Business development managers focus on company growth by looking for opportunities and expanding reach, whereas sales managers implement strategies to generate revenue. A sales and business development manager does both: oversees the sales team and looks for new channels and partnerships.

As a company evolves, it can significantly benefit from the expertise of a business development manager and a sales manager. These professionals help startups build their revenue to match the competition and sustain growth levels for established companies. 

Responsibilities of a Business Development Manager

To achieve business growth, the business development manager focuses on boosting sales and forming strategic partnerships. To accomplish this, he or she works with and influences departments such as human resources, sales, marketing, accounting, and finance.

The business development manager is responsible for:

  • Creating, implementing, and supervising the company’s business development strategy;
  • Conducting market research to identify future business opportunities;
  • Proposing changes to product and service offerings to improve the customer experience;
  • Contacting businesses to initiate strategic partnerships;
  • Hiring, onboarding, and training business development staff;
  • Setting sales targets and quotas;
  • Creating proposals and quotes for prospective clients;
  • Attending events to nurture relationships with industry decision-makers.

Responsibilities of a Sales Manager

The sales manager focuses on optimizing processes to increase revenue. They also coordinate SDR teams to contact and set appointments with leads.

The duties of a sales manager are to:

  • Coordinate and direct the sales team to achieve their goals;
  • Conduct extensive research and analysis to identify leads;
  • Recruit and train new SDRs for the team;
  • Motivate and mentor SDRs under his/her supervision;
  • Regularly track sales progress and prepare management reports;
  • Collaborate with marketing, finance, and accounting departments to meet business targets.

Skills to Look for in a Business Development Manager

In this video, sales expert Patrick Dang describes a B2B business development manager as someone with the “right skills to reach the right people that can move the needle in your business.” 

Major skills to look for in a business development manager are:

  • Communication: Business development managers are constantly in contact with people inside and outside the organization. Because managers are often the first point of contact between your business and its strategic partners, an ideal candidate must be able to project your company’s value effortlessly, both in writing and in speech.
  • Project management: An ideal business development manager should be able to plan, organize, and manage the company’s resources to achieve business goals. 
  • Product management: “Product” refers to the company’s offerings. The business development manager must identify flaws in the product and recommend changes to increase market share and grow revenue.
  • Negotiation: Business development managers get involved in high-level negotiations for partnerships and inter-business collaborations. Your ideal candidate must be able to negotiate in the company’s best interests at all times.
  • Leadership: Business development managers direct business growth, so they must be strong leaders. The ideal manager influences different departments and knows how to lead with direction.
  • Motivation: The ideal business development manager has the drive and self-motivation to deliver business growth within a given timeline. Before hiring one, ensure they have the inner will to push themselves to success.

Skills to Look for in a Sales Manager

Your sales manager is in charge of your SDR teams and must be adept at implementing revenue-growth strategies.  Before hiring a manager, look for the following skills:

  • Coaching: Sales managers must be skilled at passing on knowledge and supervising SDRs on their teams. The best salespeople often speak of the impact of their managers’ commitment to their personal development. A well-coached SDR team produces massive results that boost business revenue.
  • Communication: Just like the business development manager, the sales manager must be an excellent communicator.
  • Problem-solving: In daily activities, sales managers and their teams will interact with customers and confront problems. To navigate complex sales situations, the ideal candidate must have exceptional problem-solving skills and be able to think on their feet.
  • Tech-savviness: Salespeople employ numerous tools1 for data analysis, research, prospecting, and CRM. Your sales manager must be up to date on the latest trends and software to enhance the sales process. 

Differences Between Business Development and Sales Managers

In general, sales managers identify leads and move them through the sales funnel, whereas business development managers are in charge of identifying opportunities for the company to grow.

These roles overlap, and at times, it can be difficult to distinguish their functions. We can see the differences between them below:

ParametersSales ManagerBusiness Development Manager
FocusLeads and clients Business partners
InteractionsTransactionalRelational and strategic
Performance indicatorNo. of closed deals% of business growth
Timeline for goalsShort-term (monthly, quarterly, or annually)Long-term 
Management levelLow-mid levelHigh level

Another parameter for comparing these roles is their compensation. According to data compiled from PayScale, Indeed, and Glassdoor2, the average salary for a sales manager is $69,270, while for a business development manager is $71,052.

SDR and BDR Salary

Business Development Manager Job Description Template

We are looking for a business development manager to oversee the development of new business solutions. Our immediate goal is to increase revenue, and the ideal candidate will come up with new ideas and cultivate relationships to help us achieve this. You will create new project ideas and iterate on existing ones, manage client accounts, and plan sales strategies to generate fresh business opportunities for the company. 

Requirements and qualifications

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field
  • Valuable experience as a business development manager or business development representative
  • Eager to increase the company’s market share and grow revenue
  • Excellent communication and relationship-building skills
  • Strong IT skills with data analysis, research, and CRM software
  • Ability to navigate highly complex tasks and processes
  • Ability to function and work with minimal guidance
  • Team player with an ability to lead
  • Experience with preparing and abiding by strict budgets

Sales Development Manager Job Description Template

We are looking for a sales development manager to lead our expanding in-house sales development team. We are a SaaS company that provides payment and invoicing solutions to businesses in the United States. As the sales development manager, you will oversee all sales activities, set and track individual SDR goals, facilitate ongoing training for your team members, and submit sales reports for performance reviews.

Requirements and qualifications

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field
  • 3-5 years of experience as a B2B sales development manager, SDR, or in any sales-related role
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Proven ability to motivate teams to meet quota
  • Strong analytical and research skills
  • Knowledge of CRM and data analysis software

Bottom Line

Sales and business development managers will be valuable additions to your team.   They collaborate to help businesses meet short-term objectives while staying on track for long-term growth. 

Companies that cannot afford to hire business development and sales managers can seek solutions from sales outsourcing companies. Their effective approaches will add value to your company, increase revenue, and facilitate organizational growth.