How to become a Business Development Manager

Business Development Managers (BDMs) are responsible for researching new leads, creating contacts and building strong relationships with both existing and potential new clients. They’ll arrange appointments for sales executives to swoop in and make a sale based on the foundations laid by the efforts of the BDM.

If you are goal oriented and self-motivated, great at making connections , with a desire to work flexibly or remotely, then this role could be great for you.


About you:


  • Tip top communication skills; able to pass on information clearly and concisely to colleagues and clients alike
  • Strong technical skills including: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and analysis software (as a minimum), with the ability to understand products and solutions in-depth.
  • Organised, efficient and focused.


The job:


  • Research and understand target audiences, consumer requirements, identify new leads
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with clients.
  • Brainstorm with design and sales teams. Be the go-between to drive customer focused products and services, then promote them
  • Constantly update your knowledge about the market, industry developments, competitors and new clients on the scene.


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: Very low – only around 11% of BDMs work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 46 hours a week, which is above average (source:
  • Business Development Managers’ salary (average) $100,000* per year (source: *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Strong (source:
  • You will be doing work most of your work indoors, in an office environment. You might also have the opportunity to travel to meet with clients face-to-face.


Business Development Managers are most in demand in these locations:


Business Development Managers are most in demand in New South Wales. Most BDMs work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, and Retail Trade industries.


How to become a Business Development Manager in Australia


You could become a Business Development Manager within a few years of leaving high school if you are extremely driven. More commonly, it takes on average 6-8 years to become a successful BDM.

Formal qualifications are highly desirable in this career. According to the 2016 ABS Census, 60% of BDM Managers had a Bachelor’s degree or Post Graduate qualification.


Step 1 – Study English, Maths and computer skills at school


Step 2 – Gain relevant work experience in sales and customer service-based roles


Step 3 – Complete a qualification in business, economics, finance, marketing or a related field, such as:

You could also consider VET qualifications, particularly those with traineeships that could help provide you with more experience and industry knowledge.


Step 4 – Work on key skills such as public relations, marketing, research, presentation, confidence, persuasion and sales planning.


Step 5 – Find an industry that interests you and get a few years of experience under your belt in sales or other departments. Keep learning, then apply for BDM roles. If possible, find a mentor and remember to network.


Find out more here –


Similar Careers to Business Development Manager


Sales Executive

B2B Corporate Sales

Retail Store Manager

Operations Manager

Project Manager

Marketing Manager

Office Manager


Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the difference between sales and business development? 


Business development is about helping a business to grow, increasing awareness of its products and services. Creating new opportunities and building brand awareness and loyalty. As opposed to sales whose role is to generate income for the company by closing deals with clients.


Where do business development managers work?


BDM’s work in most industries, they can either be office based or remote workers who are based at home.


Do I need to go to university to become a business development manager?


A university degree is one of the common pathways to working as a BDM. Getting a degree or similar level qualification could help you to fast track your career, but there are ways around it.

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