Business development vs sales: What’s the difference?
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Business development vs sales: What’s the difference?

TransFunnel Consulting
TransFunnel Consulting Jan 27, 2022

Interlinked but not the same

Many a time, we look at business development and sales as one in the world of business. It is often confusing to consider the two as different concepts, but guess what? Business development and sales complement each other. So if you think both mean the same thing, you are probably not completely wrong. 

A perfectly executed business development strategy can set a smooth course for the sales process. In this blog, I start by clearly defining both these concepts. 

What is business development? 

Business development consists of the tasks and processes to develop and implement growth opportunities within and between organisations. A business development strategy is the creation of long-term value for a company vis-a-vis the customers, markets and relationships.

It identifies potential customers for products and services a company is selling by using various strategies with an aim to make business better over time. 

Business development professionals are meant to bridge the gap between customers and the product and services by aligning what is being sold and what the customers need. This, they fulfil by adding value and building strong relationships.

Here are a few tasks that business development professionals do:

  1. Generate potential leads

  2. Drive to seek new business opportunity

  3. Nurture and develop relationships 

  4. Examine potential risks for business opportunities 

  5. Look for new strategic partnerships

Now that you are clear about what business development or business development strategy is, let us move on to sales. 

What is sales?

A sale is an activity that is related to selling or the number of goods sold within a targeted time period. The delivery of a service for a cost is also considered a sale. Sale is a transaction between two parties where products and services are exchanged for money. The main focus here is revenue generation and it operates on the basis of short term goals. More than anything else, sales is about closing the deal. A salesperson performs various activities of the sales cycle to convert potential business leads into actual customers.

Sales Insight: A Guide For Beginners

Types of sales 

Inside sales: This refers to sales from a remote office-based environment.

Outside sales: This means the sales done by the sales professional by physically going on field and meeting prospects.

Direct sales: This refers to sales done to the customer directly rather than through  various channels.

E-commerce sales: This type of sales refers to buying and selling of goods, products and services over the internet. It is also referred to as electronic sale.

B2B sales: This refers to sales taking place between two businesses. 

B2C sales: This is the sales done by businesses directly to customers. 

Check out: Top 4 Differences Between B2B & B2C PR

Consultative sales: It is a specific sales approach where representatives act more like advisers than salespersons and recommend solutions to potential customers based on their needs and problem points. 

Now that you know the minute difference between business development and sales, you can actually use the information to grow your business and utilise your resources effectively. 

In a nutshell, when you can sell what your company can deliver today to the target market is sales and when you focus on what the company should sell tomorrow is business development. 

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