Mastering the Art of the Business Relationship Manager
The term Business Relationship Manager has only been coined as a job title in the past ten years, with the BRM Institute being incorporated in March 2013. But what is it and why is it growing in popularity?
What is Business Relationship Management?
Put simply, the role of the Business Relationship Manager is to add value. They effectively pull together internal and external relationships to meet the strategic goals of the business and increase customer satisfaction. This involves maintaining positive relationships with customers and being an effective link between the client and service provider.
There is no doubting that we live and operate in a digital world; relationships are everywhere and needs continually change as the business or project evolves. To give a business the best chance of success, stable and sustainable communication, collaboration and agility are essential.
Over the past seven years, the global growth of Business Relationship Manager roles has steadily increased year on year
Forward-thinking organisations are capitalising on this to ensure that value and effective communication sits at the heart of their business.
It is important to note that communication is also about managing expectations. Informing the customer what the service provider can deliver increases customer satisfaction, simply because they are not left disappointed.
So how do you move into this role when the profession is relatively young? Research from the 2019 BRM Benchmarking Report has found that experienced staff with a successful track record are being cherry-picked and moved into BRM positions. Their value is being recognised and they are being given the autonomy to take the company or project to the next level.
Does my company need a Business Relationship Manager?
Business Relationship Management is not just a framework, it is an art. There are many benefits to introducing the role into your business and ways they can add value – let us explain.
A good Business Relationship Manager ensures the project or company achieves what it set out to do and within the required time-frame, while ensuring relationships are maintained and gaps within disparate teams are bridged.
The Business Relationship Manager can add value in many other ways, including:
- Recognising that functions such as IT, HR and Finance are part of the business and not separate or working in isolation. This approach encourages all functions to focus on business goals with a shared responsibility to deliver business value.
- Regularly and effectively communicating expectations to the customer and service provider, irradiating ambiguity and consequently increasing satisfaction.
- Having a holistic view of the business or project means impact of decisions can be identified and addressed as they happen, minimising impact and unforeseen downtime.
- Remaining focused on the customer in terms of their needs and wants ensures they are at the forefront of every decision made.
- Demonstrating to stakeholders the value of the business change, by tracking and reviewing performance and uniting teams.
The BRM Benchmarking Report 2019 interestingly discovered that making the choice to employ a BRM and giving them room to success is a little bit of a chicken and egg situation. When an organisation values (in terms of salary and responsibility) the BRM role and the work they are responsible for, the more likely the BRM is to succeed. Therefore, if your business isn’t ready to take the step, you may not see the full benefit.
I think I want to become a Business Relationship Manager
When exploring options for a career change, job satisfaction is always going to be up there with the top reasons for the change. Let’s look at how a role as a Business Relationship Manager (BRM) can empower you.
- You can have end to end responsibility for a project, leading them to a successful conclusion.
- With complete understanding of ‘what’ is required, you can then collect and shape ideas which maximise the value of the ‘how’.
- You are the single point of liaison between business units, technology teams and support teams. The relationships you forge will fuel the success of the project or organisation.
- With your holistic view of the project, you strategically manage and prioritise products and services.
- Ultimately you are leading a workforce towards purpose and value, as opposed to profit. This is a significant shift and will leave you and the whole workforce feeling personally and professionally fulfilled, with the knowledge of lasting change.
Our 5 top tips for a successful Business Relationship Management (BRM) career
Having read the positives, let’s look at how you can master the art of becoming a Business Relationship Manager and forge yourself a successful career in this growing industry.
1. Gain a formal qualification
The recently released BRM Benchmarking Report 2019 reveals that two thirds of respondents hold at least one type of professional BRM training or certification, which is an excellent sign that BRMs take professional development seriously. The most common training certification held (57%) is the Business Relationship Management Professional (BRMP®). At Training ByteSize we offer excellent online training for just £599+VAT, plus with 100% pass rate in the exam there is no reason to go anywhere else for your Business Relationship Management Professional (BRMP®) Training Course.
2. Get yourself a mentor
This demonstrates your commitment to developing your competency as a BRM and it reflects well on your salary with respondents to the BRM Benchmarking Compensation Report 2019 seeing an average uplift of five figures! If you are already well established in your career as a BRM, perhaps you should consider becoming a mentor or coach, which was found to uplift salary by as much as £30,000. There is a dedicated section on coaching and mentoring on the BRM Institute website. Additionally, the BRM Institute also offer Online Campus specifically for members; it is a dedicated gateway to the single global BRM community, featuring the latest standards and professional development opportunities, find out more here.
3. Consider which business function is most important to you
Successful and experienced BRMs place importance on working with portfolio management, architecture and business capability management, whereas those who are young in the role tend to gravitate towards project and service management teams. Focusing on the higher-level, strategic business functions are key to your success and your salary will reflect this approach.
4. If salary is important to you, consider your industry
Salary varies considerably by industry. The highest reported median total salary is among those in the accounting/ finance/ banking/ mortgage industry, closely followed by those in the insurance and healthcare industries, whereas the average salary of a BRM working in higher education is almost halved. One interesting finding from the BRM Benchmarking Compensation Report 2019 is that salary is not influenced by the size of the organisation you work for, rather the emphasis is placed on the value put into the business function where the BRMs work.
5. Perfect your key skills
Good communication skills are central to the success of your BRM career. You need to be able to make the complex simple, both verbally and in writing, ensuring all parties understand. Your respect as a leader is also essential and as Aaron Barnes, CEO and co-founder of the BRM Institute said, “Great leaders create great leaders in everyone around them. BRMs are great leaders.” Finally, the skill of adaptability is essential. BRMs are sought after in many industries. There are different IT solutions used across these industries, companies and even teams and of course, the projects being delivered themselves bring change.
So what next?
Perhaps the first place to start is to see what roles are available now. The BRM Institute is a perfect place to start, click here to visit their jobs board.
Secondly, look at your training options. At Training ByteSize, we have a 100% pass rate with the APM Group and BRM Institute accredited Business Relationship Management Professional (BRMP®) training course. You can study for the internationally recognised qualification online or in the classroom and with several payment options available, your next career is well within your reach.
About Training ByteSize
Hi there, we’re Training ByteSize. As experts in delivering accredited project management and IT service management training through a range of study styles, your success is key to our success. We understand how people learn, we know how to train people to pass exams, we employ the best trainers and specialise in small class sizes to help you get the best from your investment. So, if you’re looking to enhance your project management skills and ensure you pass first time, Training ByteSize is a name you can trust.
We thrive on providing a reliable service to customers and we are proud to maintain an exceptional renewal rate with our corporate clients. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for this success is our bespoke approach; we provide the training in the exact way you want it, whether that is on-site, online, virtual, classroom based or a combination of these. As a family-run business we’re small enough to care, but big enough to support clients from start to finish in the way they would like to learn.
Our ability to adapt to the changing environment of learning and training ensures we remain at the forefront of the industry, which is why we continue to be first choice for many blue-chip clients. When you train with us, you’ll know straight away that you’ve made the right choice.
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