1. Who is a business development executive?
  2. Business development executive responsibilities
  3. Business development executive interview questions
    1. What would you do if you found out your client is planning to switch to your competitor?
    2. What is your plan of action if the client asks for a particular feature that you lack?
    3. As a business development executive which departments do you keep close association with?
    4. How do you handle client expectations?
    5. How do you measure success?
    6. How do you work with product managers?
    7. How do you generate relationships as a business development executive?

A business development executive plays a crucial role in the operations of a business.

Due to a business development executive's responsibilities, it’s also one of the leading job roles in the market.

Practicing these business development executive interview questions will help you to crack your next big interview.

But before doing so, let’s begin with the basics.

Who is a business development executive?

A business development executive is one who communicates with cross-functional teams as they are required to find new and innovative ways to work on new proposals and presentations which showcase the company’s services and products.

Business development executive responsibilities

A business development executive needs to continuously work on strategies to maintain and improve their business with clients as well as look for new opportunities.

So, a business development executive’s responsibilities include,

  • Finding a sales opportunity
  • Prepare pitches to sell products and services
  • Maintaining relationships with clients
  • Providing leadership to a large team
  • Proficiency in IT and numbers
  • Strong communication
  • Good knowledge about the industry and current events
  • Handling time and multiple projects like a pro

Business development executive interview questions

Here are a few common business development interview questions for you to prepare before your big day.

What would you do if you found out your client is planning to switch to your competitor?

This is a very common business development interview question and is asked to check if you can retain your client.

There will be situations where you might lose your client to your competition and your response will reveal whether you are capable of retaining your clients or not.

You can answer this business development interview question like this.

“I remember there was this one time when my client wanted to switch over to our competitor.

So, my plan of action was to first find out what dissatisfied my client to consider the switch.

Once that was cleared, I offered to improve our services and even to provide bulk discounts on orders and other services.

This reassured the client that I was genuinely interested in them and kept them as my top priority.”

What is your plan of action if the client asks for a particular feature that you lack?

Now, as a business development executive, you are sure to approach more than 1 client with a particular product.

So, you would want to commit to it after giving it a good thought of whether it can be pitched to other clients as well or not.

Thus, when conversing with a client who wants a particular feature, you would want to get the product team on board to add value to the conversation.

They can help understand the client’s requirements and whether or not the required feature will be beneficial and convey the same before committing.

This business development executive interview question can be answered in this manner.

“In our job, we have to deal with many requirements of a client and it can get a little daunting since we approach multiple clients with a particular product.

So, my first step of action is to set up a meeting with the product manager and the client since the former can understand and explain the reaction of the required feature better to the client.

If it is something extremely specific for the client I will have to work up a particular revenue figure, which will be pre-agreed upon as my responsibility is to ensure business to not just my company but that my client is satisfied.”

As a business development executive which departments do you keep close association with?

A business development executive’s responsibility is to help in the growth of the company’s business.

This requires one to have constant meetings with other teams like sales, product, etc. to discuss the scopes for growing a business or what product will be in demand in the upcoming times that would benefit the company.

Here’s how you can answer this business development executive interview question.

“As a business development executive, I keep close association with the sales and product teams to gather knowledge about upcoming products and trends that will aid the business to grow.

Also, I maintain a healthy relationship with these teams as it allows us to communicate our opinions without engaging in conflicts or any sort of power tussle and we can work together as a team in the company’s growth.”

How do you handle client expectations?

The cardinal rule of growing a business is “The client is always right.”

This makes handling a client’s requirements and expectations of top business development executive responsibility.

Since most communications with clients are based on future products to benefit them, it requires a business development executive to pay attention to every requirement and expectations in detail.

So, you can answer this business development executive interview question like this.

“As a business development executive, my primary motive is to bring in business for the company.

I believe that to do so I need to strike a balance between the client’s expectations and requirements and how much of it will benefit the client.

To begin with, I prefer to have a detailed conversation with the client about their expectations and requirements.

There onwards I find it beneficial to communicate and keep the client updated about the progress.

This helps to keep everything transparent and we can immediately communicate if one of the expectations wasn’t working in their favor.

This saves both time and energy when communicated immediately.”

How do you measure success?

Although a simple question, tread cautiously while answering this business development executive interview question.

You can mention these few things while framing your answer, increase in revenue, rising demand, product development progresses, and even the way client relationships are shaping up.

You can answer in the following manner.

“I like to quantify my success as short-term and long-term.

I believe that short-term successes and even glitches help in the long-term by providing the necessary motivation and learning from the hiccups along the way.

However, long-term success matters more to me.

So, for me success is when there is a substantial increase in revenues earned, business, but most importantly when relationships with my clients develop in a steady manner leading to more business from their end.”

How do you work with product managers?

Working with product managers is an integral part of a business development executive for growing a business.

A business development executive can work with a product manager in two ways --- first, teaming with the product team to understand how you can grab maximum traction for a product. Second, inspire a product that has a great scope in the future.

You can answer this business development executive interview question like this,

“As a business development executive, my ultimate motive is to bring business to the company.

To do so, we need to work closely with the product team majorly.

So, I maintain a good rapport with them in general.

When you develop a genuine relationship with the team, working together gets easier.

It helps me to contact the required person to get the maximum information about a product and even share my feedback to make selling easier.”

How do you generate relationships as a business development executive?

One of the key business development executive responsibilities is developing relationships with potential clients.

This requires relying a great deal on your interpersonal skills.

By potential clients we mean the big players of other organizations and trust me you have to build up a lot of nerve to present your idea to them and ensure you have them on board.

Doing so requires a lot of social activity and being open to network with every channel possible to get business.

Here’s how you can answer this business development executive interview question.

“I believe in developing a holistic relationship with my clients as it allows us to develop trust in each other.

This also helps me to get invited to events where I can get the opportunity to interact with many potential clients and representatives.

I never pitch ideas immediately as it might lead to a negative response.

So, I prefer exchanging business cards and after a few days of communication I ask for an appointment and prefer to meet outside... a cafe preferably, and pitch my idea.

If the client likes the idea then I fix up my next meeting at their office to go through legalities and requirements.

However, if my idea gets a negative response I acknowledge it and to avoid awkwardness ask for their expert feedback.

This helps to maintain my relationship with them for future purposes even if the initial idea gets turned down.”

Now that you are well versed with the business development executive interview questions and how to answer them, you are sure to ace your big interview!

However, just being able to answer these interview questions is never enough.

So when applying for a business development executive position, it is important to know who they are and a business development executive's responsibilities to leave a good impression altogether.

All the best!

Interview Questions