Top 10 Business Development Interview Questions and Answers 2021

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Top 10 Business Development Interview Questions and Answers 2021

The role of a business development executive is highly sought-after by candidates in business organisations all across India. As you may already know, the day-to-day responsibilities of a business development executive in India include exploring new business opportunities for the company and generating new ideas.

Apart from the duties mentioned above, professionals in business development also actively take part in ensuring top-notch customer satisfaction and meeting profit expectations of the organisation. That said, the primary responsibility of a business development professional in India is to deliver detailed insight into opportunities for business development and growth that can aid decision-making.

For any business entity in India, the role of a business development executive is not only important but also a top one. Needless to say, employers are extremely particular about who they're choosing from the talent pool. Basically, they want someone whose functional proficiency, skills, and goals match the organisation's own parameters.

The only way for them to equate candidates' qualities and goals with the organisation's? To ask business development interview questions that result in the true qualities of the candidate emerging in the recruiter's presence.

As a candidate applying for the role of a business development executive in India, you must realize that the job doesn't only entail complete knowhow of business knowledge and display of industry-relevant skills, but also how you leverage and apply both in real-life scenarios for the benefit of the company.

To probe the candidate's problem-solving skills, analytical ability, critical thinking, to name a few, interview questions for business development will both be theoretical and application-based. Just so you know what's in store with regard to business development executive interview questions, we've compiled a list of the top 10 BDE interview questions and answers below.

Question #1: As a Business Development Executive, how would you handle client expectations?

Question #2: Which departments within the organization will you collaborate with as a Business Development Executive?

Question #3: What is going to be your approach if the customer wants a specific feature added or removed from a product(service) offered by the company? 

Question #4: How would you measure success as a Business Development Executive? 

Question #5: Tell us about your plan of action if you get to know that a loyal customer is leaving us for a competitor?

Question #6: As a Business Development Executive, how do you work with the product team? 

Question #7: Can you explain how you can simultaneously maintain the balance between old customers and new ones?

Question #8: As a Business Development Executive, how would you build new relationships?

Question #9: As a Business Development Executive, how will you find new business opportunities? 

Question #10: What factors do you consider when evaluating a deal with the customer? 

Interview Question #1: As a Business Development Executive, how would you handle client expectations?

Sample Answer: By working as a professional in business development, I will focus all my attention on bringing business for the company I'm affiliated with. Of course, the only way to do this is by balancing the needs of the client with their expectations and then understanding how it will benefit them in the short and long-term. 

Here's my approach to handle their expectations:

- Engage in a detailed interaction with the client to fully understand their needs and expectations

- Then continuously stay in touch with them and let them know about the progress that is being made 

I feel that by doing this, we will be able to deliver total transparency to the client. And if their expectations aren't being met, we can quickly interact via our open communication channels. 

By being transparent and communicating effectively, we can efficiently handle their expectations without expending vast quantities of the company's resources.

Interview Question #2: Which departments within the organization do you collaborate with as a Business Development Executive?

Sample Answer: At the end of the day, the role of a business development executive within the organization is to do anything possible to grow the business. For this to happen, I will need to stay up-to-date about the latest trends and upcoming products. And what better way to do this than collaborating closely with both the product and sales teams? 

By closely working with professionals from the sales and product teams, we will be efficient in our approach as a team to drive sales, generate revenue, and help the company grow. Another benefit of working together is that we will be able to freely share our viewpoints, reservations, and objections about anything at all without engaging in any kind of conflict. 

Interview Question #3: What is going to be your approach if the customer wants a specific feature added or removed from a product(service) offered by the company?

Sample Answer: 

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.

Interview Question #4: How would you measure success as a Business Development Executive?

Sample Answer: Success can be quantified as both short and long-term, and I do the same as a Business Development Executive.

In the case of short-term success, there is tremendous value. Ultimately, they build towards long-term success. They couple beautifully with setbacks to provide the necessary learning and motivation. As for long-term success, I feel that it holds more value, not just for me but also for the organization.

Long story short, I personally measure success on two parameters: the relationships that I steadily build with the clients that results in more business, sizable increase in revenue, and substantial business growth.

Interview Question #5: Tell us about your plan of action if you get to know that a loyal customer is leaving us for a competitor?

Sample Answer: Thinking back to my previous years in XYZ company, there was a particular instance where a loyal customer who had been with us for years suddenly decided to opt out and switch over to our competitor.

My plan of action involved uncovering why (or what) led to our client leaving us for our competitor. Once the facts were established, I personally got in touch with the client to provide more services and more discounts on bulk orders. I also gave them my word that whatever dissatisfied them would be fixed and that we'd work towards improving our offerings.

This led to them feeling reassured that our company was invested in serving them and that we thought of them as a high-priority client.

Interview Question #6: As a Business Development Executive, how do you work with the product team?

Sample Answer: From Day 1 as a Business Development Executive my priority is clear—to bring as much business as possible for the company. But this can only happen (or be effective) if the BD team closely collaborates with the product team. 

As a professional business development executive, I always maintain an excellent rapport with the product team. I honestly believe that as long as the co-working relationship between two teams is professional and genuine, work becomes easier. 

For instance, I can easily get in touch with the right personnel to know anything about the product and relay my feedback to the concerned team(or individual) to boost sales.

Interview Question #7: Can you explain how you can simultaneously maintain the balance between old customers and new ones?

Sample Answer: I always turn to the organization's Customer Management System(CMS) and tools like Google Calendar to find the right balance. For instance, whenever I interact with a prospect or a client, I feed important details from my conversation with the prospect into the CMS and then set up the date and time in my Google Calendar for my follow-up with the same prospect. 

The calendar also comes handy when I need to carve out time everyday to speak to new leads. I again take the same information and feed it into the CMS whilst scheduling follow-ups in my calendar.

By efficiently using resources like the CMS and calendar, I don't only record important details of my interactions which I can always refer to anytime I want, but also ensure that new clients and existing customers are never forgotten.

Interview Question #8: As a Business Development Executive, how would you build new relationships?

Sample Answer: The crucial element in building customer relationships is trust. As a business development executive, I always ensure that trust is maintained which can only happen if all my relationships with clients are holistic. By doing this, I also create opportunities for myself or my team to be invited to events where I can build a rapport with prospects and business representatives.

Starting any new relationship or interaction with a sales pitch is a big no for me because prospects and clients can respond negatively. Instead, to pitch my idea at the opportune moment, I lean towards exchanging business cards with the prospect, communicate for a few days, and then set up a meeting in a casual setting or environment, like a restaurant or a cafe.

I try my best to sell my idea(product or service) and if the prospect entertains it, I set-up a follow-up, preferably in their office premises to peruse requirements and legalities. But if they object to my pitch, I take the rejection in a constructive manner and then ask for their valuable feedback. By doing this, I pave the way for interactions in the future even if the first business idea is rejected by the prospect.

Interview Question #9: As a Business Development Executive, how will you find new business opportunities?

Sample Answer: There are many ways to go about it. One of the things I do is network and attend fairs which help me to interact with prospects. Of course, I also turn to LinkedIn and Google to uncover business organisations who may need our service(or product), or cold-call.

Another method I actively leverage is competitor analysis. I try to know what the competitor is upto, find out who their clientele is, and do my level best to convince them to try our services(or products) simultaneously, or better yet, switch over to us. 

At the end of the day, it all boils down to the experience and connections of the business development executive which I already possess. I think the company can greatly benefit from my primary, secondary and tertiary connections to identify new business opportunities.

Interview Question #10: What factors do you consider when evaluating a deal with the customer?

Sample Answer: There are several factors that every Business Development Executive should consider.

For instance, it's essential to understand from the very first interaction with the client if they are a one-time or repeat buyer. And if valuable resources like time and effort are being spent on this prospect, will they immediately switch over to a direct competitor if they aren't satisfied with the offering, or be very satisfied to a point where they recommend it to others?

The magnitude of the deal must also be investigated. Every company has liabilities; so, if a contract is signed with the client can the company fulfil it keeping in mind its liabilities? 

The company might have to give the deal a second thought if it doesn't align with the sales strategy. Every deal must be studied carefully, so should every client relationship. Even if the deal with the client doesn't seem feasible, it's wise not to quickly reject it. The business development executive must consider it and find a workaround so that it's beneficial for both the client and the company. 

Conclusion— 

If you can perfectly answer these major interview questions for business development executives, then you can surely ace your interview. In fact, most from the above can also be categorised as interview questions for business development managers.

We have seen in the past that recruiters ask a majority of the above BDM interview questions to candidates who have a flair for managing a team or have work experience.