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Business Development Manager

What do Business Development Managers (BDM) do?

Business Development Managers (BDM) 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.

Business Development Manager (BDM) salary (average) *$136,000 per year

(Source: )

*This figure includes a basic salary of $55,000 plus bonus, profit sharing and commission.

Job growth as a Business Development Manager is stable (source:

To be competitive in this role, it would pay to obtain a relevant qualification and get 3-5 years of experience in sales and marketing. Plus you’ll need to be prepared to work remotely from home and travel if necessary.

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.

Bachelor of Business at Swinburne

Bachelor of Business (Economics) at QUT

Bachelor of Commerce at Griffith

Bachelor of Business (Marketing) at Torrens

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

Certificate IV Business Sales + Traineeship

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, 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 –

Home – Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA)

Australian Marketing Institute

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

  • 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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