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What is Business Development?

No, really, what exactly is Business Development? Isn’t it the same as sales?

Some may interpret Sales and Business Development as the same thing, but not having a well planned and executed Business Development Strategy could result in lost sales and ultimately, less revenue.

If you consult a dictionary, you will find the following definitions.

Business Development is …the activity of pursuing strategic opportunities for a particular business or organization, for example by cultivating partnerships or other commercial relationships, or identifying new markets for its products or services.

Sales is … in general business operations, sales refer to any transactions where money or value is exchanged for the ownership of a good or entitlement to a service.

In the Sales versus Business Development debate “Sales” is the process of converting leads into revenue. The Sales Team will seldom be responsible for generating the lead in the fist place whilst the Business Development Team usually pass the lead they have generated onto the Sales Team to convert to a sale.

It seems to me that Sales are the result of a good, well thought through, Business Development strategy. Business development activity creates opportunity, a strong sales process converts those opportunities into revenue.

Sales and Business Development departments are very closely linked and, to be most effective, should work as one coordinated process. A good BD strategy will consider all elements of the sales process from branding & marketing to conversion & production through to customer service and delivery. No stone should be left unturned when ensuring your Business Development activities will not only deliver the volume needed but do so profitably.

It is obvious that a business could achieve a certain number of sales without any focused Business Development activity, maybe unsolicited referrals or someone just seeing your premises and coming in to buy what you sell. Random sales seldom provide sufficient revenue to sustain a business alone, however a Business Development strategy, that is well thought through and expertly executed, will increase opportunity and therefore increase the sales and revenue achieved.

It is fair to say that many BD strategies will have common themes and similarities however, every business has its own way of presenting itself to the world and delivering on its objectives therefore a generic BD template is insufficient.

If a business is to grow and thrive it needs its own unique roadmap for success, in other words, a well-considered and expertly implemented Business Development Strategy.

So, what is Business Development?

Business Development is the strategy, processes and activities you implement to generate the opportunities, that once converted to a sale, will grow your business and enable you to achieve your goals and aspirations.

As James Cash Penney said, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together”.

To find out how we can support your business growth or to register as one of our trusted, vetted Service Providers, get in touch at or call me, Julie Barry, on 07885 911877.

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