5 Key Skills To Become A Successful Business Development Manager

September 7, 2021
Urba Bibi

Urba Bibi

Urba is our Senior Consultant working in the Contract and Interim team, specialising in recruiting business development managers and bid roles.

Urba Bibi is our specialist recruiter for Bids and Business Development Manager positions within the Facilities Management sector.

Sales isn’t for everyone. It’s target driven and high pressure, but it can also be high yield. If you’re thinking of becoming a business development manager, or if you’re a BDM moving into the facilities sector, there are some skills you can develop to help make sure you’re a success.

As a business development manager in the Facilities Management sector, your primary responsibility will be growth. The company will be looking to you to develop and nurture key relationships with clients, suppliers and other external stakeholders. You’ll also need to build relationships with your internal stakeholders such as account directors, contract managers and contract directors. 

It’s important for you to understand the services you’re selling, so having a close relationship with the operations managers will help you to gain the knowledge on how things are done on the ground.

project management in facilities management

It's important for you to understand the services you're selling, so having a close relationship with the operations managers will help you to gain the knowledge on how things are done on the ground. Often you'll be expected to improve profitability and scalability through strategic planning and innovation, or to enhance the operations, services, positioning or reputation of your company.

Whether you're part of a larger team or hold the responsibility for all the sales, relationships are going to be key to your success.

So what are the top 5 skills needed to become a successful business development manager in the facilities management sector? 

1. Communication & Interpersonal Skills

An effective business development manager must have practical communication skills to be able to build long-standing and successful relationships with key clients. They will also need to be able to adapt and develop solutions to client’s needs with clear and decisive communication. 

2. Negotiation skills

Business development managers will be required to be tactful and diplomatic at all times. As well as holding the knowledge of when to compromise and when to offer firm solutions to persuade prospects, winning their trust and commitment.

diversifying your talent pool - assess

3. Research & Strategy

To successfully land clients, a business development manager needs to have serious research skills. To begin with, you need to understand the service, needs and goals of the client, which means researching the organisation, their current provider, their pain points, their growth ambitions. You need to be able to research the latest technology and understand how you can use it to reduce cost/ headcount, or improve outcomes.

4. Business Intelligence

Alongside knowing your client’s goals, a great business development manager works with their operational team to understand their own business offering. What are the services offered to other, similar clients. What do your competitors offer? How can you create a solution that fits your client need while being cost effective? This is essential in developing the market offering and their positioning against their competitors within the FM sector.

5. Networking

You will need to be highly comfortable networking as this will help to build valuable relationships as well as partnerships with new and existing clients in the Facilities Management sector and broader market and industries.

Some essential networking principles to achieve this are;

  • Describing yourself concisely & impressively
  • Differentiate yourself
  • Help and support client needs and requirements
  • Integrity – Trust & Reputation
  • Planned networking – Network events meeting and developing relationships

If you are a Business Development professional looking for your next career in the facilities management sector, please check out our latest Business Development roles.