The positions of sales engineers or Business Developers had been under tension for almost 5 years. Experts in these professions remain particularly popular with companies with a view to stimulating activity and development. Which profiles are searched for? What income can you expect in 2021?
Business Developers on the Front Line
Expert of the commercial environment in which it operates, the Business Developer implements the company’s business strategy to increase the turnover and margin of its activity. In this way, he supports the growth of the company in the long term. This positioning makes it, even more so in the current context, a pillar for organisations.
In reality, there are as many Business Developer profiles as there are missions, both in small and large structures, which makes recruiting for this position all the more difficult.
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Junior Business Developers, and up to 4 to 5 years of experience, will be able to thrive in missions dedicated to the prospecting and recruiting new customers. The longer and/or more complex the sales cycle of the marketed product/service, the greater the professional experience required. Gradually, the most experienced profiles will evolve into a role of Commercial Management or Commercial Large Accounts/Key Account Manager, or will continue their mission of Business Developer in a role more focused on loyalty or within more complex and/or regulated environments (IT, Health, Insurance…).
Some specialized functions require a real understanding of the industry in which the company operates, for example in the software and IT services environment. Companies then prefer to look for experienced profiles, with advanced knowledge of the technological environment of the service offered (storage, data, AI, platform, etc.).
In carrier start (0-2 years), Business Developers can claim compensation (fixed + variable) ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 euros gross on an annual basis. Confirmed profiles (5-15 years) can aim for fixed salaries of 40,000 to 70,000 euros depending on the size of the functions and the sector of activity, with 20% to 50% more variable.
Until now, a Business Developer package usually included: service car like mobility aids such as telephone and laptop, and to systematically carry a reimbursement envelope for travel. The barrier movements, which are leading to a change of approach in the commercial profession today, could, if the situation persisted, change the nature of the elements in the compensation packages.
What are the hiring prospects for sales engineers?
The Business Developer will remain popular this year in all sectors of activity and not, as one would expect, only in sectors that have weathered the crisis (health, agri-food, IT services and products, etc.).
Nevertheless, the recruitment volumes will depend on the sectors of activity and the size of the companies, unequally affected by the health crisis. While confirmed start-ups or recently significant fundraising continue to recruit, VSEs/SMEs operating in sectors hit hard by the crisis (transport and logistics, real estate/construction, aviation, etc.) have some of the crisis has largely halted planned recruitment. As for large groups, they usually proceed cautiouslyexpect more visibility in the fall.
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A recovery in unprecedented circumstances for Business Developers
After several months of serious decline in activity, the sales engineers have resumed service under unprecedented circumstances, forced into a certain sedentary lifestyle. It is now a matter of adapting its commercial strategies to achieve the development objectives set by the company. Telephone prospecting, remote business meetings or, in a more limited sense, respecting barrier gestures: the Business Developer must be all the more persuasive in a weakened market to convert prospects into customers, a time when many companies are still trying to limit their investments .
In a context that is still chaotic in terms of health today, companies are groping their way to adapt their structure as best as possible to their market. If no assurance or guidance has been obtained today, it is nevertheless a safe bet that the approach to business development in 2021 will be different from what it has been so far. This automatically affects the recruitment criteria and the way to recruit Business Developers.
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Sacha Kalusevic has 16 years of experience in the specialized firms Michael Page and then Page Personnel. The three pillars: Market expertise / Customer satisfaction / Candidate experience. Find him on Twitter @SachaKalusevic