Business Development Manager at Options Consultancy Services Limited

Options Consultancy Services Limited was established in 1992 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marie Stopes International. We are a consultancy organisation providing technical and management expertise in the health and social sectors to governments and international development partners to transform the health of women and children.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:



Job Title: Business Development Manager

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Reporting to: Assistant Director of New Business and Partnerships
Job type: Full-time
Types of contract: Depending on location, for the UK the position is Permanent, Nigeria and Kenya, Fixed Term

Main Purpose of Job

  • The Business Development Manager (BDM) will play a pivotal role in expanding our growing portfolio of work across Africa and Asia, building on numerous successes in the last few years and working with new clients.
  • The BDM will work within the energetic New Business and Partnerships Team (NBP) and Department of Design and Innovation (DDI), reporting to the Assistant Director of New Business and Partnerships.
  • The NBP team co-ordinates and manages the business development (BD) process, in collaboration with colleagues across Options’ global teams.
  • The BDM will analyse and position for new opportunities, pursue and develop prequalification documents, and develop high quality technical, innovation and commercial proposals for new business.
  • The BDM contributes to the implementation of Options’ new business strategy, supporting our approach to new clients, and expansion into new markets.
  • Some international travel will be required.

Main Duties
Identification and tracking of new business:

  • Identification and analysis of new business opportunities with existing and new clients, including gathering of intelligence about future opportunities through in-house knowledge management, research, external engagement and international travel when appropriate.
  • Contribute to Options’ understanding of the market and landscape, including the funding priorities of current clients and potential investors and developments in their policies, procedures, requirements, organisational structure and key personnel.
  • Track progress of identified opportunities, contribute to the maintenance and development of pipeline and forecasting reports monitoring the progress of identified opportunities against targets.

External engagement:

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of Options’ strategy, including developing external engagement strategies and building relationships to ensure Options is well placed to win work from new clients, in new technical areas and in new markets.
  • Establish and nurture collaborative relationships with consultants, partners and international development organisations to build strong partnerships for collaboration on new business, including representation of Options at external meetings and forums.
  • Ensure client relationship management systems are updated.

Pursuit and development of new opportunities and proposals:

  • Work with senior Options staff to analyse tender documents to assess requirements, including go / no go analysis, reviewing potential partners/ competitors, personnel inputs, and themes that are likely to maximise the potential for contract award.
  • Lead / facilitate investigation and forming of consortia, including preparation and negotiation of teaming agreements, with oversight from the Director and/or Assistant Director NBP.
  • Prepare and coordinate the development of Expressions of Interest, concepts, pitches, capability statements and pre-qualification documents to a high standard and ensure they are submitted on time.

Preparation of technical and commercial proposals:

  • Manage development and submission of proposals. Lead the overall BD process on selected bids and manage the process on larger bids, liaising between teams to create well-crafted, winning proposals. Where Options is the lead bidder and on large value bids, take responsibility for the preparation of technical and financial proposals. Where Options is not in the lead, manage Options’ inputs to proposals.

Tasks may include:

  • Work with the Bid Lead and Lead Technical Writer to hold discussions with consortium partners and manage consortium relations, including negotiation of partner roles and coordinating inputs from partners and other team members.
  • Lead / facilitate team design, identification and recruitment of appropriate long- and short-term personnel as needed in consultation with bid team.
  • Working with colleagues in NBP and other departments / offices, lead / support development of commercial aspects of proposals as agreed, including production of commercially viable budgets and narratives that demonstrate value for money to clients. Where necessary, lead on negotiating budgets and commercial arrangements with partners.
  • Facilitate / coordinate bid review process to maximise potential to win.
  • Ensure that proposals are submitted on time, in the correct format and meeting all tender requirements.
  • Manage or facilitate negotiation and final arrangements with contracting agencies and/or sub-contractors.
  • Ensure effective handover to Programmes Department to facilitate a smooth transition for programme delivery after a bid has been won.
  • Promote internal learning on achievements and challenges around proposal development and make recommendations for adjust approaches.
  • Ensure knowledge management systems such as the consultant database are updated and post-bid processes are completed.
  • Develop budget templates in line with clients’ requirements, including aligning proposed budgets to appropriate structures for salaries / fee rates, expenses and running costs.
  • Provide budget templates for partner organisations (in consultation with Finance), guide partners through the completion, quality assure submissions and consolidate into an overall proposal budget. Support and/or lead budget negotiation as needed.
  • Write and edit sections of proposals, as agreed with the Bid Lead and Lead Technical Writer.
  • Supervise and support other bid team members in the preparation of bidding documents (e.g. formatting CVs etc.) and other bid administration tasks.

Person Specification

  • Education to Degree level, or equivalent experience, in a related / relevant subject (Essential)
  • Relevant post-graduate qualification, preferably in global health or development (Desirable)


  • Extensive experience in business development, resource mobilisation or programme management in international development (Essential)
  • Experience managing the development of successful proposals for government, foundation and other donors, including experience responding to competitive tenders, developing technical and commercial proposals (Essential)
  • Experience developing budgets and commercial proposals (Essential)
  • Experience managing or engaging in co-creation / design processes with foundations and/or social investors (Desirable)
  • Experience building successful relationships with clients, collaborators and consultants (Essential)
  • Experience in team design, sourcing and contracting consultants (Desirable)
  • Experience in identification, analysis and tracking of business opportunities (Essential)

Skills and attributes:

  • Time management and organisational skills, and an ability to multi-task (Essential)
  • Excellent attention to detail, with ability to digest and act on complex information in a timely manner (Essential)
  • Excellent communications skills, both verbal and written (Essential)
  • Knowledge of landscape of partner / competitor organisations and individuals working in Options’ core areas of expertise (Essential)
  • Knowledge of International development strategies of key donors, including DFID, USAID (Desirable)
  • Entrepreneurial spirit – good instincts, commercial nous and ability to identify creative solutions (Desirable)
  • Strong financial skills including budgeting, analysis of budgets and development of commercial proposals (Essential)
  • Advanced level user of Microsoft Office particularly Word, Excel and PowerPoint (Essential)
  • Ability to work as part of a team and use own initiative (Essential)

Other requirements:

  • Commitment to equal opportunities (Essential)
  • A commitment to the Options’ principles of Safeguarding, Do No Harm and to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (Essential)
  • Pro-choice (Essential)
  • Fluency in written and spoken English (Essential)
  • Language skills in a second language (especially French) - (Desirable)



How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

Click here for more information (PDF)

Important Information and Notice

  • Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interview. Interviews will be held week commencing 03 January 2022.
  • Please note that this role will be subject to full pre-employment background checks including criminal record check, identification check, employment references and right to work verification (where appropriate).
  • Options is dedicated to equal opportunity for all and recognises that every individual is unique. Whilst we always seek to embrace individual differences and celebrate the diversity of our workforce, we also want to ensure that every team member is suited to their role and that they are given the best opportunity to succeed.
  • Our organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and post holders to share this commitment.
  • We seek people who are pro-choice, promote diversity and inclusion, are energetic and enthusiastic about Options’ vision.
  • Applicants must have the right to work in the UK, Nigeria or Kenya

Application Deadline  13th December, 2021.

Interview Date  3rd January, 2022

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