How to take the step up to BD or Marketing Manager in Professional Services

How to take the step up to BD or Marketing Manager in Professional Services

Published on 24th May 2017

Despite the economic and political turbulence of the past 12 months, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation reported the wider UK jobs market hitting an 18 month high in the first quarter of this year registering an index score of 63.1 in March (anything above 50.0 indicating a growing skills demand).

Like the wider jobs market, we at Ambition are seeing a constant flow of roles becoming available across the Marketing & BD spectrum with a particularly high demand for experienced BD & Marketing professionals. With a lack of actively looking candidates entering the jobs market to meet this demand, we have noted an increase in firms looking for talent that is capable of making the step up onto the managerial ladder to fill their BD and Marketing Management vacancies.

Whilst not everyone has the desire to make the move up to the managerial hot seat, for those of you that do, here are a few key areas you should highlight when you decide to go for that first BD Manager or Marketing Manager role.

Campaigns & projects

What BD/marketing projects have you lead and delivered on in the past 6 months? What challenges arose and how did you deal with them? How successful were the campaigns and what results did this deliver for your current firm? Ensure you are able to give a succinct overview of your prior exposure in this field that will demonstrate you are capable of taking on the added responsibility.

Line management & coaching

Whilst most Senior Executive roles do not have direct line management responsibilities it is more than likely you will have examples of where you have developed or coached more junior members of your team, either on an ongoing basis or for specific projects. Use these examples to demonstrate to potential employers that you have the right temperament, personality and leadership skills that will be required to be part of a management team.

Client & Partner engagement

Be prepared to give examples of how you have successfully managed key stakeholder relationships throughout your career to date.  Highlight not only successful projects you have been involved in but also bring up any challenging circumstances you dealt with and how you overcame them.

Strategy & budget planning

You should be able to demonstrate where you have been involved within the mid to long term goals for the practice area.  Rather than simply focusing on the incoming BD / Marketing work you completed, focus on how you can see the longer term strategic picture and demonstrate your ability to plan and prioritise BD or Marketing activities to achieve these.

Whilst the current candidate shortage has resulted in more opportunities for Senior Marketing and BD Executives to take a step up to management, not every BD or Marketing Manager role will be right for you. Taking into account the key points mentioned above, you will also need to do an honest self-assessment of where your strengths and weaknesses lie and be able to portray to potential employers that you are capable of operating at a more senior level.


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