You determined which marketer you need, posted a job description, and found a few potential candidates. The next step is an interview; navigating this crucial step requires a solid understanding of the role to ask the right questions.
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Table of Contents
What is a Fractional BDM?
A Fractional BDM, or Business Development Manager, works part-time or on a contract basis to help companies grow by finding new business opportunities and building relationships. When interviewing a Fractional BDM, asking smart questions is crucial to ensure they have the strategic insight and adaptability to drive your business's success.
General Interview Questions
1. What industries do you specialize in?
What You'll Learn: From their industry specialization, you can gauge their expertise and whether they have a track record in sectors relevant to your business needs. This shows if they can hit the ground running or if they'll need time to get up to speed.
2. How do you bill for your services?
What You'll Learn: The candidate's billing method offers insight into how they value their work and if it aligns with your company's budget and payment structure. It also reflects their flexibility and understanding of different client needs.
3. What questions do you have about our company?
What You'll Learn: Asking about their inquiries regarding your company reveals their level of interest, research they've conducted, and strategic thinking. It highlights areas they may focus on when driving business development.
Technical Skill-Based Interview Questions
4. Can you describe your experience in developing and executing go-to-market strategies for multiple companies simultaneously?
What You'll Learn: This response reveals the candidate's ability to handle the complexity of planning and implementing market entry for different entities at once, showcasing multitasking and strategic thinking skills.
5. How do you leverage data analytics to inform the sales strategies you develop for your clients?
What You'll Learn: This answer will indicate how the candidate uses data to shape sales plans, reflecting their analytical capabilities and understanding of data-driven decision making.
6. What is your approach to creating and managing a sales funnel for a new market segment or product?
What You'll Learn: From this, you learn about the candidate's skills in building and nurturing sales pipelines, crucial for penetrating new markets or launching products effectively.
7. Can you walk us through your process for identifying and securing strategic partnerships to drive business growth?
What You'll Learn: The candidate's response provides insight into their networking and negotiation abilities, as well as how they identify and forge beneficial partnerships to boost business growth.
8. How do you tailor your business development tactics to suit the varying needs of different industries or companies as a fractional BDM?
What You'll Learn: This sheds light on the candidate's adaptability and customization skills, demonstrating how they modify their strategies to meet the unique demands of various sectors or companies.
Scenario and Experience-Based Interview Questions
9. Describe a time when you had to adjust your business development strategy due to unexpected market changes while managing multiple clients as a Fractional BDM?
What You'll Learn: From the first question, you can gauge the candidate's ability to swiftly adapt strategies in response to market fluctuations, showcasing their flexibility, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills in a dynamic environment.
10. Can you give an example of a situation where you had to prioritize among the different businesses you were serving and how you made those decisions?
What You'll Learn: The second explanation reveals the candidate's decision-making process when faced with conflicting demands. It highlights their ability to assess urgency, impact, and prioritize tasks effectively, which is crucial for balancing multiple clients.
11. Tell us about a specific instance where your intervention as a Fractional BDM directly resulted in a turnaround for a client's declining sales?
What You'll Learn: The third answer provides insight into the candidate's capability to identify issues and implement effective solutions that lead to measurable improvements in sales, reflecting their direct impact on client success.
12. Share an experience where you had to onboard with a new client and quickly understand their business model to drive growth. How did you approach this scenario?
What You'll Learn: The fourth scenario demonstrates the candidate's speed in assimilating new information and formulating strategies, emphasizing their quick learning ability and strategic planning to foster client growth.
13. Explain a situation where you successfully introduced a new product or service into a saturated market for one of your clients. What strategy did you employ?
What You'll Learn: The fifth response uncovers the candidate's innovative approach and strategic thinking in overcoming market saturation challenges, demonstrating their creativity and marketing acumen.
14. Can you discuss a time when you had to negotiate a deal or partnership for a client that had competing interests with another client you served? How did you handle the conflict of interest?
What You'll Learn: In the sixth instance, you learn about the candidate's ethical judgment and negotiation skills, particularly how they maintain fairness and professionalism when managing potential conflicts between clients.
15. Provide an example of how you've coached or mentored a sales team within a client organization to improve performance. What were the outcomes?
What You'll Learn: The seventh answer sheds light on the candidate's leadership and coaching abilities, specifically their influence on enhancing a sales team's performance, and the tangible results of their mentoring efforts.
16. Can you describe a time when you had to navigate organizational resistance to a new business initiative you were trying to implement and how you overcame it?
What You'll Learn: From the first question, you can gauge the candidate's ability to tackle resistance and their problem-solving skills. It shows their determination and strategy for pushing through challenges to achieve business goals.
17. Recall a situation where you had to use your communication skills to persuade a team or company to take a risk on a new business development idea. What was the outcome?
What You'll Learn: The second question reveals the candidate's persuasive communication abilities and their capacity to inspire confidence in their ideas, crucial for securing buy-in for business development projects. It also highlights their success rate and impact on the team or company.
18. Discuss a moment where you had to adapt your personal working style to better align with a client's culture or expectations. How did you manage that change?
What You'll Learn: The third question offers insight into the candidate's flexibility and cultural sensitivity, essential for a Fractional BDM working with diverse clients. It demonstrates their approach to modifying their work style to meet client needs effectively.
In choosing your next fractional BDM, let these questions guide you to find a candidate who is not just skilled, but also a perfect fit for your team's ethos.