A regional business manager is responsible for all the customers within a specific geographical region. Within this region, he or she is dedicated to meeting with existing clients as well as locating and securing new clients. In a very large firm, the regional business manager may also supervise staff, act as a resource, and provide valuable insight to company management.
The regional business manager is found in a wide range of industries. It is most typically found in business to business firms, where the client is not at the retail level. The primary role is to resolve problems and improve customer service.
In order to become a regional business manager, most employers require either a university or college degree in business, finance or management. A university program is usually four to five years in length and a college program is two to three years. The most important aspect of this training is the ability to understand how a business works, and what is required to make it successful. A firm grasp of common business practices is very helpful when looking for a position as a business manager.
People who enjoy interacting with others, are natural salespeople, and have excellent interpersonal skills find this type of position rewarding. There is a level of personal interaction as part of this position that requires someone who is confident, yet comfortable. Oral communication, prioritizing, and sales skills are highly valued in this role.
Interacting with the client is an important part of the role. He or she is typically involved in large sales, proposals, and other sales-related discussions. In industries where there are typically service contracts, the regional business manager leads the meetings to review the options, select the terms, and propose pricing. In this role, effective communication is critical.
Many regional business managers are required to supervise or manage teams of operations staff. The number of individuals and the breadth of areas they are responsible for vary by industry. For example, a regional business manager for a large photocopier firm may have a team of staff that includes supplies, technical support, maintenance, and sales staff.
The ability to work well with a wide range of people, resolve problems quickly, and share information and experience with staff are very important. Many regional business managers find that additional courses in effective communication and business writing can be very helpful.