Business Development Manager

Social Development Direct
London, UK
Full time Staff

1.   About the Role

This is a varied role that involves leading on winning work for the company through proactive BD, formal competitive tenders, call-down and framework contracts and upsell. We are seeking candidates with a business development background and proposal management experience who will enjoy being part of a small and growing organisation in the international development sector.

2.   About Us

Social Development Direct (SDDirect) is a leading provider of high-quality, innovative and expert social development assistance and research services. We work internationally to build inclusive societies in which all women, men, girls and boys are valued and empowered to make choices about their own development.

We are a technical firm that offers in-depth thematic expertise in security, justice and peace building, governance voice and accountability, women’s economic empowerment, gender-based violence and inclusive public services including education, health and infrastructure. We have a track record in over 30 countries including fragile states and post-conflict settings.

We have a 17-year history of providing high quality services that include technical advice and support, research, development assistance programme design, delivery and management, monitoring and evaluation. Our clients are leading international development agencies, iNGOs and Foundations. They trust us to provide robust, honest advice that is underpinned by the latest evidence.

We are passionate about what we do and value professional excellence, respect and integrity, partnerships, trust, and the people we work with. We have a strong in-house team based at our London Bridge head office and an international network of over 200 renowned social development professionals.

We offer a competitive salary package depending on experience.

3.   Apply

Please send a cover letter and CV to stating “BD Manager” in the subject line, also specifying where you saw the job ad. Closing date: 20th October 2017

Unfortunately, due to the large number of applications we are only able to contact shortlisted candidates.

4.   Role Overview

Business Development Manager (BDM) reports to Programmes & New Business Director

Location: London with international travel

Appointment term: Full-time permanent

Closing date: October 17th

Remuneration Package: Competitive and commensurate with experience 

The BDM position is a mid-level role in Social Development Direct and is part of the programmes team. The post is based in London with international travel as required. The purpose of the BDM is to identify and win new opportunities for the company. Your role will include:

  1. Managing a pipeline of potential and live opportunities.

  2. Leading on winning new work through selected competitive tenders and sole sourced opportunities.

  3. Managing a set of ‘call-down’ and framework contracts, responding to and creating new opportunities for the company and sourcing experts to deliver this work.

  4. Leading on upsell opportunities, maximizing additional work from our other current contracts.

  5. Developing and managing key partner and client relationships.

  6. Playing a significant role in the growth and management of our consultant network and database, and recruiting key individuals.

  7. Contributing to the effective growth and development of the programmes team and company.

5.   Main Duties and Responsibilities

Business Development

  1. Work with NB Director, Managing Director and technical colleagues to identify and develop potential opportunities in our thematic focus areas.
  2. Maintain accurate reporting of all sales activity.
  3. Manage a pipeline of opportunities.
  4. Lead on pre-positioning work to identify partners, team members and develop our approach (in collaboration with other colleagues) for new opportunities.
  5. Lead on and be responsible for technical and commercial proposal development, working closely with colleagues from our technical, project management and finance teams.
  6. Lead on our response (with input from relevant colleagues) to direct approaches from clients to provide consultancy and research services.
  7. Maintain a high win rate on proposals submitted, and capture and share learning from tenders under his/her responsibility.
  8. Responsibility for upsell – i.e. securing additional new work on our existing portfolio by initiating discussions with technical staff, developing role/work specifications and sourcing suitable candidatesRegularly meet existing partners/clients to develop and maintain relationships and to proactively identify opportunities for further joint working.
  9. Develop relationships with potential new partners and clients.
  10. Provide oversight and / or project management of new work.
  11. Produce job descriptions/terms of reference for specific roles on new programmes.
  12. Use company resources and networks as well as own contacts to identify and contract consultants.
  13. Play an active role in building and maintaining relationships with Senior Associates and network consultants.
  14. Support the continuously improvement of programmes team performance.
  15. Contribute to external communications (e.g. writing material for website and social media, playing a role in events coordination and management).
  16. Actively participate in development of the programmes team annual workplan and objectives, taking a lead on agreed sections.
  17. Contribute to internal action to strengthen SDDirect as an organisation through participation in meetings, working groups and other fora.

Project & Consultant Management Programmes Team

This is not an exhaustive list of the duties required of the role and they may be changed from time to time in consultation with the post holder.

Business Development Manager – Person Specification


  • Previous managerial level responsibility and experience (at least 5 years) in a business development role.
  • Experience of winning new contracts for provision of research/programming/technical assistance or other bespoke professional services.
  • Previous experience of sales and business development in international development or another relevant sector.
  • Significant experience of winning work through competitive tenders with public sector clients, ideally some of this with DFID.
  • Sufficient skills and experience to work highly autonomously (with appropriate support).
  • Commercial thinker with skills and experience in negotiating fee rates, producing budgets and full commercial proposals.
  • Strong project management/ sales pipeline management skills.
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentational skills to communicate complex ideas to a range of audiences.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, good at relationship-building and networking.
  • Strong organisational skills and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Proficient IT skills including advanced level in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • A demonstrable commitment to human rights, gender equality and social justice.
  • Strong team-working skills, as well as the ability to work on your own initiative.
  • Self-starter, proactive with entrepreneurial attitude.
  • Detail-oriented and thorough.
  • Relevant Bachelor or Master’s Degree
  • Fluent written and spoken English.
  • Ability to travel internationally and to work legally in the UK


  • Significant experience of managing successful bids for work with DFID.
  • Experience of winning work with other international development sector clients including UN agencies, iNGOs, Foundations, World Bank, USAID and/or other bilateral donors.
  • Experience of managing ‘call-down’ or rapid response framework contracts that require technical experts/consultancy teams.
  • Significant experience in candidate headhunting, recruitment and sourcing through own networks, proprietary databases and other channels (e.g. subscription databases, LinkedIn etc.).
  • Experience of using social media platforms for corporate purposes.
  • Postgraduate qualification in a relevant discipline (e.g. business and management or international development)
  • Fluency in other languages (French or Arabic highly desirable).
Closing date: 
17th October 2017