MockQuestions

Business Development Manager Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Business Development Manager interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Business Development Manager was written by and updated on August 3rd, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

What are your must-haves for a successful sales pitch?

How to Answer

A sales pitch can make or break the deal, so every salesperson is expected to have their own framework. A successful answer will outline two essential elements: the problem and the solution. All other factors will fall under either, so take this opportunity to make yourself stand out by peppering in techniques that have worked well for you in the past.

Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

Next Question

25 Business Development Manager Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. What are your must-haves for a successful sales pitch?

      How to Answer

      A sales pitch can make or break the deal, so every salesperson is expected to have their own framework. A successful answer will outline two essential elements: the problem and the solution. All other factors will fall under either, so take this opportunity to make yourself stand out by peppering in techniques that have worked well for you in the past.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "In my experience, storytelling is a compelling technique in pitching sales. My usual structure is to start with an anecdote, highlight the problem, and explain how I can solve that problem. The key is to make it relatable to the client. I'll pick an anecdote from a competitor or from within the industry. When I explain the solution, it's also tailored to the client's space or directly connected to the anecdote. To top it all off, I will tie everything back with our proof of success where the numbers are relevant to them, as well."

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

  • Behavioral

    2. Would you sell a product or service that you do not believe in?

      How to Answer

      Most people in sales would agree that one of the worst sales situations is selling something that goes against your ethics. With this question, the interviewer is gauging your integrity as a business development manager. Be honest with your answer. If you've experienced this before, talk about how you felt about the situation and how you proceeded.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "No matter how much money is on the table, I don't think I can sell a product or service that I personally don't believe in. If I do, I would feel as if I'm deceiving customers. However, it would also depend on why I don't believe in the product. If it's just a couple of things that I'm not too confident about, I could probably highlight benefits and features and still be honest about any shortcomings. It's important to be realistic and upfront with customer expectations. If I wholeheartedly feel that what I'm selling is fraudulent, I would walk away from the job. It's not worth the guilt I would feel later on, plus the possibility of being sued is not enticing at all."

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

  • Behavioral

    3. Tell me about a time you disagreed with your superior. How did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Business development managers are held up to high leadership standards, even when their role doesn't require them to manage subordinates. Show the interviewer that you are adept in conflict resolution and that you can respectfully challenge decisions even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. The interviewer will want to learn that you were rational in your opposition. They will also want to hear that you were determined to commit wholly to your decision.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "During my time as a marketing strategist at XYZ group, I was in charge of providing marketing direction for five large clients. One time, an unhappy client contacted my superior about a lead generation campaign that was recently launched. My boss was clearly upset as he told me that he's on the client's side and that it was not the right strategy. We were in a disagreement. I had spent weeks digging up and researching data for the campaign. At first, I acted very defensively, but I took a second to compose myself. I explained my thought process and showed him my data sets. Then, I showed a visualization of the campaign workflow and the success measures that we put in place. These were targets that the client indicated when they initiated the project. After hearing me out, my boss noticeably eased up. He still disagreed with a few of the steps the team took and was unhappy that the client felt as if they had to escalate to him. I asked him to give me at least two months to run the campaign and prove myself. We agreed to make some adjustments based on his feedback. He and I met with the client to present the changes. The client was visibly relieved, and we were able to salvage the relationship."

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

  • Behavioral

    4. What would you do if a client constantly tries to avoid you?

      How to Answer

      There are numerous reasons for clients to avoid you, whether they're receiving so many pitches, find your proposal not to be strong enough, or they're just too busy. Assure the interviewer that while you are after the sale, you're also capable of empathizing with the prospect. Talk about what you might do differently to follow up with the client without getting aggressive.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Behavioral

    5. How would your previous clients describe you?

      How to Answer

      Business development requires a good balance of decisiveness, strategic thinking, and effective communication skills. When crafting your answer, assure the interviewer that you can make decisions quickly in a high-pressure, constantly changing work environment. Another element that you'll want to touch on is your ability to negotiate with colleagues and clients to keep projects on track.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Behavioral

    6. Do you prefer to be an individual contributor or as a leader?

      How to Answer

      Assure the interviewer that you understand the needs of the job you're applying to and be honest in your answer. If you see yourself as someone who can mentor others and care for their success, the company may want to invest in your leadership potential. On the other hand, if your goal is to refine your sales skills further as an individual contributor, then the interviewer will want to learn that you are an independent worker who can deliver consistent results.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Behavioral

    7. How do you see yourself in the next five years?

      How to Answer

      With this question, your dedication to a career path in business development is being gauged. Further, the interviewer also wants to hear that you are looking forward to contributing to the company's success. Depending on the company's organizational structure, talk about the different specialties or concentrations that may become available to you. Be honest, but emphasize that you plan to continue building your business development skills. Talk about how you might align your growth with the growth of the business itself.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Behavioral

    8. What do you like about your current position and what would you like to see change?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to learn about your motivations. In addition, they're also interested in whether you have any desire to scale your skills and capabilities. A successful answer will clearly outline what you are missing in your current position. Avoid any mention of personal conflicts or dissatisfaction with compensation. Focus on the job description and expectations instead.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Behavioral

    9. Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a deal to go through.

      How to Answer

      With this question, the interviewer is assessing your commitment to closing a sale. When crafting your answer, keep in mind that while it's admirable to go through great lengths to win a client, not all prospects are worth it. Talk about your reasons for going above and beyond for the deal, and assure the interviewer that you can keep your professionalism, even when the going gets tough.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Behavioral

    10. Tell me about a time when you lost an important deal. What was the reason and how did you move on from it?

      How to Answer

      Your failures as a business development manager are just as important to discuss as your successes. The interviewer will want to learn that you are not averse to rejection. Rejection is so common in sales that most industries set their close rate goal between 15% and 30%. Talk about the client, why you didn't win them, and what you learned from the ordeal.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Behavioral

    11. Describe your ideal client or customer. What qualities do they have?

      How to Answer

      With this question, the interviewer wants to uncover your priorities when seeking out clients. They will also want to learn about how you expect customers to react to your proposals. In your answer, speak about the high-level qualities of an ideal client. In addition, you will want to assure the interviewer that you are motivated to winning clients even when the situation is not ideal.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Behavioral

    12. Tell me about a time when you had to sell an unpopular idea.

      How to Answer

      A proficient business development manager focuses on the positive aspects of an idea and then points out its benefits. While the idea itself might be unpopular, the outcomes are often welcomed once people understand what is being proposed. Assure the interviewer that you have the skills to persuade people of different levels of knowledge, expertise, and influence. When crafting your answer, keep a structure in mind like the STAR format: situation, task, action, result.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    13. What are the qualities of a healthy sales pipeline?

      How to Answer

      BDMs constantly monitor their sales pipeline. A lack of quality prospects in the sales process today can spell trouble for the business tomorrow. When forming your answer, think about the different metrics you've analyzed to determine the health of your sales pipeline. Further, expound on the elements you consider for each of them.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    14. What is your business development strategy during an economic downturn?

      How to Answer

      Large-scale economic downturns and micro recessions can lead to panic. The interviewer wants to learn that you have the skillset to strategize for such an overwhelming curveball. A successful answer will present a few options and look at business growth from different aspects.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    15. In your previous roles, how did you typically get leads?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to learn how you process leads and whether you get them yourself. They will want to hear that you can go beyond standard if this process is automated.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    16. Talk about the top three factors you evaluate in a prospect.

      How to Answer

      Veterans in the business development field can smell bad prospects from a mile away. With this question, the interviewer is gauging your prospecting savvy. Talk about what factors you evaluate and why. A strong response will define these factors and talk about how they might impact sales success.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    17. What are ways to identify a new market to enter? Give at least two examples.

      How to Answer

      Identifying new markets to enter is a major business development task. The interviewer will want to hear about known strategies, such as consumer or buyer segmentation, competition analysis, market analysis, among others. Talk about the different methods you have employed previously in deciding which new markets to enter and how these methods have worked for you in the past.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    18. Walk me through your ideal business development workflow for a service firm or for a product. Describe how leads enter the pipeline, how they are processed, including tools and collaborators.

      How to Answer

      A business development workflow encompasses the entire marketing and sales process. With this in mind, every industry and every business is different. Base your answer on the industry or company that you are applying to. The interviewer will want to hear you speak articulately about the phases that take place throughout the workflow. Talk about tools, such as customer relationship systems or similar software, and collaborators, such as marketing and sales team members involved in each phase.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    19. Why is a market segmentation strategy important?

      How to Answer

      Market segmentation is traditionally a marketing function. However, the benefits of a correct, well-defined market segmentation strategy can be enjoyed by the company's marketers, salespeople, and the overall business development group. Describe these benefits and the impact they have on the work that you do.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    20. What are your key performance indicators as a business development manager?

      How to Answer

      Many variables determine key performance indicators for business development managers. Some organizations will separate the marketing function from the role, and therefore separating marketing KPIs. Another variable is the industry and type of product or service being sold. However, high-level measures of success, such as bookings, proposals, contacts, and sales pipeline numbers, apply to all business development teams. In your answer, talk about your specific target metrics and relate them to these high-level KPIs.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    21. How do you balance prospecting new customers with retaining existing ones?

      How to Answer

      In this question, the interviewer is assessing your task management skills. Further, your ability to manage multiple relationships is also being evaluated. Because nothing you do as a business development manager should be random, you should always have a method or a plan to nurture client relationships, whether current or future. A successful response will outline this method or plan in balancing prospecting with client retention.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Competency

    22. How do you sell against the competitor without maligning them?

      How to Answer

      Salespeople are notorious for directly and aggressively addressing their competition. Trashing or badmouthing others is easy, but it's hardly ethical. The interviewer will want to learn that you can sell products or services without being malicious. A successful response will demonstrate ways in which you can appeal to reason.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Scenario Based

    23. It's two hours before the close of business. You've hit your targets, and you've marked everything on your task list for the day. What do you do with this extra time?

      How to Answer

      Business development managers typically divide their time between certain priorities: marketing and sales strategy, market research, and reporting. In your response, demonstrate time management skills by naming a few activities that will ultimately impact your productivity and the business's bottom line. Another factor you may want to consider is that BDMs are also looked to for creativity and resourcefulness.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Scenario Based

    24. Describe a negative experience you had with pitching to a client. What did you learn from it?

      How to Answer

      Business development managers and salespeople are a resilient bunch. The interviewer wants to learn that you have the resilience to go through the wringer and deal with rejection regularly without taking anything personally. Provide an example of a pitch that went sideways and the reason behind your choosing that specific experience. Further, discuss the lessons you learned and how the incident has impacted your attitude towards the job.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • Technical

    25. What customer relationship management (CRM) software have you utilized in your past roles?

      How to Answer

      There's a multitude of CRM software that aligns business development activities. The interviewer will want to hear that you have utilized at least one of these tools. Describe how you've leveraged them in the past and what role you think they play in making the business development process successful.

      Written by M Cheryl Harkins on August 3rd, 2021

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view