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Business Development Manager for the ODI: London/Leeds

Business Development Manager

Location: Shoreditch, London and/or Leeds

Salary: 35k

The Open Data Institute is looking for a passionate business development manager to identify, drive and manage new business sales for the Open Data Institute.

About the ODI team

Co-founded by the inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and renowned AI professor, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, and supported at board level by Martha Lane-Fox and Neelie Kroes, the ODI is an exceptional organisation, in an unprecedented age of data.

The ODI enables organisations and individuals to solve problems and create opportunities using data. We are looking to appoint a new business manager who can identify appropriate opportunities for the ODI to connect with organisations, construct a value proposition for that opportunity and then manage the opportunity through to contract and hand-off to the ODI delivery teams.

About the role

Reporting to the Commercial Director, the Business Development Manager will play a pivotal role in developing the ODI's commercial proposition through skilled application of sound business development principles.

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 5 years business development experience ideally selling consulting and advisory services, a willingness to learn, a professional, customer-focused view and be able to see things from an external organisation’s perspective. You will work with the commercial team to formulate and execute strategies which will provide the ODI with sustainable, margin-rich work based around our core values.

This will involve:

  • Researching the market, organisations and individuals to approach as new leads
  • Acquiring knowledge about company needs and purchasing decision makers
  • Contacting and reaching new clients
  • Networking and presenting at conferences, meetings, and industry events
  • Creating presentations to deliver to clients
  • Meeting bookings targets
  • Maintaining an accurate pipeline for the benefit of the whole of the ODI

Due to the nature of the work, this position is likely to involve non-core hours and UK-wide travel.

Key responsibilities of the role

  • Proactive sales; building the new business pipeline, scoping for opportunities (incl. ITTs), developing new client relationships, leveraging existing relationships for new opportunities
  • Reactive sales; assessing and taking maximum advantage of inbound leads, bringing in senior/junior members as appropriate
  • Events; maximising all events (both ODI and external) for networking and sourcing new opportunities
  • Programme design/proposal writing; converting opportunities into effective descriptions of work working alongside other members of the team (e.g. PMs and delivery pool)
  • Supporting the Commercial Director in the development of ODI’s commercial value proposition/strategy; pulling together what the ODI has done, where it has delivered value, and using this to develop new propositions
  • Responsible for building/maintaining/improving all sales processes especially the management and oversight of the sales pipeline
  • Linking the commercial team with skills/expertise/experience of the wider ODI team to ensure that business development does not operate in a silo
  • Developing sales materials and other collateral; working with Anna/Hannah to create compelling outputs, improve ODI proposal templates and other pitch documents
  • Get involved where appropriate in limited delivery; e.g. where you have been instrumental in winning a specific piece of work

About you - skills, knowledge, experience

You must have the skills, knowledge, experience to enable you to be:

  • Honest, socially-adept and a team player
  • A confident communicator and problem-solver
  • Able to handle pressure and meet deadlines
  • Organised, with excellent attention to detail
  • A self-starter with the ability to prioritise and work unsupervised
  • Able to accept and implement guidance and instructions
  • Competent and confident in use of a range of IT systems

About the team

Teamwork We are all here to work towards achieving the same aims and mission of the ODI. All team members will be required to work together across departments and with colleagues to ensure the long term success and sustainability of the ODI.

Agility To meet the changing demands of a rapidly growing organisation we will need to be agile to meet shifting challenges and workloads. Team members will be required to take on or let go of tasks and responsibilities either for the short- or long- term that will be both reasonable and within their capabilities.

Respect The ODI expects everyone to respect and comply with the principles of dignity at work and equal opportunities for everyone.

Confidentiality We are all about open data but what comes with that is the need to be mindful of people’s personal data, intellectual property, and any business sensitive data. If in any doubt please always ask first before publishing or passing on any information or data.


  • 3% contributory pension
  • 30 days annual holiday
  • Life Assurance cover
  • Long term disability cover
  • Critical illness cover
  • Childcare voucher scheme
  • Flexible working
  • Coaching and mentoring for skills and personal development
  • £750 annual training budget toward your own professional development

How to apply

Please send a cover letter explaining why you are ideal for the role (no more than one page) and a CV (no more than two pages) to asap.

They are keen to recruit soon, and may be interviewing for this position immediately. Candidates are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Note to applicants

Non-EU nationals please note: the ODI has a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees are entitled to live and work in the UK. It is unlikely that we would be able to obtain a certificate of sponsorship for this job. Therefore, in most cases it is unlikely that we will be able to consider applications from candidates who require a visa to work in the UK. For further information on eligibility to work in the UK please visit the UK Border Agency website at