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.

“Employers are looking for sales professionals who are able to creatively use all of the resources they have available to drive numbers month after month,” says Ingrid Liew, Senior Consultant, Sales & Marketing, Robert Walters Singapore. She further shares four traits many hiring managers are looking out for in their business development leads. 

1) Strategic and proactive

With the markets continually evolving in this era of rapid technological advancements, employers recognise that it’s key for their business development leads to be constantly on the lookout for new commercial and business opportunities. These professionals keep themselves updated on the latest market trends and develop a strong pipeline that will consistently ensure results.

“Employers are looking for salespeople who are driven and have that ‘hunting’ mentality,” shares Ingrid. “Clients and customers come and go, especially given all the options they have today – and this is why employers are looking for salespeople who don’t rest on their laurels and farm their existing accounts. They want individuals who will grow their accounts through cross-selling and up-selling, and proactively seek out new business.”  

2) A flexible, client-focused approach

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. 

“Customers appreciate partners who truly understand their needs, and show flexibility and creativity in coming up with solutions that solve their problems,” shares Ingrid, “This is why companies are looking to hire business development leads who are able to communicate with customers closely, identify their pain points, and work with internal teams to tailor the products or services to suit customer needs.”

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.  

“Salespeople who can develop a close relationship with marketing to expand their reach have always been sought after,” shares Ingrid. “With new marketing technologies and digital tools, companies are looking for business development leads who can work closely with marketing to leverage both the latest tools to develop a holistic strategy that builds up a consistent pipeline of leads.”

4) International mindset and cultural awareness

Increased connectivity and globalisation has also seen business development leads and salespeople today work together with clients from all over the world, and being able to communicate with and relate to them has become more important than ever.

“Singapore has always been an open economy, with a diverse workforce from various cultural backgrounds and countries,” shares Ingrid. “There is a sizeable part of the market and  customers in Singapore that is made up of foreigners, which is why it is essential for business development leads in Singapore to be able to connect with these customers from a cultural and general affairs perspective to effectively sell to them.”

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 expect their business development leads to be able to clearly articulate achievements – and this starts right from the interview. 

The main measure of a salesperson’s success is their sales and revenue against their targets, and demonstrating how you have been able to consistently deliver good results for both you and your team will be key to impressing your employers.

Work with a strong recruitment consultant to get the support you need to land your next business development role. A good consultant will be able to help you identify suitable roles, help your CV stand out, and prepare you for the interview so you stand out from the competition. 

To learn more about opportunities for business development manager roles in Singapore, contact Ingrid Liew, Senior Consultant, Sales & Marketing, Robert Walters Singapore today at Ingrid.Liew@RobertWalters.com.sg or +65 6228 0293 for an in-depth consultation. 


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