Everything you need to know about a career as a VP of Business Development
The Vice President of Business Development is responsible for creating strategic business partnerships and driving new revenue sources for the organization.
While this executive role is most common in SaaS, software and media companies, it’s one of the most misunderstood positions and goes by many names including VP of Partnerships and VP of Strategic Business Development. The day-to-day responsibilities can vary greatly depending on the size of the company and the desired goals. They can report to either a VP of Sales, CMO, CEO, or founder.
As a result, you can see the number of Google searches for VPs of Business Development has gone down in the last five years.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that the VP of Business Development is just another sales executive, such as a VP of Sales or Sales Director. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Whereas the VP of Sales is focused on closing deals, the VP of Business Development is focused on finding and developing strategic partnerships. This means research skills, competitive analysis, and a lot of account management in addition to sales chops. While sales are essential, it is not nearly as crucial as securing and vetting the right partners.
Just like with traditional sales roles, the responsibilities of this role usually fall to the founder early in the company’s history. Eventually, as the company scales, you should hire a VP of Business Development. As a senior-level role, you can expect to pay this hire a six-figure base salary, so it’s important to ensure you don’t hire until you’re ready.
This hire typically happens after you have product-market fit, are closing a high ratio of prospects, and are rapidly scaling your sales team.
According to Payscale, the average base salary for a VP of Business Development is $134,039. However, this salary can range from $74,000 – $201,000.
When you add in bonuses, commissions, equity, and any profit-sharing, their take-home pay will range from $82,000 – $242,000.
A VP of Business Development’s day-to-day responsibilities include:
Unlike many other VP roles in which team-based KPIs are the norm, the VP of Business Development position is often a more autonomous role. It’s important to evaluate their work both as an individual contributor and as a part of the larger sales team.
Here are some metrics that you may want to track on a regular basis:
Unlike other VP and director-level roles, the VP of Business Development is usually more focused on individual performance and account management as opposed to leadership and people management skills. This can be an ideal role for the number one closer or any talented Account Executive with exceptional analytical skills.
Here are some skills that they should possess:
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