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Business Development Manager Interview Questions

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  1. How do you stay on top of emerging trends in your business area? See answer
  2. What principles do you use when engaging in long-term strategic planning? How do you incorporate these principles into business development? See answer
  3. Describe the ideal qualities in a strategic partner and then how you seal the business partnership once it has been identified. See answer
  4. Describe the process that you use to obtain new business from start to finish. See answer
  5. How do you handle situations in which you do not have all of the resources that you feel are necessary? See answer
  6. How do you approach and identify new opportunities with potential clients? See answer
  7. What would you do if a strong prospective client was actively avoiding your phone calls and emails?
  8. Based on your knowledge of our company, what types of partnerships do you believe we should pursue?
  9. Explain to me your process for negotiating with an aggressive or difficult client.
  10. What were your quarterly quotas you were expected to hit in your previous role?
  11. Do you have a strategy for making sure you reach your sales numbers?
  12. Tell me about your process for locating potential business partners.
  13. What’s your strategy for prioritizing each of your clients?
  14. Tell me about a time when you had to negotiate a product or service’s price during a sale.
  15. Have you ever lost a sale? What did you learn from this experience?
  16. Describe a sale you’re most proud of and why.
  17. What’s your process for balancing new customers with existing ones?
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6 Business Development Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How do you stay on top of emerging trends in your business area?

A:

The business development manager is responsible for tracking new potential markets and devising strategies for how to enter them. Thus, you want a candidate who is committed to continuously staying on top of new markets in order to take advantage of all opportunities. This question is meant to test whether the candidate is forward thinking and can keep your business at the forefront of innovation.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence that the candidate stays well informed
  • A commitment to forward thinking
  • Knowledge of emerging trends and new opportunities

Example:

“While I work hard on today’s business and emerging trends, I will always make sure to devote at least part of my time to researching future possibilities through reading the news and keeping in touch with contacts in the industry.”

Q:

What principles do you use when engaging in long-term strategic planning? How do you incorporate these principles into business development?

A:

The business development manager is supposed to be a visionary who thinks several steps ahead of everyone else. Rather than just following current sales leads, you will want someone who is planning where they want to go several years down the road. This question is designed to gauge whether the candidate has a long-term plan and knows how to execute that plan in order to develop future business.

What to look for in an answer:

  • The ability to merge strategy with sales
  • Evidence of skills in planning
  • Experience taking action based on plans

Example:

“What I am doing today incorporates the principles that I have discovered over time with my work experience. I have developed both short-term and long-term strategic planning goals and adjust these goals as needed.”

Q:

Describe the ideal qualities in a strategic partner and then how you seal the business partnership once it has been identified.

A:

The business development manager will also be responsible for spotting and developing potential strategic partnerships for your company. You want to gauge whether they have the wherewithal to clinch these partnerships. This question is important because it gives you an idea of the candidate’s ability to find and develop fruitful relationships with other businesses.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of other companies in the marketplace
  • Recognition of how strategic partners can help
  • Ability to negotiate with strategic partners

Example:

“I am looking for creative and emerging companies, and I get to know them and their business to form a long-term beneficial relationship.”

Q:

Describe the process that you use to obtain new business from start to finish.

A:

Nothing that a business development manager does should be random, and there should be a fully developed plan that they are executing. This plan should come from prior experience and be ready to be put into place when they are hired. This question is aimed at finding out whether the candidate has prior business development experience and is methodical and able to execute a predetermined plan.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of organizing business development
  • A coherent plan for business development
  • Track record of executing the plan

Example:

“I take a holistic approach that focuses heavily on preparation. I have obtained and developed new business in my prior job, and I plan everything I do in detail before I execute.”

Q:

How do you handle situations in which you do not have all of the resources that you feel are necessary?

A:

Not every business development manager has the budget that they want at all times. Sometimes, corporate assets are needed elsewhere, so assets are diverted from sales. This question is meant to discover the resourcefulness of the candidate to see how they can succeed with your company when they have to rely more on their natural talent than a big budget.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Flexibility to work in different situations
  • Natural sales ability not governed by budget
  • Ability to use multiple sales methods

Example:

“I don’t need a large budget to sell to customers. I try to remain flexible and also look for other resources to get the job done.”

Q:

How do you approach and identify new opportunities with potential clients?

A:

Business development managers are often responsible for finding new opportunities to work with clients that fit into the company's target market. The ideal candidate should have experience constantly researching and monitoring new markets so they can find potential clients to improve the company's sales and revenue. Their answer should demonstrate a clear process they follow when finding clients and their strategy for using emerging trends to locate opportunities that could benefit the company.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Clear strategy to locate potential clients
  • Ability to identify new opportunities and areas to grow
  • Research skills to identify the company's target audience

Example:

"When I'm not strengthening the company's relationships with current clients, I'm finding new ways to help the company grow and develop. I use my advanced research skills to monitor current trends in the market. This helps me better understand what potential clients are looking for in their ideal partnership. From there, I'll gather contact information for these clients and will reach out to them via phone calls or email addresses. I'll ask them questions regarding any challenges they may be facing in the industry and will explain what our company can do to overcome their industry obstacles."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021