THOUGHT PIECE the carling team

Drink Industry Business Development Manager Job Description


The main role of the business development manager in the beer, wine and spirits industries is to secure new clients for their employer. They will do this through a combination of advertising, publishing, education, direct customer engagement and online avenues including social media.

Their goal is to create profitable sales growth for the beer, wine or spirits company and to expand the number of customers that the business has. They will develop compelling and persuasive pitches to attract new customers to the business and to encourage existing customers to purchase more products.

To perform this role, they will work closely with the sales and the marketing team. They will also be involved with mid and senior level managers, developing a sales growth plan that aligns with the company’s long-term goals. The business development manager must build and maintain strong relationships with the people around them including staff and customers.

They will usually work within designated territories which could be a geographical location or specific type of client — distributors, retail stores or consumers. It is a demanding role that attracts ambitious salespeople who are knowledgeable about the drinks industry.

Business Development Manager Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the business development manager include:

  • Identifying new business opportunities
    The business development manager must constantly be looking for business opportunities which will lead to new accounts.
  • Meeting sales targets
    Management will provide sales targets for specific territories which must be met by the business development manager.
  • Adhere to agreed upon sales guidelines
    All sales activities must be undertaken in accordance with the sales guidelines developed by the company. The business manager may play an active role in ensuring these sales guidelines are followed by junior sales staff.
  • Delivering profitable sales
    All sales pursued by the business development manager should exceed profit margin targets.
  • Create strategies for identifying and pursuing new accounts
    This is one of the most important responsibilities of the business development manager. They must create a comprehensive strategy to identify and target new customers in a specific territory. This strategy may involve a number of sales techniques.
  • Creating sales strategies that improve the company’s position in the market
    They will create sales and marketing strategies that improve the company’s brand value in the marketplace. They will make sure the brand is always represented in the best possible light.
  • Increasing account sales and profit while managing costs
    The business development manager should be skilled at identifying which accounts and sales opportunities are the most profitable. They must also monitor the expenses associated with obtaining and sustaining an account.
  • Developing product information for customers
    They must present the product line in a succinct and informative way to prospective and current customers. The customers must understand the intrinsic value of the products on offer.
  • Running taste testing sessions for key account holders
    The business development manager must show off the company’s products to key account holders. This is usually done with taste testing sessions and customer education. They must convince the key account holders of the value that the products hold and encourage them to purchase more items from the product line.
  • Have close relationships with other departments
    They will have to foster a close relationship with staff from many other departments including finance, advertising and marketing. They must also be aware of new products which are being developed.
  • Managing work schedules
    The business development manager must use their time as effectively as possible and record details of their interactions with current and prospective customers
  • Working to ensure account business needs are met
    They must work with staff from a variety of departments to ensure the needs of account holders are met. That may include production and logistics staff.


The business development should have a business, MBA, sales or marketing degree. Ideally, they should also have a relevant beverage industry qualification, for example a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits or a Beer Academy qualification

Work Experience

  • Strong experience sales with a record of opening new accounts
  • Experience working in the beer, wine, spirits beverage or hospitality industry
  • Proven ability to work with multiple teams across a business
  • Sale report writing and presentation experience

Key Skills

  • Strong business acumen
  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Outstanding sales skills and the ability to persuade other people
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills
  • Time management skills
  • The ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • Business analysis skills to identify potential areas for improvement
  • Very organised and disciplined


What is the primary role of a business development manager in the drinks industry?

The primary role of a business development manager in the drinks industry is to acquire new clients and expand customer base for their company through various means such as advertising, educational efforts, direct engagement, and online platforms including social media.

How does a business development manager achieve sales growth?

A business development manager achieves sales growth by formulating and executing effective pitches, collaborating with sales and marketing teams, and aligning strategies with the company’s long-term goals. They aim to enhance profitable sales and broaden the business’s customer reach.

What educational background is suitable for a business development manager in this sector?

A suitable educational background for a business development manager in the beer, wine, and spirits industries includes a degree in business, MBA, sales, or marketing. Additional industry-specific qualifications, such as a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits or a Beer Academy certification, are also ideal.

What kind of work experience is essential for a business development manager?

Essential work experience for a business development manager involves a strong background in sales with a track record of securing new accounts, experience in the beverage or hospitality industry, and the capability to collaborate with multiple teams within a business.

What are the key skills necessary for a business development manager?

Key skills for a business development manager include robust business acumen, excellent negotiation and sales skills, strong problem-solving abilities, commercial awareness, effective communication, interpersonal networking, time management, the ability to operate both independently and as a team member, and a disciplined organisational approach.