Business developer

Business developers


Business developers are instrumental in driving growth and expanding opportunities for a company. Their primary focus is on identifying and cultivating strategic partnerships, exploring new markets, and creating avenues for revenue generation. These professionals play a pivotal role in shaping a company’s trajectory by establishing and nurturing key relationships that contribute to its overall success.

Business developers typically perform the following tasks:

  • Identify and evaluate potential business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.
  • Conduct market research to understand industry trends and competitive landscapes.
  • Develop and implement strategies to expand the company’s market presence.
  • Build and maintain relationships with clients, stakeholders, and partners.
  • Collaborate with internal teams to align business development goals with overall company objectives.
  • Negotiate and finalize business agreements, contracts, and deals.
  • Analyze financial data and performance metrics to assess the success of business initiatives.
  • Stay informed about market changes, innovations, and emerging trends.
  • Present and pitch business proposals to clients and stakeholders.

Working Conditions

Business developers often work in office settings, collaborating with cross-functional teams and engaging in frequent communication with external partners. The role may require travel to meet clients or explore new business opportunities. Depending on the industry, business developers may work standard office hours or adapt their schedules to accommodate different time zones and business needs.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to business developer:

business developers
business continuity analyst
business development executive
business development strategist
business development manager

Minimum qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field is commonly required for business development roles. Strong analytical, negotiation, and communication skills are essential. Business developers may gain valuable experience through entry-level positions in sales, marketing, or related fields. Additionally, professional development through workshops, seminars, or certifications in business development strategies can enhance their skills. Successful business developers possess a combination of strategic thinking, interpersonal skills, and a deep understanding of market dynamics to drive sustainable growth for their organizations.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Business developer is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Business developer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to business developer.

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Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of business developer.

  • Business analysis: The research field which addresses the identification of business needs and problems and the determination of the solutions that would mitigate or prevent the smooth functioning of a business. Business analysis comprises IT solutions, market challenges, policy development and strategic matters.
  • Brand marketing techniques: The methods and systems used in researching and establishing a brand identity for marketing purposes.
  • Strategic planning: The elements defining the foundation and core of an organisation such as its mission, vision, values, and objectives.
  • Financial analysis: The process of assessing the financial possibilities, means, and status of an organisation or individual by analysing financial statements and reports in order to make well informed business or financial decisions.
  • Market analysis: The field of market analysis and research and its particular research methods.
  • Marketing principles: The principles of managing the relationship between consumers and products or services for the purpose of increasing sales and improving advertising techniques.
  • Sales strategies: The principles concerning customer behaviour and target markets with the aim of promotion and sales of a product or a service.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of business developer.

  • Study sales levels of products: Collect and analyse sales levels of products and services in order to use this information for determining the quantities to be produced in the following batches, customer feedback, price trends, and the efficiency of sales methods.
  • Expand store regional presence: Identify and develop strategies to expand the company’s regional coverage.
  • Carry out sales analysis: Examine sales reports to see what goods and services have and have not sold well.
  • Apply business acumen: Take appropriate actions in a business environment in order to maximise possible outcome from each situation.
  • Collaborate in the development of marketing strategies: Work together with a group of professionals to develop marketing strategies performing market analysis and financial viability while staying aligned with the company’s goals.
  • Identify new business opportunities: Pursue potential customers or products in order to generate additional sales and ensure growth.
  • Manage accounts: Manage the accounts and financial activities of an organisation, supervising that all the documents are correctly maintained, that all the information and calculations are correct, and that proper decisions are being made.
  • Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of business developer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Customer insight: The marketing concept referring to the deep understanding of the customer’s motivations, behaviours, beliefs, preferences, and values that help understand the reasons why the way they do. This information is then useful for commercial purposes.
  • Market entry strategies: The ways to enter a new market and their implications, namely; exporting via representatives, franchising to third parties, collaborating joint ventures, and opening of fully-owned subsidiaries and flagships.
  • Market research: The processes, techniques, and purposes comprised in the first step for developing marketing strategies such as the collection of information about customers and the definition of segments and targets.
  • Customer relationship management: The customer-oriented management approach and basic principles of successful customer relations that focus on interactions with customers such as technical support, customer services, after-sales support and direct communication with the customer.
  • Market entry planning: The processes contained in the pursuit of entering a new market such as researching the market, segmentation, defining the target groups, and developing a viable financial business model to approach the market.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of business developer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Analyse cultural trends: Keep up to date with popular cultural trends such as pop culture, cultural and social slang.
  • Strive for company growth: Develop strategies and plans aiming at achieving a sustained company growth, be the company self-owned or somebody else’s. Strive with actions to increase revenues and positive cash flows.
  • Analyse business plans: Analyse the formal statements from businesses which outline their business goals and the strategies they set in place to meet them, in order to assess the feasibility of the plan and verify the business’ ability to meet external requirements such as the repayment of a loan or return of investments.
  • Brainstorm ideas: Pitch your ideas and concepts to fellow members of the creative team in order to come up with alternatives, solutions and better versions.
  • Use analytics for commercial purposes: Understand, extract and make use of patterns found in data. Use analytics to describe consistent happenings in observed samples in order to apply them to commercial plans, strategies, and corporate quests.
  • Prospect new customers: Initiate activities in order to attract new and interesting customers. Ask for recommendations and references, find places where potential customers can be located.
  • Negotiate with stakeholders: Negotiate compromises with stakeholders and strive to reach the most beneficial agreements for the company. May involve building relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as ensuring products are profitable.
  • Attend events: Visit shows and/or exhibitions to represent your organisation and see what other organisations are doing to acquire expertise in the sector’s trends
  • Perform customer management: Identify and understand the customer’s needs. Communicate and engage with stakeholders in designing, promoting and evaluating services.
  • Develop professional network: Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.
  • Negotiate settlements: Negotiate with insurance companies and insurance claimants in order to facilitate agreement on a settlement which the insurance company has to provide for the claimant, such as covering repair costs for damages, taking into account the appraisal reports and the coverage assessment.
  • Analyse data about clients: Study data about clients, visitors, customers or guests. Gather, process and analyse data about their characteristics, needs and buying behaviours.

ISCO group and title

2431 – Advertising and marketing professionals

  1. Business developer – ESCO
  2. Business Developer Job Description –
  3. Business Development Manager Job Description + Template – Workable
  4. Featured image: Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash
Last updated on December 9, 2023