When people ask me “what do you do?” I tell them I am the Technology Solutions Manager at eimagine. The next question I get is usually the the exact same question, again: “OK, umm, so… what do you do???” I explain that my position is half solutions architecture and half business development. People outside the software industry then continue to repeat their first question over and over until I just say “COMPUTER STUFF.” Then they ask me if I can fix their mom’s computer.
There’s a lot of debate about business development vs. sales. Some people use the words interchangeably, and others consider them completely separate functions. Personally, I stand somewhere in between… I believe they co-exist and are closely related to each other, but the focus of each is distinctly different.
To put it simply: Sales is “selling” and business development is “developing.” Selling focuses on the transaction–the sale itself. The ABCs of sales is: “Always Be Closing.” That is, focus on pushing to make that sale! Sales focuses on the immediate, the short-term. On the other hand, developing implies strategy, planning, and building up of client relationships and partnerships. Business development is playing the long game and ensuring the company is positioned well for the future. Of course, both functions exist for one primary goal: Keeping the company solvent by way of ensuring more business! So, obviously they are closely related. Sometimes the line between the two can be hazy, but business development and sales co-exist as great complements, and both are necessary for keeping a successful business in the black–in the immediate and for the future.