in communication. Builds good relationships with others, ensuring an open-honest and trustworthy approach. Genuinely listens to the real comments and issues. Is tactful and diplomatic. Understands the behaviour of others and ensures a professional relationship. Is subtle in approach. Coaches and develops others.
Pro-Active and Forward Thinking
Is pro-active and prepared to take the initiative. Understands the corporate view and has an over view of business needs. Can anticipate problems and think in the long term as well as towards short-term objectives. Thinks quickly on his/her feet, is flexible, adaptable and pragmatic if required. Can switch between different tasks to achieve final objectives
Commercial and Business Awareness
Is aware of the business implications. Has an understanding of competitors and the market place. Has a clear ‘hawk eye’ on the business. Maximises use of experience to focus on profitability as a whole. Is financially aware and uses entrepreneurial skills.
Challenging and Analytical
Focuses and understands the key issues. Is challenging and analytical and systematic in approach. Interprets data effectively and weighs up pros and cons. Has critical evaluation skills, coupled with hands on approach.
Is innovative in the ways of doing business. Thinks laterally and has a wide perspective. Can be creative and generate ideas and solutions linked to market needs.
Can prioritise and organise. Is methodical and detail-conscious. Will follow through and is conscientious. Manages time effectively. Is thorough and structured. Is reliable.
Is tenacious and resilient. Will persevere, and stick until a solution is found. Cool under pressure and level-headed. Tough-minded and mature in approach.
Drive and Results Orientation.
Is achievement focuses and results-orientated. Achieves objectives and feels ownership of targets, and committed to process. Energetic in approach and drives towards final objectives, is a quick learner and eager to achieve.
Sales Negotiation Skills
The ability to negotiate discounts, prices, concepts, and quantities on deals, getting the best for the company and demonstrating the deal, so that it has high perceived value. Able to identify and articulate key benefits. Able to persuade without creating a hostile reaction. Listens well and spots flaws in others arguments. Able to identify when and how to close the deal.
Despite the sometimes poor press BDMs receive, I know categorically it is one tough job, carried out by very skilled and dedicated people. So don’t knock them!!!