Posting for a Business Development Manager Role? Here’s What’s Missing.

Built In Colorado sat down with two expert business development managers to learn what it takes to be a great BDR and how they measure success.
Written by Brendan Meyer
August 5, 2021Updated: August 6, 2021

Job descriptions for business development managers involve items like “discover and explore business opportunities,” “track individual contributors” and “build market positions.”

But like the secret off-menu items at a popular restaurant, there’s a list of intangibles and skills all BDMs must have that aren’t in the job description. High on this list are traits such as being a great leader, knowing how to motivate your team and having the wherewithal to guide the career paths of your business development representatives.

Garrett Weisman, a BDM for big data company Fivetran, has learned empathy is a key skill for his work.

“BDMs need to know what the day-to-day is like for their BDRs, and that influences how you coach and level up your team," Weisman said.

At Vendavo, Brian Bakke explained that his role as a sales development manager requires conveying the needs of the company to his team, and vice versa.

“It’s important to build emotional intelligence skills in order to navigate the two worlds,” Bakke said.

To learn more about the skills and tricks that BDMs learn over time that don’t always make it into job descriptions, Built In Colorado sat down with these two experts and asked them how they measure success.

 

Garrett Weisman
Manager of Business Development

 

What are your overall goals? How do you measure success in your role?

My goal as a BDM is to help train new sales reps to grow professionally and personally while on my team. Rarely does a rep want to remain a BDR their entire career, so it is my goal to train them to get to their next step, such as becoming an account executive, customer success manager or in partnerships.

I measure my success by my team's success. Are they hitting quotas? Are they meeting key stakeholders within our company to broaden their knowledge? Are they getting the proper training to be prepared for any scenario on a call? Do they have the proper understanding of what their goals are and the paths they can take that will lead to a promotion? If there are any weak points, I need to figure out what I can do on an individual and team level to coach them to get there.

 

What skills do you need to develop in order to be successful in your role?

One skill I’ve developed is leading with empathy. This plays into the next skill, which is patience. The BDR role is a rollercoaster every day — new objections, new competitors in the market, new challenges outside of work — and sometimes, it can feel like a lot. But if you’re patient and listen to what’s happening with each member on your team, then the results will show. That leads to the last skill: Be meticulous. Being able to evaluate exactly where to course-correct is key.

I measure my success by my team's success.’’

What are your career goals, and what are you most proud of in your career to date?

I'm proud that I have the opportunity to lead one of the BDR teams at a great company like Fivetran after previously being in different individual contributor revenue-generating roles for the last four and a half years. I get to see people grow and improve each and every day.

When I think of career goals, I like to have short- and long-term goals so I always have something to work toward. In the long-term, a goal of mine is to become a chief revenue officer at a company.

 

 

Brian Bakke
Manager, Sales Development Representative

 

What are your overall goals? How do you measure success in your role?

First and foremost I qualify new opportunities from marketing activities that bring prospects to us via internet, events and other outreach, while also prospecting via cold-calling and emailing in order to bring pre-qualified opportunities to the sales team. Another important goal of the BDM is to coach and train an effective team of BDRs, creating an atmosphere where they can succeed while providing a career path to move forward in the organization.

 

What skills do you need to develop in order to be successful in your role?

It’s important to be a good listener, a good coach and teacher, and a concise communicator. Expectations need to be clear and goals need to be attainable and realistic. It is also important to be a positive role model, to celebrate success, and provide succinct feedback to the team and management. 

It’s important to be a good listener, a good coach and teacher, and a concise communicator.’’

 

What are your career goals, and what are you most proud of in your career to date?

I really like what I do, but one day, I’d like to become a sales operations leader. It seems like a natural progression since the skills are similar, and I enjoy setting up the process and procedure for selling actions.

To date, I am most proud of my time at a previous company where I helped build a sales development rep team that met and exceeded aggressive goals that helped the company merge and go public. The new customer numbers were the highest they’d ever been and were directly tied to the ability to get financing for the merger.

 

 

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