what is a business development representative?

A business development representative works in a sales team that uses cold email, cold calls and networking to bring new business opportunities to the company. Business development usually drives strategic opportunities for an organisation by building partnerships and growth. It leverages the sales teams for lead generation and creates new business opportunities.

As a business development representative, you are invaluable in creating inbound opportunities. You ensure every channel is optimised to provide the sales team with good leads. While you generate leads, you don't convert them. That's why you work with the sales teams to support them by providing strong leads that are easy to convert.

The role of a business development representative is to spark interest in products and services. You can work for small start-ups that want to expand quickly or large companies that need a constant supply of new leads to optimise revenue. Most business development representatives engage with prospects or generate leads through digital marketing. However, if the organisation needs more leads, you engage with potential buyers directly. Unlike your partners in the sales department, you don't get the satisfaction of closing a deal or completing a sale, but you still contribute to a company's growth.

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average salary of a business development representative

According to Payscale, business development executives earn a salary of ₹311,223 per year. As an entry-level business development executive with less than a year of experience, you receive a salary of ₹178,000 annually. Senior business development executives earn over ₹617,000 per year.

factors that affect the salary of a business development representative

The main factors influencing your salary in India include location, experience, skills and employer. Experience has a significant impact on your earnings. For instance, new and inexperienced business development executives earn almost 18% less than average, while the most experienced professionals earn double the average salary.

Where you work has a huge impact on your earning potential. The demand and the cost of living in an area affect your earnings. For instance, working in Bangalore increases your earning potential by 42.7%. Other locations in India with higher salaries for business development executives include Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad. Regions with the lowest salaries are Pune, Maharashtra and New Delhi.

The skills you have also affect your earnings. In business development, the most important skills are account management and branding. Having these skills boosts your salary significantly.


types of business development representatives

Some of the types of business development representatives include:

  • B2B business development representatives: as a business development representative, you find clients for your company. You cold-call prospective businesses and do social selling to improve the chances of landing a major client.
  • B2C business development representatives: as a B2C business development representative, you look for clients and prospective businesses from consumers instead of other businesses. You generate leads from the traffic to the company's website and identify potential buyers.

working as a business development representative

Working as a business development representative requires creativity and people skills to generate leads. Discover the day-to-day duties, work environment and schedule for the role.


education and skills

You require educational qualifications to work as a business development executive. Pursue a degree in business administration or business management to gain the relevant knowledge required for the role. A degree in marketing may also be useful in the role.

While a master's is not mandatory, having a master's in business administration (MBA) improves your chances of employment. Just like a bachelor's, you complete entrance exams to pursue an MBA. Some of the top entrance examinations include XAT, CMAT or MAT.

business development representative skills and competencies

Some of the skills needed in business development roles include:

  • interpersonal skills: to be a successful business development representative, you need exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. You should communicate clearly with potential leads and marketing team members. Confidence is also crucial when cold-calling prospects.
  • creativity: as a BDR, being creative helps you come up with original ideas to reach the target audience. Once you contact a potential customer, you keep them interested in the company's services and products. It is also important to respond creatively to rejections.
  • persistence: you need persistence since it takes more than a single cold call or email to get someone interested. Persistence keeps you going in the face of rejection and helps you understand that business development is a long-term proposition.
  • business acumen: as a business development representative, you need expert knowledge of the company and its products. It is also important to understand the competition. When you have a business understanding, you will have the tools to make your company stand out.

FAQs about working as a business development representative

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a business development representative.

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