Hiring a business development manager is one of the tougher positions to fill. This person should have strong interpersonal skills and a competitive spirit (not to mention strong organizational and written communication ability).
How do you ensure that you’re hiring a business development manager that aligns culturally with your organization and has the functional proficiency to do the job? We’ve created a list of business development manager interview questions to help you get started.
Here are 10 business development manager interview questions to ask in your interviews:
1. Define relationship selling and how you implement it in your job.
The most important aspect of this role is managing your relationships. Referrals and repeat business are crucial for a thriving business. That success starts with your business development manager and the way they can implement relationship selling in their role.
2. What is more important to you: maintaining clients or growing the business?
This is not contradictory to the last question. Maintaining clients is important, but you might be in a situation where your company is trying to expand. That is when a business development manager focused on growth is more appropriate.
3. Besides cost-reduction, how would you go about raising our profits?
Cost reduction is more of an operational perspective. Give the candidate the opportunity to describe reasonable ways of increasing profits from the sales side.
4. What do you think the manager’s role is in closing deals?
This will vary from company to company, and person to person. But by now, your business no doubt has its model. See if your visions align. They do not, and shouldn’t be expected to, follow your exact process. Whatever the answer, the important thing is that their overall thought process compliments yours. Specific methodologies can be taught.
5. Name a time that you lost a client and why.
Force the applicant to describe a tougher point in their career. We all have lost clients. The important part is if they identify the root cause and can take mature accountability.
6. What is your strategy for converting a no into a yes?
The interviewee will give an explicit response to their sales strategy, and how they adapt to situations.
7. Is there a skill or area of expertise that you feel you are lacking?
Use their response to determine willingness to learn. There is going to be something new to learn, regardless of their past experience. Any new hire should possess curiosity and a desire to learn, but it is particularly crucial for a sales role. Malleability is important during all phases of a person’s career. Make sure this candidate is going to learn how to best succeed at your company.
8. How do you qualify leads and decide which deals are the most strategic to pursue?
Some leads are obvious to immediately rule out. Others take a bit more investigation. Too often salespeople waste time chasing down shiny opportunities, even if there are red flags that it won’t work out.
9. What does your ideal customer look like?
Asking for a candidate to describe their model customer could shed light on how they search for clients. It will also reveal the way they’d like customers to react to their proposals.
10. As a business development manager, how do you utilize various departments in an organization to spur success?
This is the overarching business development manager interview question that truly identifies their company-wide perception. Sales teams forget that each department props up the whole. A great manager will answer with their interpretation of group strategy.
The goal is to ask questions that force an applicant to think about their wider role of managing the relationships that the company cultivated. This includes clients, partners, and their team.
TruPath helps organizations find culturally aligned talent. Contact our team today to learn how we may be able to assist you in hiring a culturally aligned leader.