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How to assess business development manager skills


Leaving business development and planning to an unskilled manager can affect your organization's progress. To ensure your company’s marketing, financial, and networking outlook leads to tangible results, you need an expert on your team. 

Recruiting a professional business development manager involves ensuring your candidates are able to forecast sales targets and refine marketing opportunities.

Your hiring process will involve evaluating skilled business development professionals and keeping time-to-hire metrics low, which can be a difficult challenge. If you are looking for an efficient way to find an expert business development manager, assessing candidates with a Business Operations Management test is the best option.

This article evaluates business development manager skills with assessments and the top tests to use as part of the process.

What is a business development manager skills assessment?

Business development manager skills assessments feature several tests that evaluate how candidates plan business development and organize business operations. These tests can also assess networking ability and managing stakeholder expectations.

An assessment of relevant business development manager tests and cognitive ability tests can help you determine which candidates have the knowledge and skills needed for the role. 

Assessments offer a simple answer to the challenge of assessing several candidates while delivering a positive experience. They provide an instant assessment distribution method and easy test-taking processes.

Why are business development management skills important?

Business development management skills, such as planning and business organization, can help candidates achieve positive results for your business. 

Top marketing advantages

In a case study of a component supplier, a business development manager used sales skills, organization, restructuring, and marketing tactics to assist the sales team in serving its customer segments more efficiently. 

The company met the new performance metrics implemented by the business development manager and consistently achieved its sales and revenue targets.

Therefore, with business development skills, a manager can assist a company in honing its marketing goals by completing other duties, such as:

  • Establish budgets for the company that correspond to marketing opportunities

  • Create customized reports for employees in management and marketing roles

  • Develop and establish a market product that outcompetes competitors

As a result, your business can achieve improved brand recognition, leading to better company awareness. It can also enhance the company's reputation, leading to repeat business and increased profits.

Excellent negotiation outcomes

Business development management skills such as negotiation, research, and business intelligence can ensure companies build long-term relationships with their clients and achieve the following goals:

  • Negotiate effectively to secure deals

  • Build partnerships that add value to the business

These specific achievements result in a more extensive network of contacts for your company that can attract new clients. This ensures you can build a relationship with clients outside your initial client base.

Another case study, this time of a pharmaceutical company, proves that business development manager skills can enhance and build partnerships. 

In the study, the company looking for strategic partners used business development management skills such as market forecast management and the management of clinical development opportunities. These skills lead to the following:

  • Increases in clinical trial success with new partnerships established

  • Future treatment mapping 

  • An outlook on a new potential market size

What skills and traits are important for business development managers?

Multiple skills and traits, such as operations management, financial management, market analysis, and business judgment, can all contribute to a business development manager’s success when working with your company.

 Soft skills like communication and problem-solving are also vital because they ensure your candidates can implement the best strategies to solve business growth challenges. 

Operations management skills

Operations management has a set of subskills, such as designing operations,  overseeing inventory, and business supply chain management. These are essential for business development managers, helping them to manage company productivity and control business operations. These skills ensure that development managers plan the specific steps to improve resource distribution and existing processes. 

Studies by operations management industry experts show that out of hundreds of companies, 12% exceeded their program targets, and 50% reached more than half of their goals with the help of operational performance improvement programs. These findings show that operations management skills are crucial in helping businesses like yours succeed.

Financial management skills

Financial management subskills, including forecasting and investment appraisal, have significant outcomes for businesses. These include mitigating financial risks and identifying areas for investment. 

Since business development managers must drive business growth, they must look for ways to make cost savings and find cost reduction measures to help your company benefit from growth opportunities.

Financial projection skills, for instance, were a pivotal factor in the case study results for an open fiber network in South Africa. After creating financial projections and business plans, the business development managers raised R900m from several financial institutions. The financial management skills contributed to successful financial planning and revenue growth.

Market analysis knowledge

Market analysis skills, such as gathering and processing data, help coordinate marketing teams that work effectively. A business development manager can develop solid and qualified leads based on market analysis with unique strategies, such as:

  • Use data streams such as real-time stock trades

  • Collaborate with stakeholders to develop strategies for acquiring leads

  • Manage new marketing initiatives to enhance the company’s financial growth

For example, a development manager should be able to understand detailed market analysis to determine which business development strategies will help the company compete with competitors. 

Using these methods can ensure your company retains its clients or customers and does not lose them to rival businesses.

Business judgment skills

If your business requires new strategies and innovation, you need a business development manager with specific judgment skills such as performance improvement and knowledge of mergers and acquisitions. These abilities ensure your candidates can execute strategies such as condensing or shortening the company’s sales cycle, leverage outreach opportunities and methods (like an outreach manager does) , and network to nurture business partnerships.

Business development managers must use their business knowledge and work with managing partners to plan for mergers and acquisitions. Good development managers follow these processes to achieve this goal:

  • Complete business outreach and make business introductions

  • Determine merger and acquisition risks

  • Negotiate and close the merger and acquisition transaction

Communication skills

Ensuring your manager has expert communication skills, such as active listening and negotiating abilities, is essential to prove they can navigate mergers and share their strategies with your business. Other specific types of communication, such as legal and psychological communication, are fundamental for business development managers, ensuring they can:

  • Contribute to the plan and draft stage for contracts

  • Share their vision for the company with all members of the business

Expert communication skills are essential for the workplace graphic

Since 90% of workplace conflicts, whether strategy or performance-related, occur due to poor communication, your business development manager should have strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Problem-solving skills

Resolving problems is at the core of a business development manager’s role. From forming and maintaining business relationships to finding the leads that match the company’s growth plan and creating new growth opportunities, several tasks require expert problem-solving from a business development manager. 

It’s therefore essential that your candidates have the following subskills to resolve these challenges:

  • Skills to help them Interpret data (such as marketing data)

  • Knowledge to create schedules when implementing business growth plans

  • Abilities to help them implement steps in their goals according to a priority order

Skills and traits tests

A range of soft, hard, cognitive, and personality skills tests can help you evaluate whether your business development manager candidate has the optimum skills your company needs. You should include the following skills tests in your business development manager skills assessment.

Business Operations Management skills test

Selecting the Business Operations Management test for your assessment will make reviewing your candidates’ productivity management, inventory management, and business planning abilities easy. It asks candidates to respond to questions by describing a scenario they must solve. 

The test is perfect for entrepreneurs who need to manage business operations or business development managers.

If your candidates correctly answer the questions on this skills test, they will have no problem evaluating your company’s operations and improving its processes. 

Financial Management skills test

Since financial management can help business development managers plan toward business growth, it’s ideal to use our Financial Management skills test to evaluate their knowledge of:

  • Management of working capital 

  • Appraisals related to investment

  • Understanding of the capital structure

  • Financial outcome analysis

The test is ideal for those who will be responsible for controlling your company’s finances. For example, you may want to determine whether your candidate can allocate funds for lucrative investment opportunities to help the company grow and incur low expenses or costs. 

The results will tell you if your candidate has the investment appraisal knowledge to ensure company growth without spending thousands on alternative methods.

Market Analysis skills test

Optimizing business decisions requires market analysis skills from your business development manager candidates, which you can evaluate with the TestGorilla Market Analysis test. This test assesses your candidates’ abilities to:

  • Use and implement business concepts when interpreting market scenarios

  • Understand your company’s client's behavior

  • Gather market information and process it

It’s the optimum test to assess a business developer's ability to use market data. The test is ideal if you need to learn whether your candidates can notice business decision risks or strengths in a business development plan. 

Since the Market Analysis skills test presents scenarios that focus on real-world case studies, it is one of the best ways to gather objective data for all candidates to help you make a hiring decision.

Business Judgment skills test

Our Business Judgment skills test evaluates several business decision-making skills, including innovation and strategy development, marketing and sales knowledge, and performance and finance knowledge. 

Some of the extra business judgment subskills you can evaluate with this test include:

  • Corporate-level strategy development

  • Supply chain knowledge

  • Value proposition expertise

  • Knowledge of the customer experience

Whether you need to test an expert business development manager or an entry-level candidate,  this test has a range of scenarios to help them show their business judgment ability.

Communication skills test

The Communication test will show which candidates have good written communication, verbal communication, and active listening skills. This test is available to use when you sign up for a free plan with TestGorilla, and it will show how well your candidates can:

  • Use professional etiquette when discussing complex ideas

  • Use active listening during negotiations with potential partners

  • Interpret written communication, such as in marketing reports

This test will tell you which candidates can use their communication skills to understand whether the vision of your stakeholders aligns with potential business partners.

Problem-Solving test

You can assess multiple subskills related to this with the Problem-Solving test. It determines your candidate’s ability to define business problems and provide methods to reach business objectives. 

Experts in problem-solving crafted our Problem-Solving test. Using this test means you can find a candidate with expert problem-solving abilities who can handle challenges quickly and efficiently.

Business development management skills assessment FAQs

Do you need more information about skills assessments from TestGorilla? Take a look at our frequently asked questions and answers below.

What is a TestGorilla essay custom question?

An essay custom question is a question you can add to your assessment to receive essay-style responses from your candidates about their business development knowledge or experience. 

For example, you could ask candidates to describe their knowledge of mergers and acquisitions in an essay custom question, and they will write their response when they take your assessment.

Can a business development management skills assessment be customized for your brand?

Yes, you can. With TestGorilla, you can change the assessment color theme to match your business and upload your company logo. With this customization, you can ensure your candidates always remember your brand.

Which tests are available on the TestGorilla free plan?

TestGorilla offers five free tests, including: 

Problem Solving


Time Management

Big 5 (OCEAN)


Sign up for our free plan to use these tests, free forever with no time limit. 

What is a TestGorilla file upload custom question?

A TestGorilla file upload custom question is a question you can add to your assessment that requests candidates to upload a file. 

For example, if you want to access a portfolio, you can ask candidates to upload it when they respond to your assessment.

How are TestGorilla’s tests different from assessments?

The essential difference between tests and assessments is that a test can be taken alone or as part of an assessment. An assessment combines multiple tests - up to five – such as Business Judgment, personality, or Market Analysis tests to build a strong skills evaluation, which you send to candidates.

How TestGorilla can help you find a skilled business development manager

Multiple advantages come from integrating a skills assessment into your hiring process, and we can help you find a skilled business development manager quickly. 

Some key benefits include:

  •  Integrations: From Greenhouse and Lever to Zapier and BreezyHR, you can integrate TestGorilla’s assessments into your applicant tracking systems to simplify candidate tracking. This advantage means you can save time when trying to track their results.

  • Scalability: With our assessments, you have a scalable option to help you easily invite hundreds of candidates for a skill review process. This method ensures you can evaluate every candidate, no matter how many you receive.

  • Evaluate multiple skills: TestGorilla offers seven skills test categories, including situational judgment, personality and culture, cognitive ability, and software skills. Whether you need to assess soft or technical skills for business judgment, we have the ideal tests for your assessment.

Learn more: How to assess business development skills

How to use TestGorilla in your hiring process

The most effective way to integrate TestGorilla’s skills tests into your hiring process is to invite candidates to take an assessment after you receive applications. 

This approach ensures that every candidate you interview has the required skills.  Follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for TestGorilla

  2. Build your assessment by creating a name and choosing five tests

  3. Choose and include custom questions in your assessment

  4. Send your assessment to your candidates

  5. Review the results data for each candidate

  6. Select top-performing candidates to interview

TestGorilla is ideal for onboarding a business development manager onto your team. Knowing your candidates' weaknesses can help you assign the right training courses to your new employees.

Start hiring top candidates with TestGorilla

If your company needs a business development manager to help it grow, the simplest and most efficient way to find one is by using skills assessments. Our bias-free candidate evaluation process is the best way to ensure you find candidates with the skills to help your business achieve its objectives.

Our case studies prove you can benefit from our skills tests. 

If you need to reduce your time-to-hire metrics and lower hiring costs, you can achieve this with TestGorilla.

Sign up for your free plan today, or book a free live demo with a member of our team.


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