The terms “sales” and “business development” are often referred to as synonymous. But, while they complement each other, they are two independent things.
So, what makes them confusing?
Understanding Sales and Business Development
The titles under “Sales” and “Business Development” get interchanged in organizations. Sales professionals refer to themselves as business development representatives. This is because everyone has some negative experiences with the term “sales.” For instance, you may have heard about “the cold caller.” They close the deal, no matter what the product is.
On the other hand, the term “business development” refers to everything. This starts from product development to advertising and sales.
Both business development and sales aid in the expansion of your business. Moreover, both activities have the same ultimate aim of generating revenue. But, they do so in distinct ways.
Defining Business Development
Matching a product (or solution) to a particular market refers to business development. It includes everything you do with associates to help the company expand. For instance, it could be sales, marketing, or product-related. Also, it applies in both new and established markets.
Let’s take an example to have a better understanding. Business development focuses on operations which broaden their access to a new audience. While others may concentrate on reaching customers, they couldn’t reach as fast as they could. The goal of business development is to increase revenue through sales. But, the business development team can do so in a variety of methods.
Sales is the systematic procedure for generating revenue. This involves selling the offerings (solution) in the specified market segment.
However, sales is a different story. You offer a specific product or service to a particular customer with a defined price and value. It’s a tactical procedure that can’t begin until you identify the customer. Sales teams generate money. This is possible with documented products to the market fit to meet the customer demands.
Business development lays the framework. For example, it determines whether products, solutions, and market segments make a good fit. Also, they don’t sell to clients. This would put them in direct competition with the sales team. Instead, they make partnerships to discover new client segments and marketplaces.
Major Differences Between Sales & Business Development
- Business development’s major purpose is to generate income for the organization. But, sales representatives’ main aim is to close a deal.
- Sales people focus on selling a product or service. Business developers aim at creating relationships with prospective or existing clients.
- Sales people get judged on their performance. But business development executives are not. They keep developing the business.
- A business development executive focuses on growing the business. For example, they do not worry about closing the deals. But, sales people focus on sales.
It’s not about generating revenues for business development. Business developers also establish many different objectives for themselves, such as:
- Informing customers and prospects by educating and helping them with new products or services.
- Giving advice to assist the prospect/customer in making their own decisions.
- Opening up new avenues of thought for the customer. This inspires them and provides a doorway into a realm they haven’t considered before.
Business Development speaks about innovation. Sales speaks about products.
Consider it this way. If a dealer doesn’t have any hybrid SUVs, a salesperson can’t state, “We are selling hybrid SUVs.” They’re confined to the products and services that are currently available.
Business development is identifying, defining, and implementing new sources of income for businesses. They might form a collaboration and create the framework to introduce new hybrid features. So, they will understand the market if they see a chance to extend their SUV range with hybrid features. Also, they could consider collaborating on marketing efforts and coordinating with other companies.
Further, BDE focuses on approaching the market and exploring the market’s mindset. That is to say, they aim to uncover challenges and capture opportunities to expand their business. They work with the R&D team to develop a fitting solution.
Sales as a Career Option
Sales involves persuading customers to buy items and services by highlighting the benefits. Certainly, sales is a sensible and exciting career choice for everyone entering the job market. Sales people can expand their careers. It solely depends upon their particular preferences and ideal lifestyle. Likewise, a career in sales can present you with interesting and profitable prospects.
As a person, if you are:
then, you have the potential to earn. Even entry-level jobs offer room for advancement and a reasonable starting salary.
Sales people can learn a variety of transferable soft skills beneficial for any profession. This makes sales one of the most adaptable occupations available.
Soft skills that are very marketable in sales include:
- Work ethic
- Interpersonal communication
- Active listening
Business Development as a Career Option
A career in company development might be challenging, but it can also be very rewarding. Entering the business development department is an excellent way for fresh college graduates.
Meanwhile, a business development representative (BDR) is an entry-level job. This entails acquiring and validating initial leads as they enter the sales funnel. Furthermore, BDRs make cold calls and send emails to potential buyers to set up sales appointments.
Joining a firm as a BDR is an excellent method to learn about the company. You can get valuable experience engaging with potential clients.
Essential Skills as a Business Development
Excellent communication skills link to good research & development abilities. Business development executives must have a thorough understanding of the issues. They should be able to crack them into theories, and come up with logical answers. Also, business development executives must have excellent written and verbal communication abilities.
Business development executives enjoy flexibility in managing the workplace environment. Additionally, they assist employees in maintaining a work-life balance. This can help them perform better.
Customer Service Skills:
Providing excellent customer service necessitates meeting and exceeding consumers’ expectations. It entails demonstrating to the client how important they are to the firm. This is possible by interacting with them in a pleasant and constructive manner. Customer service is a crucial component of ensuring customer pleasure.
In an organization, you can manage sales or work with the business development team. However, you have a significant role to play in the company’s success by generating revenue. Your contribution and efforts will make a significant improvement. And, that is in both your professional and personal life.