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What does a business development manager do

by | Oct 20, 2018

What does a business development manager do? Drop standard job descriptions and hear it from someone working on it every day.

Let’s be honest. When you start working in business development you don’t really have a clue of what you’re supposed to do.

Most of the times companies give you a 2-day training teaching you the basics of their business. Right after they expect you to just do it.

I’ve been in that situation a few times already and every time I just tried to survive the first months until I actually understood what the heck I was doing.

Luckily, after nine years and tons of information gathered, I’m able to get started immediately. I have all my systems in place that allow me to speed up my learning curve.

But a few years ago, no one seemed able to tell me what to do. My managers were also just trying to figure things out.

The worst thing was that my job seemed to always be very different from the job description I originally applied for. That was extremely frustrating.

In an attempt to facilitate your life, here is a short insight on a standard week to explain what a business development manager does on a daily basis.


1. What does a business development manager do in the morning?

Everyone knows mornings are the most productive time of the day, so I make it a habit to start with the most important things in the morning.

Over time I developed some routines that really help me be organized. And to be sure, I also include all of them in my personal calendar.

Morning routines are extremely important in business development. Mine starts on Monday morning when I reserve one hour to go over the news.

I use this time to have all the insights I need about my industry, partners, competitors, and prospects. In this way, I can always be on top of things.

Usually, I reserve Mondays for internal meetings to align with other departments. That’s the best day to invest in these activities as usually everyone outside is too busy to talk to you.

Except for Mondays, I usually use mornings to prospect. Talking to partners and potential clients requires a lot of energy and you need to be sharp when you do it.


2. What does a business development manager do in the afternoon?

Usually, I keep the afternoon for more boring stuff. The one thing I really don’t like is lead generation. Even tho the list of boring things is a bit longer.

It includes filling out administrative forms, connecting with people on LinkedIn, researching info about my leads and coordinating smaller projects.

Anyway, someone has to do it. So suck it up, put up some music and do it in the moment of the day that you’re less fresh.

But every day, I like to do one thing that really helps my brain recover from the repetitiveness of these tasks.

I reserve everyday 1 hour of learning time. Usually, from 5 to 6 pm I like to follow a course, watch a video, read some articles to improve myself.

Another very special date with myself happens on Fridays which I renamed  “freestyle day”. I basically spend the day finding creative ideas to grow the business.

I like to make it a fun day and experiment a lot. This really refreshes me and motivates me to push my limits and be successful.


3. What does a business development manager inside the office?

Depending on the companies I work for, I might end up spending a lot of time in the office. So after dividing my agenda into 2 main blocks, I practically execute on the following activities.

Cold calling is first. I find calling the most effective way to get a hold of my clients and partners. I can easily reach 100 call attempts per day and by the end of the day have some interesting prospects.

When I do this, I try to zone out from the rest of the team and be completely focused on that.

I take a lot of advantage from technology so I make sure that my time is spent in the most effective way.

When I’m done calling I usually start with emails. I like to start with follow up emails to prospects that already know me.

In this way, I boost my confidence and find inspiration when I have to write emails to completely cold leads.

Of course, the goal of all this outreach is to have meetings. So big part of my time is dedicated to video calling my prospects and potential partners.

I really like the personal contact so I always try to see people at least on video, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen.

So to compensate for my need for human touch, I also reserve some time throughout the day to socialize with my colleagues.

The big advantage of working on site is that you’re never alone. And it’s extremely important to take this time off to recharge a bit.

I’m sure you are also quite used to rejection, rudeness, and frustration. Socializing with your colleagues really helps you let off the steam and be up to speed again and stay motivated.


4. What does a business development manager do outside the office?

This is the part I love the most about my job. I’m lucky enough to be able to spend a consistent amount of time out of the office.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my colleagues. But sometimes is also good to take some time off to explore what’s out there.

When I’m not in the office I’m probably meeting with a partner or a potential client. I believe personal meetings are always more effective.

But, the thing I like the most doing when I’m out of the office is to attend networking events. Especially the ones where I can learn something new.

I love networking events because they give me the chance to meet so many different people in an informal way.

It’s not like just talking on the phone. It’s really about getting to know them, have a drink or two, know about their life and start building a relationship.


5. What does a business development manager do in his/her free time?

If you think your job finishes when you leave the office, you’re completely wrong. Most of the things that really enhanced my career happened outside working hours.

As a business development manager, I spend a consistent amount of time learning new things that I can immediately apply in my job.

I connect with other people in the field, I read books, I watch videos and – when I feel very inspired – I write down my ideas on a whiteboard.

Business development is something in constant evolution and you never know when you get an idea. Make sure to include in your routine a way to keep track of them.

If you are intrigued by this fascinating field but don’t have a clue on how to get started, check out our course!


Lucia Piseddu

Founder at The BD School

The thing I love the most in business development is its creative process. My job is to help people unleash their potential and become great at business development.

Are you ready to grow in business development?


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