Business Development Manager Interview Questions

A business development manager (BDM) is a position within a company that promotes the firm's products in new markets or to new customers. These professionals manage the company's leads and they are responsible for identifying new opportunities. In order to secure a position as a business development manager, you must be able to demonstrate your skills in communication, negotiation, organization and leadership.
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Example Interview Questions

In this article you will find sample questions you can expect in a business development manager interview and some tips on how to prepare for them.

What is the most important thing you look for when selecting a business development representative?

This question is designed to test your knowledge of the job requirements and make sure you understand what you'll be expected to do on a day-to-day basis. The best way to prepare for it is to know the job description inside and out and leverage past experiences to illustrate your acumen.

Example answer: "The best candidates are one with a track record of delivering measurable results. It’s important to show results from previous experiences and the ability to work well with others. In general, for this role, a certain level of interdepartmental communication is required."

How would you define a good business development manager?

Interviewers like this question because it gives you a chance to show how well you know your role. A good business development manager is able to see things from the customer's point of view and identify their needs. This is an important attribute and interviewers want to see whether you can really "walk a mile in your customer's shoes."

Example answer: "A good business development manager should be able to look at a customer's business and see how my company can help them. For example, if a customer has an understaffed call center, we must be able to provide a solution to that problem. I should also be looking at my own company to understand the solutions that we can offer to meet our customer's needs."

What is the most important quality that a business developer needs to possess?

Business development managers are responsible for finding new business opportunities for their company. They should be able to build relationships with new potential clients. Your answer should convey that you understand how to build new client relationships and you are well-suited to the position.

Example answer: "The most important quality in a business developer is being able to listen closely without interrupting. I also keep an open mind when negotiating and am constantly looking for new opportunities. You need to be able to see the big picture and be able to navigate new business relationships."

What is the role of a business development manager?

Business development managers have a number of responsibilities, including maintaining strong professional networks, discovering new business opportunities and managing the customer acquisition process. In your answer, discuss your approach to these areas and provide an example of how you would manage the acquisition process.

Example answer: "As a business development manager, I spend a considerable amount of time building and maintaining strong professional networks. I do this by staying involved in my industry and enhancing my experience through networking events, conferences and seminars. I am also actively involved with professional associations, so I can build relationships with other professionals in the industry. I spend time researching new business opportunities to determine their viability and growth potential. I use this information to identify new leads and connect with potential leads and clients."

How do you manage and lead your business development team?

Business development professionals are the people who develop and maintain client relationships. They may hire people to fill certain roles to assist them in achieving their goals. They must be able to lead and inspire their team, as well as hold them accountable for their work. This question allows you to demonstrate your leadership skills and how you manage and motivate your team.

Example answer: "I hold regular meetings with my team, as well as each of the individual members of the team. We discuss our clients' needs and how our role is to help them achieve their business objectives. I also explain what our team can contribute toward those goals and explain how we will work together as a group to achieve them."

How do you determine which business development opportunities are worth pursuing?

As a business development manager, you will be required to research new business relationships and opportunities. This question is designed to demonstrate your business and leadership skills. No one wants to spend time on a development deal with a company that won't be profitable. Avoid promising deals that might not pan out. Instead, show how you take time to decide which deals are worth pursuing by using established criteria that you have developed.

Example answer: "I always take the time to consider the viability of any business development deal. I base my decision on three points: market potential, the actual client's needs and how well our company can meet those needs. We may not always be able to meet a client's needs on our own, so we have to be willing to collaborate with other businesses or other departments within the company."

Do you have experience with the process of business development?

Every business development manager should have experience with the process of developing new business. If you don't, highlight your management experience and your work ethic and desire to succeed.

Example answer: "I have led my team to consistently deliver new business and revenue. My team works hard and is willing to go the extra mile to succeed. I'm a firm believer in excellent customer service, which I believe is the key to attracting new business and creating a healthy company culture."

How do you measure success when it comes to business development?

The employer wants to know if you can articulate how you measure success. To show you are a great manager, you should explain how you measure the success of your team and the company. You should also be able to identify what you find most important.

Example answer: "I measure success in a number of ways. First, we took on more clients and increased our client retention rate last year. This was the biggest improvement for our business development department. Next, we made a new contract in a different industry, which shows we are developing our reach. Finally, my team demonstrated improvement in collaboration and trust. They were able to collaborate without supervision and I noticed trust issues from previous years didn't arise as often."

What are a few of your business development challenges?

This question gives you the chance to demonstrate that you are aware of the challenges of running a business and that you have proactive plans for dealing with these challenges.

Example answer: "One of my biggest challenges for growth has been that I don't have sufficient employees to fill my roles. I worked with the CFO to create a budget for hiring new team members. In the meantime, I reached out to my contacts and local colleges to find potential candidates. Another challenge of mine has been location. While our location has enabled us to grow very quickly, it has also limited our growth by limiting our access to a pool of potential clients."

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