What Is A Business Relationship Manager And What Are The Roles?

Last updated on December 31st, 2023 at 12:59 pm

What is a business relationship manager and what are the roles he plays in business relationship management to improve business growth?

In a business setting, building and maintaining strong relationships with customers and stakeholders is uppermost on the mind of every business establishment.

The role of business relationship management has emerged as a strategic necessity in helping organizations bridge the gap between business objectives and customer expectations.

We are bringing to you are succinct but detailed explanation of what it is, the roles, and benefits associated with this position.

Recommended: What is Relationship Management?

Table of Contents

What is a Business Relationship Manager?

A BRM manager

A business relationship manager is a professional who acts as a liaison between a company’s various business units and its external partners or vendors.

Their primary responsibility is to establish and maintain positive relationships with these parties, ensuring that the company’s needs are met and that both parties receive maximum value from the partnership.

The BRM collaborates with internal stakeholders to identify business objectives and develop strategies to achieve them, while also working closely with external partners to address any challenges or concerns that may arise.

They serve as a bridge between the company and its partners, facilitating effective communication and promoting mutual understanding and collaboration.

Related: Relationship Management in Banking

The Difference between a Business Relationship Manager and Other Types of Relationship Managers

The primary difference between a business relationship manager and other types of relationship managers lies in the focus of their relationships.

While a client relationship manager focuses on managing relationships with clients, a customer relationship manager focuses on managing relationships with customers, and a partner relationship manager specifically handles relationships with business partners or collaborators.

The community relationship manager addresses the concerns of local stakeholders, and the community and develops strategies to support and strengthen the relationship between them and the organization.

On the other hand, a business relationship manager oversees relationships with various business partners, working to align objectives, facilitate collaboration, and drive mutual success.

The scope is broader, encompassing relationships with a variety of external business entities, while other relationship managers have more specific focuses.

Related: What is Relationship Management in Emotional Intelligence

Understanding the Business Relationship Manager Job Description

The job description of a business relationship manager

In essence, a business relationship manager acts as a liaison and trusted advisor between a company and its clients or stakeholders.

This role requires a deep understanding of both the business’s objectives and the unique needs of its customers.

It covers a wide range of responsibilities, including relationship development, strategic alignment, communication facilitation, and conflict resolution.

Let’s take a look…

1. Relationship Development: A manager of business relationships focuses on building and nurturing relationships with clients, understanding their goals, and providing personalized support. This fosters trust and loyalty, which in turn leads to long-term business partnerships and customer satisfaction.

2. Strategic Alignment: He plays a crucial role in aligning business objectives with customer expectations. By understanding both sides of the equation, he can identify opportunities for growth, innovation, and improvement, ensuring that the organization delivers value and meets its customers’ changing needs.

3. Communication Facilitation: Effective communication is the foundation of successful relationships. Managers in business relationships act as facilitators within an organization, encouraging cross-functional collaboration and ensuring that information flows seamlessly between departments and stakeholders.

4. Conflict Resolution: Every business encounters challenges and conflicts from time to time. A skilled relationship manager is adept at managing conflicts, actively listening to all parties involved, and finding mutually beneficial solutions.

Related: Who is a Client Relationship Manager?

Skills Required for a Successful BRM

Business relationship being solidified by different company managers

To excel in the role of a manager of business relationships, certain key skills are paramount.

Let’s explore the essential qualities that distinguish a proficient person in this position:

1. Relationship Building: You must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills, enabling you to build and maintain relationships built on trust and empathy.

2. Strategic Thinking: The ability to think strategically is important you must align the organization’s mission, vision, and values with the client’s goals and objectives.

3. Business Acumen: You need a solid understanding of various business functions such as finance, marketing, operations, and customer service.

4. Problem-solving: The role of a manager of business relationships involves identifying and resolving challenges that may arise during the business-customer relationship and how to solve them.

Related: What is Partner Relationship Management?

What is Business Relationship Management?

Business relationship management training in session

Business relationship management is the discipline of enhancing and maintaining strong connections between a business and its various stakeholders, such as customers, partners, and suppliers.

It involves understanding the needs and expectations of these stakeholders, aligning business objectives with their requirements, and effectively managing relationships to drive mutual value.

BRM emphasizes communication, collaboration, and trust-building to ensure that the business meets the needs of its stakeholders while achieving its objectives.

Ultimately, BRM is about creating and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships that contribute to the long-term success and sustainability of the business.

Benefits of Effective Business Relationship Management

Strategies in BRM for effective results

Embracing and implementing a robust business relationship management approach can lead to a multitude of advantages for an organization.

Here are a few key benefits:

Benefits of Implementing Business Relationship Management

Implementing BRM can yield numerous benefits for organizations, including:

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

By aligning organizational strategies and offerings with customer needs, BRM helps improve customer satisfaction levels.

This can lead to increased customer loyalty, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Competitive Advantage

Organizations that effectively manage their relationships gain a competitive edge.

BRM enables organizations to differentiate themselves through superior customer service, increased customer engagement, and the ability to adapt to changing market dynamics.

Improved Collaboration and Innovation

BRM fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing between an organization and its stakeholders.

This allows for the identification of new opportunities, co-creation of innovative solutions, and faster response to market trends.

Risk Mitigation

By actively managing relationships and identifying potential risks, organizations can better protect themselves against disruptions.

BRM helps organizations stay ahead of potential issues, resulting in proactive risk mitigation and improved operational resilience.

Customer Retention and Loyalty

By understanding and catering to customer needs, managers of business relationships create a personalized experience that encourages loyalty and retention of customers.

3. Strategic Decision-making

BRMs provide invaluable insights that influence strategic decisions within an organization.

By staying informed about market trends, competition, and customer expectations, they help shape business strategies that drive innovation and market penetration.

Key Objectives of Business Relationship Management

Training on BMI

At its core, it aims to encourage mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its stakeholders.

The primary objectives include:

Understand Stakeholder Needs: BRM enables organizations to understand stakeholder needs, align strategies with them, and enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty by meeting their requirements effectively.

2. Promotes Collaboration: It encourages collaboration and communication between an organization and its stakeholders, creating an environment that drives innovation, knowledge transfer, and continuous improvement.

3. Drive Business Value: It aims to create tangible business value from relationships by identifying co-creation opportunities, optimizing resource use, and maximizing return on investment.

4. Manage Risks: It assists organizations in identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks associated with stakeholder relationships, thereby minimizing disruptions and ensuring partnership sustainability through proactive risk management.

Key Principles of Business Relationship Management

To effectively implement BRM, organizations should adhere to certain guiding principles:

1. Customer-centricity: BRM emphasizes the importance of understanding and fulfilling customer needs. It encourages organizations to place the customer at the center of their operations, making customer satisfaction and success a top priority.

2. Relationship Focus: It recognizes the value of relationships as a strategic asset. It emphasizes the need to establish and nurture long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders, rather than focusing solely on transactional exchanges.

3. Value Co-creation: BRM promotes the concept of value co-creation, wherein organizations and stakeholders work together to create unique and differentiated value. This involves understanding each other’s capabilities, sharing knowledge and resources, and jointly developing innovative solutions.

4. Continuous Improvement: It encourages a culture of continuous improvement by regularly assessing and enhancing the organization’s capabilities in managing relationships. This includes developing robust feedback mechanisms, measuring performance, and implementing corrective actions.

Business Relationship Management Framework

A demonstration of business relationship management framework

The Business Relationship Management framework is a set of processes, functions, and roles that help organizations manage their relationships with their business partners or customers.

It is primarily focused on enhancing the collaboration and alignment between the business and IT departments, ensuring that the IT solutions and services provided meet the needs and objectives of the business.

The BRM framework consists of the following components:

1. Business Relationship Manager

The BRM is a role within the organization responsible for acting as the liaison between the business and IT.

The BRM facilitates effective communication, understands the business needs and priorities, and helps translate them into IT requirements.

2. Strategic Partnering

This component of business relationship management focuses on establishing a strategic partnership between the business and IT.

It involves understanding the business strategy, identifying opportunities for IT to support the business goals, and developing a shared vision and roadmap.

3. Demand Shaping

Demand shaping involves managing the demand for IT services and solutions.

It includes understanding the business needs and priorities, prioritizing requests, and influencing the demand to align with IT capabilities and capacity.

4. Exploring

The exploring component involves identifying and exploring new technologies, trends, and innovative solutions that can benefit the business.

It includes conducting research, benchmarking, and collaborating with external partners to find new ideas and opportunities.

5. Service Provider Management

This component of business relationship management focuses on managing the relationships with IT service providers.

It includes defining service level agreements, monitoring service performance, managing contracts, and ensuring the delivery of high-quality services.

6. Value Realization

Value realization involves measuring and monitoring the value that IT solutions and services bring to the business.

It includes defining key performance indicators, conducting regular reviews, and continuously improving the value delivered by IT.

Business Relationship Management Strategy

Business relationship management strategy is a systematic approach to managing and nurturing relationships with key stakeholders to achieve organizational objectives.

It involves identifying, understanding, and prioritizing stakeholders and their needs, and developing strategies to meet those needs effectively.

The main goal of a business relationship management strategy is to establish and maintain productive and mutually beneficial relationships with all stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, partners, employees, and regulatory bodies.

This strategy aims to create value for both parties by facilitating open communication, understanding expectations, and addressing any issues or concerns.

To develop a successful BRM strategy, organizations should follow these key steps:

1. Identify Stakeholders

Determine who your key stakeholders are, both internal and external to the organization.

This may include customers, employees, suppliers, investors, regulators, and other relevant parties.

2. Understand Stakeholder Needs

Conduct research and gather data to understand the needs, expectations, and preferences of each stakeholder group.

This can be done through surveys, interviews, market research, and other data collection methods.

3. Prioritize Stakeholders

Evaluate the importance and influence of each stakeholder group to determine the level of attention and resources they require.

This helps in focusing efforts on the stakeholders who have the greatest impact on the organization’s success.

4. Develop Communication Channels

Establish effective means of communication to engage with stakeholders regularly.

This may include meetings, newsletters, email updates, social media platforms, and dedicated online portals.

5. Tailor Engagement Strategies

Customize engagement strategies for each stakeholder group based on their unique needs and preferences.

This may involve personalizing communication, offering exclusive benefits or incentives, or providing specialized support.

6. Monitor and Measure Relationships

Continuously monitor, evaluate, and measure the effectiveness of the BRM strategy.

This can be done through regular feedback collection, satisfaction surveys, performance indicators, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

7. Adapt and Improve

Use the insights gathered from monitoring and measuring relationships to identify areas for improvement. Continuously adapt and refine the strategy to enhance stakeholder satisfaction and overall business performance.

Business Relationship Management Software

An expert in BRM software putting relationship managers through

Business Relationship Management software is a type of software that helps organizations manage and improve their relationships with various stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, partners, and employees.

It provides a centralized platform for tracking, analyzing, and improving interactions and collaborations with these stakeholders.

BRM software typically offers a variety of features and capabilities that enable businesses to effectively manage their relationships.

Some key features may include:

1. Contact Management: The software allows businesses to store and organize information about their contacts, including names, contact details, roles, and any relevant notes or history of interactions.

2. Task and Activity Management: It enables businesses to manage and track tasks and activities related to their relationships, such as following up on leads, scheduling meetings, or tracking progress on partnership agreements.

3. Communication Tracking: The software helps track all communication channels used to interact with stakeholders, such as emails, phone calls, or meetings. This allows businesses to have a complete history of interactions and conversations.

4. Opportunity and Lead Tracking: Businesses can track and manage potential business opportunities or leads, ensuring they are effectively pursued and converted into successful partnerships or sales.

5. Collaboration and Document Sharing: BRM software often includes features that facilitate collaboration and document sharing among stakeholders, allowing for seamless sharing of information, files, and updates.

6. Reporting and Analytics: The software provides reporting and analytics capabilities, enabling businesses to gain insights into their relationship management efforts. This can help identify trends, measure performance, and make data-driven decisions.

Business Relationship Management Training

Business relationship management training equips professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively manage and nurture relationships with various stakeholders.

This training typically covers areas such as stakeholder engagement, communication strategies, conflict resolution, negotiation, and understanding stakeholder needs and expectations.

It also focuses on building trust, credibility, and rapport with stakeholders, as well as aligning business objectives with their requirements.

BRM training often includes modules on risk management, change management, and cultural awareness to prepare professionals for the complexities of diverse stakeholder relationships.

Additionally, it may involve learning about relevant technologies and tools for relationship management.

Business Relationship Management Institute (BRMI)

Business relationship management institute

The Business Relationship Management Institute is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the field of Business Relationship Management and establish it as a recognized profession.

BRMT Institute provides resources, training, certification, and networking opportunities for professionals in the BRM field.

BRMI’s mission is to advance the BRM profession through the development, adoption, and promotion of globally recognized standards, best practices, and certifications.

They believe that effective BRM is crucial in today’s rapidly changing business environment to bridge the gap between business strategy and IT capabilities.

The institute offers a variety of resources like research reports, case studies, and white papers to help professionals enhance their BRM skills and knowledge.

They also have a comprehensive body of knowledge (BRMBOK) that serves as a fundamental guide for BRM practitioners.

BRMI conducts training programs and workshops to educate professionals on the principles of BRM and how to apply them in their organizations.

Business Relationship Management Certification

Students of business relationship management certification

Business Relationship Management Certification is a professional accreditation program that validates your expertise and understanding of BRM.

BRM Institute offers two levels of certification, including the Foundation-level certification and the Practitioner-level certification, to recognize individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in BRM.

It is designed for professionals who work in roles such as business relationship managers, customer relationship managers, service delivery managers, and other similar positions.

The certification program aims to standardize and validate the skills and knowledge required for effective BRM.

To obtain this certification, you must demonstrate your understanding of the BRM discipline by passing a rigorous examination.

The exam covers various topics, including BRM concepts, strategies, competencies, techniques, and tools.

It tests your ability to apply these principles in real-world scenarios and make informed decisions to drive positive business outcomes.

By earning the BRM Certification, you can distinguish yourself as an expert in the field of BRM and gain recognition for your skills and knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do business relationship managers do?

A manager of business relationships nurtures and maintains relationships with external partners, aligns business objectives, facilitates collaboration, and drives mutual success for the organization.

How many skills are required for a business relationship manager?

Multiple skills are required for a manager of business relationships, including communication, negotiation, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and relationship-building abilities.

How do I become a successful business relationship manager?

To become a successful manager of business relationships, one should focus on developing strong communication skills, understanding partner needs, aligning business objectives, and fostering trust and collaboration.

How can I be a good business relationship manager?

To be a good manager of business relationships, one should prioritize active listening, understanding partner perspectives, maintaining transparency, and consistently delivering value to partners and the organization.

What are the goals of business relationship management?

The goals of BRM are to foster strong connections with stakeholders, align business objectives with their needs, and drive mutual value.

What is BRM and why is it important?

BRM is the discipline of managing and nurturing relationships with stakeholders. It’s important for driving business value and long-term success.

What is the primary focus of business relationship management?

The primary focus of BRM is to understand, align, and manage the needs and expectations of stakeholders for mutual benefit.

What is BRM certification?

BRM certification validates professionals’ expertise in business relationship management.

How do I become a business relationship manager?

To become a business relationship manager, gain experience in stakeholder engagement, communication, and relationship building, and consider obtaining BRM certification.

What is the difference between CBRM and BRMP?

CBRM focuses on individual competency, while BRMP focuses on organizational capability in BRM.

Does BRMP certification expire?

BRMP certification does not expire. It demonstrates ongoing commitment to BRM best practices.

What is BRM training?

BRM training equips professionals with skills in stakeholder engagement, communication, conflict resolution, and aligning business objectives with stakeholder needs.

Final Thoughts

Business Relationship Management is a strategic approach that enables organizations to build and nurture strong relationships with their stakeholders.

By understanding stakeholder needs, encouraging collaboration, driving business value, and managing risks, BRM helps organizations gain a competitive advantage, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive long-term business success.

The role of a skilled business relationship manager has become increasingly needed in the business world.

By developing and nurturing meaningful relationships, aligning business objectives with client expectations, facilitating effective communication, and resolving conflicts, relationship managers drive lasting success for both the organization and its customers.

With the right skill set and strategic approach, a proficient BRM has the power to unlock unprecedented growth, profitability, and customer loyalty.

References:

  1. http://www.trainingcreatively.com/blog/what-is-the-role-of-a-business-relationship-manager/
  2. https://www.bmc.com/blogs/brm-business-relationship-manager/
  3. https://www.cio.com/article/220098/what-is-a-business-relationship-manager-a-key-role-for-bridging-the-business-it-divide.html
  4. https://centricconsulting.com/blog/what-is-business-relationship-management-and-how-can-it-help-your-organization/
  5. http://www.trainingcreatively.com/blog/what-is-the-role-of-a-business-relationship-manager/
  6. https://www.linkedin.com/advice/0/how-can-you-explain-business-relationship-5jzme
  7. https://www.cio.com/article/220098/what-is-a-business-relationship-manager-a-key-role-for-bridging-the-business-it-divide.html
  8. https://simplystakeholders.com/business-relationship-strategy/
  9. https://simplystakeholders.com/business-relationship-management/
pyomerez@gmail.com | Website | + posts

Pyo Merez (PsyD) is a distinguished adolescent and adult psychologist at the forefront of mental health advocacy.

With expertise in cognitive and developmental psychology, focusing on social relationships, cultural contexts, and individual differences, Pyo has dedicated his career to empowering adolescents and adults.

As a sought-after speaker and panelist, Pyo shares invaluable insights on issues affecting young people, contributing to a deeper understanding of mental health and well-being in today's society.