As far as titles go, BDM’s have one of the worst reputations. They have a stigma of going out to lunch a lot, travelling a lot, spending a lot and having very little impact on your business or sales success. I’ve met some BDM’s that couldn’t even hold a conversation – it was lucky that they worked for a competing firm. So, how do you find a good Business Development Manager? Try looking for these nine qualities.
- BRAND AMBASSADOR – The BDM is the brand ambassador, they need to know everything about the company and everything about the marketing – they are the brand personified. Is your candidate already, or willing to become, your brand ambassador?
- CREATIVE – The second word in the title is development. This means developing new ideas and programs to help create more business and a better brand. This is where the Business Development Manager should build the most business; this is where they earn their stripes.
- COMMON SENSE – A good BDM knows how to dress for their audience – You don’t walk on to a building site wearing a suit and expect to build credit with the foreman…
- SELF MOTIVATED – All proactive people need to be self motivated otherwise things don’t happen – BDM’s need to believe in the brand and want to do things to build it.
- CHARISMATIC – The BDM needs to be likeable. There’s no point attending a function and networking your way through ten people having all of them think you are arrogant and wouldn’t want to use your business. It’s no secret that BDM’s can be quite well paid, make sure that this never turns into arrogance; otherwise you’ll have a Brand Damaging Monster on your hands.
- STRONG COMMUNICATOR – BDM’s need to be strong communicators. An idea needs to be pitched just as heavily internally as externally. The BDM will need to convince sales, marketing, admin, management, and after-sales support of the benefits of this idea… before an idea can be communicated to clients.
- EXPERIENCE – Measured by specific field experience, not time. The best Business Development Manager’s will have experience in Sales, Marketing and Customer Service regardless of the industry – they should however also have specific experience in the particular industry that the plan to business develop in, because if they can’t talk the talk, people will see through them very quickly.
- TEAM PLAYER – BDM’s need everyone on-side to make things happen. A lone wolf trying to do everything themselves, will not be effective. They need to work together with sales, marketing and management to ultimately create more customers and more sales.
- INTEGRITY – Just because a BDM is not directly involved with the delivery of a project or a sale doesn’t mean that the sale going wrong won’t come back to bite them. As a BDM they need to say what they are going to do, and then do what they say they will.
Business Development Managers start behind the eight ball. They can be the most integral part of your business or a waste of money. Does your BDM tick these boxes?