Great Expectations – Business Development vs Sales

In past conversations, we discussed the differences between business development and sales, laying out expectations and alignment of goals between the two. Today, we will look at another perspective which shows why both are very important and why both need support to build a healthy sales pipeline.

The following scenario illustrates:

Business Development View: After much nurturing, a prospect calls with an opportunity and says this project is perfect for your firm. They discuss the budget with you and negotiate the terms – the deal is done! The time investment, (sometime months or years) was well worth it.

Sales View: While networking, canvasing, cold calling, etc., you discover a project that looks like the perfect fit. You pursue the opportunity, work on a strategy, distinguish yourself from competition and begin closing the deal. You will be successful if your presentation, proposal and timing are right (and if the client doesn’t already have a great relationship with a competitor). Usually pitching lots of prospects, a sharp pencil and managing many details make the sale happen.

Everything is about closing deals and the clock is always ticking. However, the sales process works best when supported by business development, branding, marketing and public relations. They all require a long-term investment of time and money – so why go that route? Experience tells us there are many approaches to building sales and that an integrated approach works best.

It’s understood that all parts of the marketing mix support sales. All must be consistently executed to be effective. Immediate sales may occur but should not be expected without embracing the marketing mix as essential to success. This is how the pros work smarter and succeed – they make the investments where it counts and support their top performers.

Great expectations happen when you give your people the tools to make them happen.

Gary Anzalone