If you ever wondered what the difference was between Sales and Business Development, here you go:
Sales = ABC (Always Be Closing)
Business Development = ABO (Always Be Opening)
The focus of business development is not to close as many sales as possible in the shortest time possible (no quotas here), but to build as many relationships as possible over time. In business development you are looking to open doors to create opportunity for the sales team to close sales.
These doors must be open or the sales team has less chance. Often, these relationships take years to nurture and are more than worth the trouble.
When I used to do Business Development for Technology companies – especially those in the early stages – the CEO would often get impatient at the lack of sales coming from the Biz Dev efforts and start to put pressure on me to “start closing deals.”
Soon after that the sales quotas would follow and – before I smartened up and didn’t let that happen anymore – the Business Development efforts that were in progress, opening up new channels for distribution and partnerships, would be shut down or “back-burnered” in an effort to “just get sales.”
Luckily for me it’s been a long time since those days and I’ve since learned how to keep that from happening as well as to expedite a lot fo the business development functions that used to take a long time…
… and luckily for you, too, since you can learn from my mistakes and experience to keep your Sales and Business Development programs separate and on track to grow your business.