Understanding the Difference Between Sales and Business Development
Sales, marketing and business development. They are all the same, right? Actually, no. Sales, marketing and business development are all very different tasks and it is important to know how they differ from one another so that your business is as successful as possible.
While many small businesses, out of necessity, may have just one person in charge of sales, marketing and business development tasks, it is still important to differentiate between the three job descriptions because each job has a very different objective, as shown here:
- Business Development: An individual in charge of business development identifies and implements new areas of business. These include things like new distribution channels, new markets and/or new products. Those in business development never sell a particular product or service.
- Marketing: A marketing professional will attract customers by identifying the needs of a certain type of customer. Marketing is a means of working toward the goal of getting products sold to customers. It also plays a role in gathering and confirming the particular features or benefits of a product or service that is desired by customers.
- Sales: In the most basic terms, sales means transactions. A sale is what happens once a customer has been identified. A salesperson is responsible for selling a product or service at a determined price.
Here is another way to look at it. New business builds or creates new buildings. Marketing gets people through the door. Sales gets people from the door to the cash register. Sales professionals should always be closing but new business development professionals should always be opening!
If you are a business development professional you need to be able to look out for the needs of the entire company for which you work. Much of your day-to-day tasks will be spent with managers from different departments and helping them prepare for presentations, for example.
Business development and sales professionals are two parts of a whole. They both work to grow a business but they do it in different ways. Only when they do it correctly, however, will a business grow and flourish.