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Top 10 Business Development Specialist Certifications

This article provides a comprehensive guide to the top business development specialist certifications available today.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are an important way to demonstrate your knowledge and skill in the field of business development. They provide potential employers with a tangible indication of your qualifications, experience, and dedication to the industry. Having certifications also shows that you have taken the extra steps to stay current on best practices and techniques in the field. Ultimately, certifications can help you stand out from other applicants and showcase your dedication to professional development, which can lead to more job opportunities.

This article reviews some of the best certifications available to Business Development Specialists and explains how they can help enhance their career.

What are Business Development Specialist Certifications?

Business Development Specialist Certification is an industry-recognized certification that validates the skills and knowledge of professionals in the business development field. This certification demonstrates mastery of core competencies in areas such as marketing, sales, technology, customer service, strategy, finance, operations, and more.

Business Development Specialists are responsible for creating and managing relationships with customers to help them grow their businesses. They must understand how to identify customer needs and develop strategies to meet those needs. A Business Development Specialist Certification gives professionals the credentials to prove they have the necessary skills and knowledge required for success in this role.

The certification provides a framework for professionals to assess their current skill level and target their learning objectives for future development. It also provides employers with assurance that the individual is qualified to provide high-level business development services. With this certificate, professionals can demonstrate proficiency in core business development concepts and tools needed to be successful in this role.

By obtaining a Business Development Specialist Certification, professionals gain access to exclusive resources such as job postings, webinars, networking events and online courses that can expand their knowledge base. Additionally, having a certification shows potential employers that they are committed to honing their skillset and advancing their career in business development.

Pro Tip: When considering becoming a Business Development Specialist, look for certifications that offer the most current and comprehensive training in the industry. Look for certifications that provide detailed instruction in the areas of sales, marketing, customer service, finance and project management. Make sure to pick a program that has an established track record of success and provides ongoing support throughout your certification process.

Related: What does a Business Development Specialist do?

Top 10 Business Development Specialist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Business Development Specialists today.

1. Certified Business Development Professional (CBD)

Certified Business Development Professional (CBD) is a certification program designed to help professionals gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful business development professionals. The certification focuses on four core areas: sales, marketing, customer service, and project management.

It typically takes between two and three months to complete the Certified Business Development Professional (CBD) program. During this time, participants will take part in online training sessions, attend workshops and seminars, complete coursework assignments, and participate in assessments and exams.

To get certified as a CBD professional, you must first meet the prerequisites for the program. These include having at least two years of experience in a business development role or related field; possessing a bachelor’s degree or higher; and having basic knowledge of sales techniques and customer service principles. You must also pass an exam administered by an accredited organization such as the International Association of Business Development Professionals (IABDP).

The cost of getting certified as a CBD professional varies depending on the provider offering the program. Generally speaking, it can range from $500 to $2,000 USD.

2. Certified Professional in Business Development (CPBD)

Certified Professional in Business Development (CPBD) is a certification program designed to help professionals develop the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in business development roles. The CPBD program is offered by the American Academy of Business Development (AABD), an international professional organization dedicated to promoting best practices in business development.

The CPBD program consists of three courses: Introduction to Business Development, Advanced Business Development Strategies, and Professional Practice Management. Each course takes approximately 8 weeks to complete, with a total of 24 weeks for all three courses combined. The courses are offered online or through in-person classes at AABD-approved training centers.

In order to obtain the CPBD certification, applicants must pass all three courses with a score of 80% or higher. In addition, applicants must have at least two years of experience in business development or related fields.

The cost for the CPBD program varies depending on the type of training chosen (online or in-person). The cost for online classes is $1,799 USD while the cost for in-person classes is $2,299 USD.

3. Certified Business Development Manager (CBDM)

Certified Business Development Manager (CBDM) is a certification program that provides professionals with the knowledge, skills, and tools to help organizations develop and implement effective business development strategies. The CBDM program is designed to provide professionals with the ability to analyze markets, develop business plans, and create successful business development programs.

The CBDM program consists of four courses: Business Development Fundamentals, Market Analysis & Strategy Development, Business Plan Creation & Implementation, and Advanced Business Development Strategies. Each course is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the key concepts related to business development.

It typically takes 3-6 months to complete the entire CBDM program depending on the individual's availability. To get certified as a CBDM you must successfully complete all four courses and pass the final exam.

The cost of the certification varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $2,000-$4,000 USD for all four courses.

4. Certified Business Development Strategist (CBDS)

A Certified Business Development Strategist (CBDS) is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in business development. CBDS certification is designed to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to develop successful business strategies and plans. The certification requires a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of business development, including market analysis, competitive analysis, customer segmentation, product positioning, pricing strategies, and financial modeling.

The CBDS certification program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as market research, business models, strategic planning, marketing strategy, sales management, and more. It typically takes about six months to complete the coursework. After completing the coursework, individuals must pass a final exam in order to become certified.

To get started on the path to becoming a CBDS-certified professional, individuals must first register for the online course through an accredited provider such as Global Business Strategies Institute (GBSI). Once registered for the course, individuals can begin studying at their own pace and have up to 12 months to complete it. Upon completion of the coursework and passing the final exam with a score of 80% or higher, individuals will be awarded their CBDS certification.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on which provider you choose; however, it typically ranges between $1,500-$2,500 USD for both the online course and exam fees combined.

5. Certified Business Development Analyst (CBDA)

Certified Business Development Analyst (CBDA) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association of Business Development Professionals (IABDP). The CBDA certification is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge and skills of business development professionals. It provides a comprehensive education in business development principles and practices, as well as an understanding of how to apply them in real-world situations.

The CBDA program consists of two parts: an online self-study course and an assessment exam. The online self-study course covers topics such as strategic planning, customer relationship management, market research, sales process design, and project management. The assessment exam tests the learner’s knowledge of these topics.

It typically takes about three months to complete the CBDA program. To get certified, learners must complete the online self-study course and pass the assessment exam with a score of 70% or higher.

The cost for the CBDA certification program varies depending on which package you choose. There are three different packages available: Basic ($299), Standard ($499), and Premium ($799). Each package includes access to the online self-study course and one attempt at the assessment exam.

6. Certified Business Development Executive (CBDE)

Certified Business Development Executive (CBDE) is a professional certification program designed to equip business development professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to develop and implement successful business strategies. This certification is offered by the Association of Professional Business Development Executives (APBDE).

The CBDE program consists of three levels: Foundation, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each level requires a certain number of hours of study and completion of an exam. The Foundation level takes approximately 30-40 hours to complete, the Intermediate level takes approximately 40-50 hours to complete, and the Advanced level takes approximately 50-60 hours to complete.

In order to get certified as a CBDE, individuals must first meet certain prerequisites such as having at least two years of experience in business development or related fields. Once these prerequisites are met, individuals can apply for the CBDE program online through APBDE’s website. After submitting an application, individuals will be required to take an online assessment test in order to determine their eligibility for the program.

The cost for the CBDE program varies depending on the level being taken. The Foundation level costs $595 USD; the Intermediate level costs $795 USD; and the Advanced level costs $995 USD. All fees must be paid before taking any exams or completing any courses associated with the CBDE program.

7. Certified Sales and Marketing Professional (CSMP)

Certified Sales and Marketing Professional (CSMP) is a certification program offered by the American Marketing Association (AMA). It is designed to provide sales and marketing professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to effectively manage sales and marketing activities.

The CSMP certification requires applicants to have at least five years of experience in sales or marketing. Applicants must also complete a series of courses and exams that cover topics such as customer relationship management, market research, pricing strategies, digital marketing, and more. The courses are available online or through participating universities.

To obtain the CSMP certification, applicants must submit an application along with proof of their experience in sales or marketing. Once approved, applicants must then pass a comprehensive exam that covers all aspects of sales and marketing management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and can be taken online or at a proctored testing center.

The cost for the CSMP certification varies depending on the type of program chosen. Online programs typically range from $1,000-$2,500 while university programs can range from $3,000-$5,000.

8. Certified International Business Developer (CIBD)

Certified International Business Developer (CIBD) is a certification program offered by the Institute of Certified International Business Developers. It is designed to provide professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful international business developers. The program takes approximately one year to complete, depending on the individual's experience and background.

The CIBD program consists of three levels: Foundation, Advanced, and Professional. Each level has its own set of courses that must be completed in order to receive certification. The Foundation level focuses on basic principles of international business development such as market research, global marketing strategies, and cultural awareness. The Advanced level covers more advanced topics such as financial analysis, negotiation techniques, and international trade law. Finally, the Professional level delves into topics such as project management and strategic planning for international business development projects.

In order to obtain CIBD certification, individuals must pass all three levels of the program with a minimum score of 70%. They must also submit a portfolio demonstrating their knowledge and skills in international business development. After successfully completing the program, individuals will receive an official certificate from the Institute of Certified International Business Developers.

The cost for obtaining CIBD certification varies depending on which courses are taken and how long it takes to complete them; however, it typically ranges from $2,000-$5,000 USD.

9. Certified International Trade Specialist (CITS)

Certified International Trade Specialist (CITS) is a professional designation offered by the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in international trade. CITS certification is awarded to those who have completed an approved training program and passed an examination.

The CITS certification program consists of three levels: Certified, Advanced Certified, and Master Certified. To become certified, applicants must complete a minimum of 80 hours of FITT-approved training courses in international trade topics such as marketing, finance, logistics, law, and customs procedures. In addition, applicants must pass the CITS exam with a score of 70% or higher. The exam covers topics such as international business principles, global markets and trends, export/import regulations and procedures, risk management strategies, and other aspects of international trade.

The cost for the CITS certification program varies depending on the number of courses taken and the type of exam administered. Generally speaking, it can range from $500 to $2,000 USD. The cost includes access to all course materials as well as the exam fee.

The time required to complete the CITS certification program depends on how quickly you are able to complete each course and pass the exam. On average it takes between 6-12 months to become certified; however some people may take longer or shorter depending on their individual circumstances.

To get started with the CITS certification program you will need to register with FITT and select which courses you would like to take. Once registered you will be provided with access to all course materials including lectures, readings, assignments, quizzes etc., which can be completed at your own pace within a set timeframe (usually six months). After completing all required courses you will then be eligible to sit for the CITS exam which is administered online through FITT's website or at designated testing centers worldwide.

10. Professional Certificate in Business Development and Strategy (PCBDS).

The Professional Certificate in Business Development and Strategy (PCBDS) is a professional certification program offered by the American Management Association (AMA). It is designed to help business professionals develop the skills necessary to create, implement, and manage successful business strategies. The program consists of four modules that cover topics such as strategic planning, market analysis, financial management, and organizational development.

The PCBDS program takes approximately three months to complete. It requires participants to attend eight days of classroom instruction at an AMA facility or online courses. During these sessions, students will learn how to identify opportunities for growth, develop strategies for success, analyze markets and competitors, and create effective plans for implementation.

To get the PCBDS certification, you must successfully complete all four modules of the program and pass the final exam with a score of 75% or higher. You can also apply for credit towards the certificate if you have completed other relevant courses or programs from accredited institutions.

The cost of the PCBDS program varies depending on your location and whether you choose to take it in-person or online. In-person classes typically cost between $2,500 - $3,500 USD while online classes range from $1,000 - $2,000 USD.

Do You Really Need a Business Development Specialist Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on what type of business development specialist you want to become. If you are looking to become a consultant, then having a business development specialist certificate may be beneficial. Having the certificate may give potential clients confidence that you have the knowledge and experience needed to help them grow their businesses. Additionally, having a certificate could open doors for professional networking opportunities that can ultimately lead to more job opportunities.

On the other hand, if your goal is to work in an internal role within a business or organization, then having a business development specialist certificate may not be necessary. Many companies value experience and skills over certifications when hiring for these types of roles. However, depending on the company’s hiring policies and preferences, it could be beneficial to have a certification as it could set you apart from other qualified candidates.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a business development specialist certificate depends on your career goals and the requirements of the positions you are applying for. It may be worth researching potential employers’ expectations before making any decisions about investing in a certification program.

Related: Business Development Specialist Resume Examples

FAQs About Business Development Specialist Certifications

1. What is a Business Development Specialist Certification?

Answer: A Business Development Specialist Certification is an accreditation that recognizes professionals who have achieved a certain level of knowledge and proficiency in the field of business development. This certification typically covers topics such as strategy, marketing, sales, operations, finance, and leadership.

2. What are the benefits of obtaining a Business Development Specialist Certification?

Answer: Obtaining a Business Development Specialist Certification demonstrates to employers that you have the necessary skills needed to effectively manage business development projects. It also provides credibility in the field and can help individuals advance their careers by providing them with additional opportunities for career growth.

3. How long does it take to earn a Business Development Specialist Certification?

Answer: The length of time it takes to earn a certification depends on the individual's educational background and experience level. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete the necessary coursework and exams required for certification.

4. Who can benefit from earning a Business Development Specialist Certification?

Answer: Professionals who work in fields such as marketing, sales, operations, finance, and leadership can all benefit from earning this certification as it will provide them with an edge over other candidates when applying for positions within these fields. Additionally, those looking to transition into business development roles may also find this certification beneficial in helping them gain the knowledge needed for success in this field.

5. Is there any cost associated with obtaining a Business Development Specialist Certification?

Answer: Yes, there are costs associated with obtaining this certification depending on which provider you choose to go through for your training and education requirements. Costs may include tuition fees for courses or exam fees for taking the required exams needed to become certified.