In the know

Instinct blog

Latest articles
Back to Blog list

Job profile: E-learning Business Development Manager

Great sales skills? Passion for e-learning? A strategic thinker and team player - with a strong independent streak? You could be a great E-learning Business Development Manager.


There are two main strings to a typical Elearning Business Development Manager’s role. First, they are responsible for looking after an elearning provider’s existing customers, being a first point of contact and up-selling and cross-selling wherever possible. Second, they are responsible for generating new business, pushing the company’s elearning products or services out into particular markets.

The exact split of responsibilities, and how you are expected to achieve them, varies from company to company. Some roles will be highly focused on particular markets or geographical areas. Some will be almost entirely field-based (i.e. you’re almost never in the office) while more account-management style positions are likely to involve more time in headquarters and on the phone. You may work entirely independently, or you may carry out most of your sales activities as part of a pair or team.


Elearning Business Development, like any sales-focused role, is all about people. You need to have the personality and people skills to get on well with clients who may have been customers for many years, and to entice new customers to join. Obviously, being able to deliver a fantastic sales pitch is essential. You also – and this is often forgotten – need to be able to work well with other divisions within your business, like product development and customer support.

But these skills aren’t just about being a great communicator – you also need to be trustworthy and reliable. Elearning investment is often a significant outlay for businesses – they’ll only buy from people they believe they can trust. And since you’ll usually be juggling dozens of different accounts, plus dozens more new business opportunities, you’ll need to exceptionally organised.

Business Development isn’t a technical role in itself, but you’ll need to be prepared to get to grips with how elearning works. Plenty of people move into elearning business development from other technology/IT sales roles, and in these cases the biggest learning curve is likely to be in understanding the learning processes that sit behind elearning products and services.

The very best business development managers are creative too, always looking for new ways to deliver value to their customers and to collaborate with other business departments, like development and support.


The vast majority of Elearning Business Development Managers get paid in two ways – via a base salary, and through commission on successfully completed sales. The split will tend to be roughly equal, with perhaps slightly less attributed to guaranteed salary. So far, so straightforward.

If you’re just starting out in your business development career then the basic salary will be around the £20k mark, depending on where in the country you’re based. As you progress, base salaries can reach upwards of £45k, though these salaries will likely also involve some team management responsibilities. Experienced elearning business development managers can expect to take home around £100k overall.

Of course, as with any sales role, this is all very performance-dependent. If you perform particularly well, your pay may well be topped up with bonuses and other perks. If you don’t, then you may earn little over your base.

Interested in learning more about a career as an Elearning Business Development Manager? Give our specialist elearning recruitment team a call on 0161 714 0600.