4 qualities companies seek in a business development lead


The rapid rise of e-commerce, digitalisation and professional services has seen the role of a business development lead or manager evolve.

While the core responsibility of securing business opportunities has remained unchanged, companies today are looking for business development leads who understand that it’s not just about making the immediate deal, it’s about the long-term. 


“Candidates who are able to portray their understanding of this key concept will have an edge over their peers”, says Phuc Pham, Manager, Sales & Marketing, Robert Walters Vietnam. He also adds four important qualities employers are keen on when hiring a business development manager: 

1. Long-term, strategic mindset

In this era of rapid change, business development managers who can help drive growth and business objectives in a consistent and sustainable manner are in high demand. These professionals are able to understand their clients and their buying trends, map out their markets, develop comprehensive strategies and well-thought-out action plans, among other things.  

Phuc recommends taking the opportunity to showcase your ability to think strategically during interviews. “You can better prepare for interviews by understanding the role thoroughly by preparing ideas for plans or strategies that will help drive the business ahead,” advises Phuc. “To showcase that you’re the right person for the job, demonstrate your ability to execute these plans by highlighting past experiences where you’ve handled similar projects or cases.” 

2. Consultative and client-focused

As the sales process becomes increasingly digitalised, it is important for the business development manager to do more than just sell a product or service to keep clients coming back. They need to think of themselves as a partner who helps clients achieve their business goals through lasting solutions – not just a one-time quick-fix vendor. 

“Trust and mutual understanding are essential to building strong, sustainable business relationships,” explains Phuc. “Good business development professionals are able to ask the right questions and listen carefully. They are also equipped with a strong understanding of their clients’ business and industry, alongside thorough knowledge of their own product or service. This will allow them to understand their clients’ challenges and propose solutions that will match their business needs.”

Phuc also adds that companies seek good business development leads who invest time and effort into following up regularly even after making the deal as these are the people who tend to build extensive networks of loyal clients. 

3. Ability to leverage marketing

In addition to the traditional methods of networking, emailing, cold-calling and referrals, companies are also seeking business development leads who know how to work with marketing to generate a steady stream of inbound leads that are easy to convert.  

“Companies are also seeking business development professionals who can understand and work alongside the marketing department. In addition to company branding, personal branding also goes a long way towards creating greater business opportunities,” says Phuc. “By working with marketing, business development professionals will be able to build their own brand that is aligned to the business as well.”   

4. Commitment to their work

In Vietnam, where job-hopping is relatively common among the younger generation, employers are often on the lookout for candidates who have demonstrated their ability to commit to a job for the long-term. CVs which indicate that a candidate has stayed in a job for a minimum of two years will certainly spark interest for a hiring manager.

“Training a new hire requires an investment of time and resources, so it’s no wonder that companies hope to find people who will stay in the long-term,” explains Phuc. “This is particularly so for business development roles, as those who stay with the company for a longer tenure can develop stronger customer relationships, which in turn leads to higher sales overall.”

Positioning yourself in the best light

If you’re looking for your next business development role, make sure to highlight the above qualities in your CV and interview. Hiring managers will often ask for further detail during the interview, so prepare to provide concrete examples that are relevant to the position. A recruitment consultant can help you identify the best experiences for each individual job opportunity, ensuring you stand out from the competition. 

To learn more about opportunities for business development manager roles in Vietnam, contact Phuc Pham, Manager, Sales & Marketing, Robert Walters Vietnam today at phuc.pham@robertwalters.com.vn or call +84 28 3520 7922 for an in-depth consultation.

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