What does Business Development mean? 

Many would describe these terms as two different ways to describe the same activity?

If you ask a group of people the difference between business development and sales within an organisation, they are likely to offer you a variety of views and opinions. Various people may also use the terms interchangeably, whilst on the flip side others may define this differently. The definitions do vary from business to business, and is subjective in what works best for each organisation.

In order for successful growth within a company, the term terms should not be considered the same job. Instead they should be thought of as two roles as complementary halves of a whole one.

But firstly take the business development field. Generally speaking this involves a much more holistic approach which incorporates a wider range of activities, which typically includes business strategy, marketing, customer management and building partnerships activities.

Business development certainly incorporates sales elements within it, but the biggest differing factor is that business development considers views from a client’s perspective. Examples of questions from this perspective would be; why would they buy from your firm? How can you ensure the experience and service is superior over competitors?

Ultimately the goal of business development is to create a partnership which is based on value. There is much more scope available to development a situation or point of view as opposed pursuing a hard sale. Post sale is usually where most of the hard work begins. The main aim behind business development should be to cultivate a relationship with a client and provide a product or service that can develop an ongoing relationship, whether that’s by way of repeat custom or referrals from a client.

In essence, business development is about developing relationships with customers, creating a strategy that adds value for your clients which then works in tandem with the sales team. So in contrast to this, sales on its own is much more transaction orientated.



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