The vice president of business development is a leader in the execution of the business plan and new business strategy for an organization. She must have strong research and analytical skills in order to identify emerging gaps or opportunities in the marketplace. Competitive and SWOT analysis are important functions for this executive as she must be aware of the weaknesses and threats to her business, not simply the strengths and opportunities.
Vice presidents have significant expertise acquired over years of service as a business or sales professional and manager. She typically has an undergraduate business degree and may complement this with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or other business graduate degree. This VP has strong leadership qualities, a demonstrated history of business success and excellent business acumen to complement her communication skills. Further professional development may come from job-specific training, technical skills upgrading or further management courses.
The VP of business development may manage a team of sales professionals or other force within the company, overseeing the operations and development of proposal or agreements that help drive the company forword. As such, she must be acutely aware of market trends and any dynamics in the industry that might affect the day-to-day operations of her business. Participation in business conferences and meetings with vendors or suppliers often see the executive doing significant travel. Focusing on revenue generation and profitability are essential throughout these processes.
This executive typically reports to the president but may do so to the Board of Directors or work directly with the CEO or other top management. While she is focused on driving revenue, her duties may extend to planning marketing strategies, financial planning, and employee recruitment and relations. Wherever there is opportunity to affect positive change or influence on the key success factors of the business, the vice president may have a role. This makes her scope of responsibilities very broad and hours at times very long.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that top executives earned an average of $101,250 per year in 2010. They work in a range of industries including the nonprofit sector, in both large and small organizations. Employment for executives is expected to grow 5 percent from 2010 to 2020, much slower than the average for all occupations. Corporate downsizing and slow economic growth are reasons for this trend; however, the overall quantity of positions is great.
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images