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Business Development Job Description & Salary Range

In our earlier post on Business Development Careers, we covered the basic concepts of Biz Dev roles. As a follow-up, we now include the business development job description for a few sample roles at various levels of seniority right from Business development manager to head of BD. The sample job descriptions should give you a good idea of the roles and responsibilities, reporting framework, compensation (salary and incentives) and the key skills needed.
Check it out and decide if you see yourself growing in this field.

Business Development Manager Job Description

Reporting to: Head of Business Development

As the BD Manager, you will be responsible for identifying opportunities, evaluating its fit with the company vision, negotiating and closing deals. You may have a team of Business Development Executives reporting to you.

Manager of Business Development Job description & responsibilities

  • You will carry out market research through industry contacts, publications, trade events, news to identify ideas for growth
  • You will reach out directly or through partners to target prospective business deals
  • You will filter out high potential deals by analysing business strategies, opportunity requirements / pre-requisites / financials, and internal priorities
  • You will design the best negotiating strategies by considering the risks and rewards, and keeping in mind the counter-parties preferences & goals
  • You will lead the negotiation to close the deal and draw in resources from within the company to make it happen
  • You will manage all contractual requirements and align the end result with the company’s internal operations and capabilities
  • You will constantly keep upgrading your business development techniques, and help in enhancing the company knowledge base by participating in training and educational initiatives
  • As the face of the organisation, you will also help in building the brand of the company in the industry, vendor and customer community

Head of Business Development Job Description

Reporting to: Chief Operating Officer (COO) or Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

As the Head of Business Development, you will have a team of BD managers reporting to you. Apart from operational tasks (which we’ll skip in the description below for brevity), the senior role gives you additional responsibilities of a strategic nature.

Head of business development role / responsibilities

  • You will help in developing and adapting the company vision to the changing business environment
  • You will help in defining the company goals for the short / medium and long term
  • You will coordinate with other divisional heads to implement these corporate goals
  • You’ll create the annual business development budget in compliance with the company policy and ethical / corporate governance framework and present it to the board for approval
  • You will help in disseminating the executive management’s vision and goals among the operational and supporting teams
  • You’ll work with the Marketing department to ensure that the marketing and branding initiatives are efficient and effective
  • You will develop and build a competitive business development team consisting of managers and executives
  • You will be responsible for maintaining strong relationships with the internal staff, external stakeholders (partners, officials, regulators)

General Skills for Business Development Roles

Industry knowledge, networking skills, marketing / sales orientation, appreciation of customer needs, high energy levels, ability to meet sales targets, communication & presentation skills, Researching & Prospecting skills, sound understanding of business principles.

Educational qualification for Business Development Roles

This is one field where your basic qualifications are less relevant compared to your ability to ‘seal the deal’. The barriers to entry are minimal.

For junior roles, almost anyone with a graduation degree (some employers might skip that too), a presentable personality and street smarts can get in. However for senior roles that go beyond sales, an understanding of the wider business practices is important.

An educational background in business, accounting and economics would be appreciated by employers.

A top MBA can help you break the glass ceiling and open up doors to senior management level jobs.

Business Development Salaries

The compensation usually follows a Base Salary + Commission structure. As lower levels, this isn’t much. There’s too much leg work (i.e. pure sales) but the incentives aren’t usually in proportion. As you get into the management grade (which generally need a significant amount of on-the-ground experience or a top MBA or both), the base salary as well as the commission ranges go up.

Here’s the general range of salaries for business development roles in India and USA.


Role / Designation Region Salary Range
Low High Median
Business Development Executive USA (USD) $40,000 $60,000 $50,000
India (INR) 1.5 Lakhs 5 Lakhs 2.5 Lakhs
Business Development Manager USA (USD) $60,000 $100,000 $80,000
India (INR) 2.5 Lakhs 15 Lakhs 6 Lakhs
Head of Business Development USA (USD) $100,000 $150,000 $130,000
(Director / VP level) India (INR) 10 Lakhs 50 Lakhs 30 Lakhs


These are base salary ranges. Commissions can take it higher.

On the internet, you’ll find stories of Business Development professionals taking home over a million dollar in compensation. Entrepreneur magazine shared the story ( of someone who sold a jet plan for a 5% commission. I guess he’s ensured that he (and his future generations) will stay above the poverty for a long time to come.

It’s easy to be envious of these success stories, but keep in mind that they’ve brought in profits that are several magnitudes greater for their employers.

Any folks who are into business development willing to share interesting (or frustrating) aspects of what you do?


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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

31 thoughts on “Business Development Job Description & Salary Range”

  1. Excellent post on BD profiles, skill requirements and compensation. I have been into a BD role since last 4 years and completely agree to all the points.

    Sadly, most of the companies in India make hardcore target driven product sales role look like a BD role. Job seekers in India like the strategy part of such roles and take up these pseudo-sales job never understanding the difference between a core BD and a core sales role until they join a company. Such practices by sales companies leave many BD oriented guys frustrated in the end.

    • Dear Mahip,
      I have an experience of 2.5 yrs (as of now) in trade finance and a year experience in e-pub online chat and email help desk. I am a MBA system management graduate from Madras univ (distance learning). I am desperate to be in any post in business development. What do in need to do?

  2. Great Article

    I have been into a junior BD role for the last 2 years for a manufacturing firm and have a very interesting anecdote to share.
    I work with the services vertical for the firm and handle customers from the cement, steel and paper sectors all over India. So one usual thing you ll find in manufacturing companies is that very few people would like to introduce as sales guys. Some take the technical expert route and some mildly escape into marketing route. And some people like me 🙂 take business development route. The difference is when you introduce as a BD guy, its almost like the customer/end user almost turns into a celebrity and gets into an interview mode, expecting some questionnaires, some interviews which makes him feel special.
    And the same time, if you position yourself as a sales guy, you almost get a ‘salesman ringing the doorbell’ kind of response.
    Nevertheless, as Mahip said, its very important to understand the difference b/w a sales and a BD profile and that indeed leads to frustration and a lot more confusion

    • Sir,i am going to attend an interview for a Business development manager role for a company, i would like to know whether it is like a door to door sales man job or something that is very dignified job…please reply..i am in total frustration, since i had a plan into getting into software industry and eventually that did not work out..

  3. @Mahip: Thanks for your views. I guess promoting a Sales job with a Business Development facade is an easier way for employers to get more interest in the role. Which is why the onus is on the job applicant to ensure the credibility of the company as well as the job description.

    @Karthik: Interesting perspectives. I hope the business development role doesn’t end up being another sales job, as Mahip pointed out. The initial euphoria and interest from the client could come crashing down.

  4. I have new innovative business idea but i didnt have investment . i am planing to start in Bangalore . I have pvt ltd company since 2011. i want to start new online business which generate profit in corers . i am founder and chairman of [edited out] . i want to tie -up my company with any good company. and i work as a CEO we can share our profit. interested can contact me any time 10am to 10pm my mobile : [edited out]
    foreign companies also i am interested. email: [edited out]

  5. hi i am raghav kumar jha done mba marketng. i have 4th years sales exep ,presently doing job uttam sugar mills 16th dist incharge,

  6. hey guys,
    we are the initial start up company based out in northern india and looking to get the business from the rest of the world.

    if any of the business developer guys want to work for us please share your profile with us. also we do provide the Online training before you start working with us

  7. i am a BDM from 5 years now . I want to DO MBA . However i cant leave my job at the same time . And at the same time i want to do it from a good institute that i good get salary and growth after doing it . I am looking for a online or distance learning program . I am based at delhi . Please suggest i am really looking for some suggestion at the moment . YOur help would be really apreciate . I feel my career is stuck at this moment.

  8. Hi Sameer ,

    I am an engineering graduate from IT stream.And my willing is work with business industry,but I don’t have any idea to get a kick start , just need a suggestion to get into it and up-skill myself to get fit into it. waiting for your reply.. !!!!

  9. hii sameer

    I am in my final year grads pursuing computer engineering from Pune. I want to know should i join IT industry or some startup as sales or business development head, as i want to pursue mba further. My basic question lies which will be more beneficial in my resume.

  10. Am 2014 passout, student. But I want to work in business field in a good company. Is it possible to get into a business company after doing B.Tech? If yes, please let me know where should I try. Am currently in Bangalore.

  11. I am software developer in Ahmedabad , I have 2.3 year of software developing experience and qualifications is MCA and BCA, and I wanna change my field , want to be a BDE.
    So please suggest me , its good to be a BDE or continue to software developing field. Because I am interested to be BDE ,So My developing experience will count??
    Please , suggest me

    • its better you would remain in development side and go for Project coordinator that will added to good advantage to your future rather to changing the filed.

  12. Hi,

    What is the minimum salary and educational qualification to become a business development executive in home services and construction sector in India? Is MBA (which specialization) a must?

  13. Hi Sameer,

    I have started my career as a business Development Executive in an Web development company.What would be career progress in this field?How far can I go in this? Also,will this need to pursue MBA for rapid career growth?What could be my minimum and maximum salary.

    It would be very kind of you to provide me with an answer.
    Awaiting to hear from you.


    • Even i have started my career as BDE. We are bound to the targets and also our salaries depends on how u achieve the targets.

  14. Hi All,
    I am an engineering graduate and have been working in IT for 6 years. I am currently planning to pursue my MBA and start a career in Business Development, mostly in the IT industry. Could someone please help me understand the skillsets I would require and what specialization should I choose to facilitate my career?

  15. hi sir,
    i am karanbir singh from Punjab sir i got two offer letter one from is for BDE profile and another is for IT recruiter so now i am confuse which line i will choose for better futuer growth please anybody help me ….

  16. am looking for BDE/BDM who can work for startup IT company. if any one have 2years at least experience on this field.
    need to talk and engage the customer to get the projects and salary will be based on project cost, will give commission based.
    skill set: minimum 2years of experience in field, create the business plan , project estimation, bidding and etc..

  17. I have started my career as a business Development Executive in an Web development company.What would be career progress in this field?How far can I go in this? Also,will this need to pursue MBA for rapid career growth?What could be my minimum and maximum salary.

    It would be very kind of you to provide me with an answer.
    Awaiting to hear from you.


  18. Hai Iam looking to join in a pharmaceutical company as a business development guy. Currently Iam at my start of my career Iam a recent PGDM PASSED OUT hold a degree in chemical engineering and working with reputed telecom company . Iam interested in starting my career as a Business development manager in pharmaceutical industry. Can any one help out by explaining the career growth opportunities in Pharma as a Business development manager.

  19. I am interested in any reputed company to work as a Technical business development manager in IT sales and services of computer hardware and software products.Also in digital security and Surveillances systems in Mumbai.
    I have completed my graduation in BE information technology from Mumbai University.Having total experience of 8 years of which lead generation of 6 years.


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