Business Development vs. Sales: Differences, Similarities, & Job Titles to Hire For

Leslie Ye

Published: July 28, 2021

Sales and business development are often lumped together — seen as extensions of one another that amount to a single practice. But that's not the case.

business development manager vs sales executive

While both are dedicated to getting your company's solution into customers' hands, they're more like separate but complementary elements as opposed to a single entity — and your sales efforts can suffer if you don't have both.

Here, we'll take a closer look at business development, see some key roles related to the practice, differentiate the concept from sales, and explore the interplay between the two elements.

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Business Development

'Business development' generally refers to the sum of the actions a company takes to identify prospects whose business needs pair well with its offering's benefits. The process often involves activities like conducting prospect research, gauging competitive positioning, networking, and forming strategic partnerships.

In the context of a sales process, the term "business development" — also known as "sales development" — generally refers to the top-of-funnel activities conducted to identify, connect with, and ultimately qualify leads with particularly high buying potential.

Well-executed business development can set a smooth course for sales reps, operating further along a sales process. It makes for more amicable prospects and, in turn, more straightforward, effective value propositions.

Sales Development Roles

Sales development roles can include business development rep (BDR) or sales development rep (SDR) roles. These roles are typically entry-level roles within a company's sales organization that can align with career paths in sales, account management, or customer success management.

Business Development vs. Sales Development

It's easy to conflate business development representatives (BDRs) with sales development representatives (SDRs), and that's fair. The positions are fundamentally similar — to the point that some companies don't even distinguish between the two.

Regardless of how a business defines each role, neither carries quotas or closes deals — and both ultimately aim to move qualified leads through a sales pipeline. In most cases, the distinction between the two relates to whether they engage with inbound or outbound leads.

BDRs are typically responsible for prospecting cold leads, whereas SDRs focus on qualifying warm ones — so BDRs handle the outbound side of business development, and SDRs account for its inbound element.

Both roles tend to involve conducting thorough research on leads, engaging in proactive outreach, developing extensive knowledge of niche markets, and taking on other key activities to help thoughtfully and effectively qualify leads.

Where does sales come in?

Sales is all about closing. After receiving a qualified lead from an SDR, sales reps take the deals across the finish line. Sales reps might perform some additional qualification in certain circumstances, but their primary objective is to close deals. Sales reps are also responsible for demonstrating the product, handling prospect objections, and drafting contracts.

Business Development vs. Sales

The distinction between business development and sales essentially boils down to the difference between 'lining them up' and 'knocking them down.' Business development reps identify and pass along good-fit leads, allowing a company's sales team to approach more accessible, accommodating prospects.

Although sales and business development require separate teams and represent different functions, it's easy to see how important it is for both strategies to work in lock-step.

Exemplary selling isn't possible without dedicated business development, and business development's requisite relationship-building rests on a company having a solid solution and reputation for effectively accommodating a given market.

SDR and sales rep positions don't have too much crossover when it comes to day-to-day activities — unless your reps are also responsible for some of their own prospecting.

That being said, both teams need to be hyper-aligned if you want to get the most out of your broader sales efforts. SDRs, BDRs, and sales reps must understand your organization's ideal buyer persona and consistently spot good-fit opportunities.

Why separate sales and business development?

So why should your organization make and maintain a distinction between sales and business development? Well, keeping them separate offers some attractive benefits to your company.

Alleviating Difficulty of Reaching Buyers

According to Bryan Gonzalez, a sales development analyst at research and advisory group TOPO , one of the primary reasons why the sales process has been split into business development and sales has to do with the increased difficulty of reaching buyers.

By Gonzalez's account, reaching a buyer "now requires a larger effort by smarter people...More research and more touches on a lead are required to connect.";

The modern buyer wants to be understood before connecting with a sales org — so naturally, your organization needs to take the proper strides to develop that kind of understanding. Having a dedicated business development infrastructure helps you get there.

Efficiency as a Byproduct of Specialization

Closing is no easy feat, and it doesn't make sense to have your top sales reps spend time researching companies and hunting for leads if they're best at selling.

In the same vein, prospecting and qualifying is neither a fast nor simple process. Separating prospecting from selling allows each team to focus all its energy on one task — instead of dividing their time between two different and time-consuming objectives.

Career Development Perks and Reduced Hiring Costs

Another advantage of splitting the two roles is the ability to mold reps from an early stage in their careers and cut down on hiring costs — so says HubSpot's global director of business development Justin Hiatt.

According to him, "A sales development team takes some of the prospecting and qualifying burden off your quota-carrying reps' shoulders...but its grander purpose is to become a training ground for your sales organization. It's a place for your SDRs to prove they can become quota-carrying reps and should feed new reps into your organization every year. "

Sales to Business Development Handoff

The point at which an SDR passes a lead to a salesperson will vary from company to company. It rests on how your sales team defines what makes a lead "sales qualified."

There are several different frameworks for sales qualification: BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline), ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money), and GPCT — to name a few.

But no matter what framework you use to qualify leads, SDRs should become adept at uncovering the following:

  • Whether they're talking to a decision-maker: If the contact is a low-level employee with no purchasing power, it's imperative to figure that out sooner rather than later.
  • Whether the company could use your product: If your product or service solves a problem that doesn't exist in your lead's industry, it's not a good idea to pass that lead along to a sales rep.
  • Whether the lead's problems can be solved by your product : Every company has different needs. Digging a little deeper to find out exactly where a lead needs help is critical to determining whether or not your product can solve the problem.

Many organizations have their SDRs go a step further than this basic qualification to get a better sense of whether a lead is ready to buy. They require SDRs to look for two additional pieces of information:

  • Whether the lead needs a solution in the near future: It's possible that at the time your SDRs first make contact with a lead, their problems aren't serious enough to warrant a purchase. This doesn't mean the lead is dead, but passing it along too soon is a waste of sales reps' time.
  • What kind of budget the lead is working with: This isn't the time to get into specific pricing breakdowns or negotiations, but it's important to know if your product is priced in the same ballpark as what a lead can afford.

SDRs should spend the majority of their time asking questions and listening to the prospect throughout the qualification process. However, it's also important they educate leads about what solutions your company offers and start demonstrating their value — that way, any potential misalignment is rooted out early.

Sales Development Call vs. Sales Call

An SDR or BDR's ultimate responsibility is to find out as much as possible about a lead's company, pain points, and need for a solution. Early conversations should revolve around gathering this information.

A sales conversation picks up where the SDR or BDR left off, with the endgame of getting a deal signed. Sales calls can cover a wide range of subjects — here are just a few examples:

  • Demonstrating how your value proposition applies to your prospect's business pain
  • Comparing your product to your competitors'
  • Setting up a trial of your product, if applicable
  • Product demonstrations
  • Price breakdowns
  • Implementation plans
  • Contract terms

The degree of separation between business development and sales will vary from organization to organization. If your company is on the smaller side, there's a good chance you'll have your sales reps be responsible for both prospecting and closing — and that's okay.

But as you grow, separating and clearly defining the roles of the two teams will allow each to focus on what they do best, making your sales efforts more efficient and helping your business reach new heights.

Business Development Titles

Business development roles don't end with BDRs. Here are some business development titles to hire for:

  • Business Development Manager
  • Business Development Specialist
  • Business Development Representative
  • Vice President of Business Development
  • Director of Business Development

Creative Job Titles for Business Development

There are other, creative job titles for business development you could hire for as well.

  • Strategic Partnerships Manager
  • Strategic Alliance Specialist
  • Senior Solutions Consultant
  • B2B Corporate Sales
  • Senior Account Executive

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, business development and sales should be treated as separate but complementary halves of your broader sales efforts. If you want your sales org to be as efficient and effective as possible, it's imperative that you invest in and bolster a solid business development team.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in   April, 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Business Development vs. Sales: What’s the Difference and Why You Should Care?

Business Development vs. Sales: What’s the Difference and Why You Should Care?

Many founders we talk to believe business development and sales are interchangeable—simply two different ways to describe the same function… right? Not quite.

Keep in mind the scope of both roles can vary across organizations. While early-stage startups may bundle those roles, more mature companies will likely hire  sales and business development reps separately.

If the roles are so closely related, why does it matter what the differences are?

Here’s the thing: if you understand those different functions early on, you’ll know why you’re hiring one, not the other, and what outcomes to expect. This knowledge will help you structure your sales process, getting a better view of your sales cycles, revenue streams, and market segments you’re in.

What is Business Development?

To be successful, a BDR has to understand its company’s offering and how the market operates, including trends, shifts, and general tendencies. It should also understand how to use social media and other platforms to connect and build real relationships.

When meeting with their targeted businesses, business development reps should try to understand the business and offer advice or counsel rather than immediate solutions to the problem.

What is Sales Development?

Sales development reps should know their company’s product inside out and be able to connect the dots between the product and the prospect’s pain points. Instead of advising, they should address the prospect’s doubts and persuade them to go with the solution (if there’s a real fit!).

What’s the Difference Between a Business Development Manager and a Sales Development Manager?

The business development manager focuses on introducing your company to other companies and expanding to new markets, while the sales development manager works on qualified leads to move them toward sign-off.

Think of business development reps as researchers who evaluate the market and new business opportunities. Meeting with prospects and gathering information about their business struggles helps verify whether there’s a transaction opportunity.

Business development reps pass the contact to sales development if the deal seems promising. The sales department is generally more focused on making the transaction happen—like ”Ok if you have this problem, I have this solution.”

Here’s the summary of key differences between sales and business development process:

Key Differences Between Business Development and Sales Development

Who Should You Hire First: Sales Development Rep or Business Development Rep?

When building a sales team from the ground up, it can be difficult to decide which role you should hire first—or to bring on more of in the early days.

The answer is… well, it depends .

Start by asking yourself which one is a higher priority within your organization right now.

If you’ve got product-market fit and are closing a high proportion of the prospects you speak with but just need a higher volume of leads to continue flowing through your pipeline, then hire a business development rep.

If you have more qualified inbound leads but you simply don’t have enough time to follow up with every lead, schedule a meeting, do a demo, and close the deal, then your focus should be on getting more sales managers on board who can help close more of your hot leads.

It sounds pretty straightforward, but it can take a while to reach this stage.

In the earlier phases of your business (or before acquiring funding as a startup), it’s natural for founders and other team members to take on both business development and sales-related responsibilities while resources are constrained before sales hiring becomes a viable option.

For a while, as long as the  founder-driven sales stage  is working well and generating revenue, that’s okay.

Over time, the separation of the two roles should become more pronounced and specialized as your business begins to scale and you can afford to invest in better solving your bigger problem—generating more leads or bringing on salespeople to close more of the leads you already have.

Why Business Development and Sales Need to Be Separate

Let’s examine a few of the critical reasons why your business benefits by separating the roles of business development and sales.

Business Development Reps and Sales Have Different Skill Sets

When you allow members of your sales team to focus solely on either prospecting or closing, they’ll develop a level of expertise in their role that’s otherwise very difficult to achieve.

Instead of task-switching throughout their day, your business development reps can focus on doing everything they can to bring more qualified prospects into the company’s pipeline. Conversely, your sales reps are empowered to work on nothing but the key activities in your sales process that are proven to close more deals and generate transactions.

This difference in activities also demands a unique set of skills.

Business development representatives should have a holistic view of the prospect’s business and the whole vertical. Market research or advisory skills are key here. Sales representatives, on the other hand, should be more skilled in negotiation and persuasion, which are essential to make the transaction happen.

Create an environment that accelerates the development of very focused skill sets for both roles and you’ll see bigger lead volumes that translate into more deals closed.

Business Development Reps and Sales Have Different Focus Points and Goals

When salespeople are also doing their own prospecting (researching, qualifying, conducting market research, initial outreach), their calendars can quickly fill up with a myriad of different activities, such as conducting research,  cold-calling from a list of inbound leads, and sending cold emails to prospects. Their calendars can quickly look like…

Business Development Vs. Sales - Different Focus Points and Goals

When you separate the responsibilities of business development and sales within your organization, you group similar activities together and make individuals responsible for a limited set of goals that are directly impacted by the activities they’re expected to do daily.

Any  outbound business development  work aims to start a conversation and develop a relationship that can be passed on to sales for closing. Everything a business development rep does should revolve around finding more prospects, qualifying the right ones, and routing them to your sales team for closing.

Sales professionals work against a sales quota —a thoughtfully calculated monthly or quarterly minimum for the number of customers (or revenue figure) they’re responsible for closing. Sales reps are often incentivized with increasing bonus payouts for hitting and exceeding quota within a given period.

This isn’t the case for business development reps—rather than crushing quotas; they’re responsible for bringing in enough qualified leads to generate a certain amount of revenue. It’s beyond their control whether sales turn those leads into customers.

When you clearly separate tasks, you’ll allow members of your sales team to work on fewer tasks, thus empowering them to execute single tasks for focused blocks of time.

Which allows their calendars to look much more like…

Business Development Vs. Sales - Calendars

The fewer objectives your contributors (both in business development and sales roles) are responsible for delivering against, the more they’ll be able to focus on excelling and being more productive on the limited tasks.

Both Roles Have Different Responsibilities That Cover Different Stages of the Sales Cycle

Mixing roles that are responsible for different stages of the sales cycle may create a lot of chaos. If there is no explicit scope for sales and business development reps, they may pursue deals that look promising only in the short term or conflict over who’s doing what.

If you want to have a predictable revenue and structured sales process, you need to make a clear distinction between those two roles. Let’s see what it should look like:

Business development roles should include those two main responsibilities:

  • Managing inbound leads translates into working through an internal list, qualifying leads from various marketing campaigns, and classifying the right ones as sales opportunities to be passed on to the sales team for further vetting and closing.
  • Leading outbound prospecting: On the flip side, this kind of outreach involves researching and contacting potential customers that haven’t proactively expressed interest in your product through cold calls and cold emails—to qualify sales opportunities for your sales team.

Sales development roles should include those two main responsibilities:

  • Selling: Closing deals (ideally with pre-qualified leads from your business development team to save time) using solid arguments and objection management with prospective customers.
  • Maintaining relationships: Although a prospect might not be fit to purchase your product or service today, that doesn’t mean they won’t be in a completely different position six months or a year from now—so relationship building with leads is a major part of a sales rep’s responsibilities.

If you structure your team so that business development is the first touchpoint while sales reps take over, you’ll see that instead of focusing on personal preferences, they start collaborating toward the company's common goal.

How Business Development and Sales Work Together (3 Common Questions)

Now that we’re clear about the separation between business development and sales, let’s talk about how the two roles should best work together for maximum effectiveness on your sales team.

1. When Should Business Development Pass a Lead on to Sales?

Your sales team has quotas they need to hit, so they can’t waste time talking to prospects who aren’t already well-qualified . Otherwise, they'll waste time and energy chasing the wrong leads, diluting their close rate.

Business development reps should pass a lead on to sales as soon as they’re qualified. However, that doesn’t mean business development and sales teams should not have a collaborative work relationship.

WeWork VP of Business Development, Scott Pollack , explains,

“Business development teams should be identifying, evaluating, and pursuing opportunities to create long-term value for a company. This means BD teams and sales teams should happily coexist—the sales team gets to work on closing opportunities that can drive revenue today , while the BD team focuses their attention on opportunities to open new channels and drive a flood of new leads for tomorrow.”

As Pollack suggests, business development teams must focus their time, effort, and energy on building relationships only with the most qualified leads who can become new customers. Then, they’re worthy of being handed off to sales.

How do you know when a lead is fully qualified and ready to be closed? That can vary a bit based on the type of product you’re selling and the market you’re serving, but starting with choosing from these 42 B2B qualifying questions to ask your prospects won’t hurt.

To qualify your prospects, you’ll want to accurately gauge how well they match your buyer persona or ideal customer profile with key information about company size, location, and industry.

Next, you want to assess their needs to ensure a true use case for your product, develop an understanding of their purchasing process to ensure it matches your selling process, and assess other competitive options they may be considering.

If everything checks out and the prospect still appears to be a strong potential customer, then they’re qualified—and ready to be closed by your sales team.

2. Should There Be an Overlap Between Business Development and Sales?

In terms of day-to-day activities? No, not really.

Business development should be tasked with prospecting and qualifying leads, while sales should be focused only on closing those qualified leads and generating transactions.

However, your business development professionals and sales reps do need to be on the same page about your  ideal customers —their characteristics and qualities and the kinds of problems your offering can best help them with.

The rapidly changing environment in startups requires frequent cross-team collaboration.

As CreativeLive Director of Partnerships and Business Development Kimberly Pousman explains,

“There not only should be overlap between business development and sales, but there needs to be overlap, whether you personally want it or not.”

Pousman continues,

“One of the keys to being great in either a business development or sales role is asking the right questions. When you’re looking to grow and expand, you need to ask the right questions, experiment and actively source feedback from others—so if your teams are operating in a silo, they’ll miss out on valuable opportunities to learn from each other and advance your growth rate.”

3. How Does a Business Development Call (or Email) Differ from That of a Sales Rep?

The biggest difference between the calls and emails that business development reps send and those of a sales rep is that most business development activities are done toward either completely or relatively cold prospects, meaning that these prospects have likely had little to no interaction with the company before this initial contact is made.

That’s when brushing up on your cold emails and cold-calling skills come into play.

When a sales rep is brought on to an account, the relationship has already been established, and the lead is qualified, making the communications much warmer than those of a business development rep. The conversation with a sales rep is about making a mutually beneficial deal happen rather than gauging the initial interest or need.

Bonus: The Key Traits You Need to Look for in Every Business Development (and Sales) Hire

Bringing the right business development and salespeople onto your sales team is crucial in making meaningful progress toward growing your business.

Here are key traits that your candidates should have:

  • Communication and people skills: If you hope to cultivate strong relationships with prospects and customers, having strong communication and people skills is crucial.
  • Hunger and drive:  The most successful salespeople, in the face of a challenge, aren’t discouraged—rather, they look forward to the opportunity to excel, surpass previous expectations, and move up to the next level.
  • Discipline and confidence: The best salespeople know that sales is a numbers game and that the only way to recover from rejection & failure is to pick up the phone (or get back into your email), and keep executing.
  • They’re consultants at heart:  Look for people who view their role as partnering with prospects to ensure a mutual win-win in each potential deal.

Ready to Structure Your Sales Team to Win More Deals?

Now it’s clear that it’s not only about the different job titles. Business development involves more strategy, while sales development involves more execution. If you’re still unsure which role is a better hire for your business, think about your sales objectives for the next three to six months.

If you’re improving your sales volume, business development can help you set new partnerships and find opportunities worth pursuing. But if you’d like to improve the close rate, consider hiring a skilled sales rep. Either way, good luck with the process!

Ryan Robinson

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Sales vs. Business Development: Key Differences

RepVue Team

Sales and business development are integral functions within a company, both dedicated to increasing revenue. But it’s important to recognize that they serve distinct purposes and contribute to a company’s success in different ways and over varying timelines. This is especially true because the titles for these functions aren’t always used consistently between organizations. 

How can sales professionals distinguish whether a potential sales or business development role aligns with their experience and expectations? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the differences between sales and business development roles in depth.

Key Differences Between Sales and Business Development

Sometimes business development isn’t really “sales” at all, where does “sales development” fit in, how sales and business development work together , benefits of separating sales and business development functions, defining sales and business development.

While they are often used interchangeably, sales and business development are not the same thing. Understanding the difference between sales and business development is essential for any organization looking to grow and succeed. 

But before we get into the differences, let’s level set on the definitions of sales and business development 

What is Sales?

Sales refer to the process of selling products or services to customers. The core objective of sales is to generate revenue for the organization by converting leads into paying customers. The sales team is responsible for building relationships with potential customers, identifying their needs, and offering a product or service that meets those needs.

The sales process involves several steps, including lead generation, prospecting, qualifying, presenting, and closing deals. A successful sales team is one that can effectively move prospects through each of these steps, resulting in a closed deal.

What is Business Development?

Business development, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses a range of activities aimed at growing the organization. The core objective of business development is to identify new business opportunities and develop strategies to capitalize on them.

Business development activities may include market research, identifying potential partners or acquisition targets, developing new products or services, and expanding into new markets. The goal of business development is to create long-term value for the organization by identifying and pursuing new opportunities for growth.

While sales and business development are different, they are also closely related. A successful sales team can help drive business development by identifying new opportunities for growth, while effective business development strategies can lead to increased sales.

Sales development and business development might seem like two sides of the same coin. But they function as separate yet complementary entities within an organization. While both aim to put the company’s products or services into the hands of customers, they follow different strategies and approaches.

Is the Focus on the Present or the Future?

One aspect that distinguishes these functions is whether the focus is revenue generation in the present or in the future.

A traditional sales focus will be the immediate needs of customers and what the company can deliver promptly. It’s all about the here and now. The emphasis is on what the customer or client can buy immediately and how the company can deliver it now.

In contrast, business development has a more forward-looking approach. These roles typically involve cultivating relationships to expand the company’s customer base. Instead of focusing on what customers can buy today, business development professionals are concerned with what they might want to buy tomorrow.

Let’s consider an example with a SaaS company that makes marketing software. The sales team for this company would be responsible for responding to inquiries from a marketing team hoping to adopt the software. But a business development team might work on a multi-year contract to customize and implement the software for all the marketing teams within a business. 

Alternatively, this difference in the roles could be considered tactical versus strategic. Sales roles operate at a tactical level, with a focus on immediate sales and lead generation. Business development, on the other hand, operates at a more strategic level with a concentration on long-term growth and relationship-building. 

Are Interactions More Transactional or Relational?

Another distinction will be the nature of interactions with prospects and customers. 

Sales interactions are transactional. As the function suggests, it’s about the sale of goods or services between a seller and a buyer. The focus is on closing deals where both parties benefit. If the transaction goes well, the result is a seller who makes a profit and a customer who obtains a product that meets their needs.

Business development interactions should be more relational. The primary goal is to identify, cultivate, and nurture relationships that open up new opportunities in the future. Successful business development results in robust, mutually beneficial relationships that can lead to strategic partnerships and long-term growth that extends beyond individual transactions.

Where Is the Customer in the Buying Journey?

Where a customer is in the buying journey will also be different for sales and business development.

Customers interacting with the sales team can be at various stages in the buying journey: awareness, consideration, or decision-making. In the awareness stage, customers are identifying a problem and looking for a solution. Going back to our previous example, a team lead who needs a new software platform and is researching available options.

In the consideration stage, customers have identified several potential solutions and are evaluating their options. They might be comparing the different software platforms available to determine which one suits their needs best.

Finally, in the decision-making stage, customers have made their choice and are ready to make a purchase.

The business development team’s role, however, comes into play primarily at the awareness stage. They will work on new products and solutions to offer to customers who are in the early stages of seeking solutions. While this might seem like a form of sales, the primary goal is not immediate transactions but rather working with the research and development team to develop new solutions that customers can evaluate as they explore their options.

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In some cases, the business development function is more focused on partnerships than on direct sales. In these scenarios this role is tasked with sourcing and managing the partnerships that enable the product or service to deliver more value. 

That might mean value-added resellers, agencies or installers. In a platform business, it might refer to additional partnerships that offer integrated products that make the platform itself more valuable to customers.

Sales development represents a specialized department within sales teams, concentrating on identifying, engaging with, and bringing qualified leads into the sales pipeline. Sales development representatives use various methods, including outbound calls, email campaigns, and social media outreach, to achieve this objective. They may also maintain relationships with current customers.

The point at which a sales development representative (SDR) passes a lead to a salesperson will vary from company to company. It depends on how the sales team defines what makes a lead “sales qualified.” There are several different frameworks for sales qualification, including BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline), ANUM (authority, need, urgency, money), and GPCT, among others.

But regardless of the framework used, SDRs should become adept at uncovering essential information:

  • Whether they’re talking to a decision-maker: Identifying decision-makers early is crucial to avoid wasting time on leads with no purchasing power.
  • Whether the company could use your product: If your product doesn’t address the specific needs of the lead’s industry, it’s not a good fit.
  • Whether your product can solve the lead’s problems: Every company has different needs, and it’s crucial to understand where your product can provide a solution.

Many organizations require SDRs to go a step further in qualification. In addition to the basics, SDRs may need to determine:

  • Whether the lead needs a solution in the near future: Identifying the timing of a lead’s need is essential to avoid prematurely passing the lead to the sales team.
  • The budget the lead is working with: Understanding the budget helps align the lead’s expectations with what the company can offer.

SDRs should spend the majority of their time asking questions and listening to the prospect throughout the qualification process. However, they should also educate leads about the solutions the company offers, ensuring that any potential misalignment is identified early.

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While sales and business development represent different functions, it’s easy to see how important it is for both strategies to work in lockstep.

Sales is all about closing deals. After receiving a qualified lead, sales representatives take the deals across the finish line. They might perform some additional qualification in certain circumstances, but their primary objective is to close deals. Sales reps are also responsible for demonstrating the product, handling prospect objections, and drafting contracts.

Business development, on the other hand, ensures that the company is positioned to approach more accessible and accommodating prospects. 

Exemplary selling can be a challenge without dedicated business development, and business development’s requisite relationship-building rests on a company having a solid solution and a reputation for effectively accommodating a given market.

Companies that separate between sales and business development functions can offer several advantages to their sales professionals. These benefits include:

Reducing Difficulty in Reaching Buyers

Reaching today’s buyers often requires more effort and a more nuanced approach. Buyers want to feel understood before connecting with a sales organization. Having a dedicated business development infrastructure can help meet these expectations.

Efficiency through Specialization

Closing deals is no easy feat, and it doesn’t make sense to have top sales reps spend time researching companies and hunting for leads if they’re most skilled at selling. Specialization allows each team to focus all its energy on one task instead of dividing their time between two different and time-consuming objectives.

Sales and business development are two crucial functions that share the ultimate goal of boosting sales and revenue but serve different roles within an organization. Understanding the nuances of these functions is vital for effective customer acquisition and long-term business growth — and determining which role is right for you. 

A position on the sales development team is often the entry-level step for an employee entering the company. As their knowledge of the products grows and they gain a greater understanding of their industry, they might move onto the sales team and then into business development to help bring new tools to the market.

Lastly, some companies will use sales and business development titles interchangeably. In some verticals, people may prefer the business development title because it sounds less “salesy.” Always check the fine print, and don’t assume the functions of the role just from the title.

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Sales vs. Business Development: Key Differences to Understand

business development manager vs sales executive

Like yin and yang, sales and business development are interconnected forces that complement each other in driving business success. While distinctive in their focus and approach, sales and business development work hand in hand to convert different types of leads , build partnerships, and grow revenue.

This article explores the unique differences between these two essential teams. Clarifying their roles and responsibilities allows sales and business development professionals to work together seamlessly, maximizing growth opportunities.

What is Sales?

The sales department is the beating heart of revenue generation. Whether inside or outside sales , sales professionals are masters at converting prospective customers into customers and fueling sales enablement. 

The sales arena is where a go-to-market strategy collides with real-world execution. It’s a numbers game played by driven tacticians focused on immediate results. Sales reps thrive on the adrenaline rush of closing deals today to drive profits this quarter.

From persistent SDRs nurturing leads to seasoned account executives negotiating major deals, sales teams wield their charisma and expertise to pitch products and shepherd clients through each sales cycle stage.

While not always glamorous, their role is undeniably vital. Sales is the tip of the spear when executing strategic plans and hitting sales quotas in the near term. Building a high-performing sales organization is mission-critical for companies seeking to accelerate growth.

What is Business Development?

Business development occupies the strategic high ground, spotting opportunities to expand markets and partnerships over a longer time horizon.

These professionals are equipped with a panoramic understanding of the competitive terrain, employing thorough market research and adept relationship-building to identify and nurture avenues for sustained organizational growth. Their focus diverges from the immediacy of quarterly sales targets, drifting instead towards the cultivation of alliances, penetration into untapped market segments, and laying a robust foundation for prosperity that outlives the current fiscal cycle.

They focus less on this quarter’s sales and more on cultivating allies, entering new segments, and laying the groundwork for long-term success. Business development is planting seeds today that may not bear fruit for years to come.

With keen perceptiveness and patient persistence, business development crews chart out expansive growth roadmaps. They are the architect’s engineering partnerships and progress.

Together with sales reps, business development representatives ensure your company can execute on immediate opportunities while continually strengthening its foundation for the future.

Sales vs. Business Development: Key Differences

When you look at sales and business development, they seem to be two sides of the same coin, yet they’re more like complementary currencies in the economy of business growth.

Sales professionals live in the now – they crave immediate results, swift conversions, and the adrenaline rush of closing deals as soon as possible. For a best-in-class sales team, it’s all about hitting targets and driving revenue within the current quarter or fiscal year. Their time frame is marked by urgency.

In contrast, business development teams play the long game. They focus less on immediate conversions and more on slowly nurturing relationships that may not pay dividends for months or even years. The marathon of business development demands vision, patience, and a willingness to make investments that may take time to yield returns. Their time frame is measured in seasons, not sprints.

Revenue Impacts

With sales development, the revenue impact is direct and swift. As sales reps convert leads into paying customers, cash flow immediately increases. There is a straight correlation between sales effort and financial reward. When sales are up, revenue rises.

On the other hand, business development initiatives are an investment in the future. Partnerships and market expansion cultivated by business development may not translate to revenue for years. The revenue impact is indirect and more difficult to quantify. Business development requires patience and a willingness to devote resources toward long-term strategic goals that may have delayed financial payoffs.

Day to Day Tasks

The daily tasks of a high-performing sales team lead toward one goal: closing deals. Sales roles revolve around:

  • Qualifying and nurturing leads
  • Initiating calls and emails
  • Delivering presentations
  • Negotiating contracts

It’s an unrelenting focus on driving immediate results.

Meanwhile, business development involves longer-term relationship-building. Daily tasks include:

  • Researching potential new markets
  • Drumming up partnership opportunities through networking events
  • Collaborating with other business and sales development teams to identify future growth areas. 

Instead of chasing conversions, a business development team focuses on laying the strategic groundwork for sustainable growth.

Customer Focus

Sales development professionals cast a wide net, targeting potential buyers who may convert into customers. They aim to identify prospects across multiple segments and verticals and then narrow them down to qualified leads.

Business development has a more targeted customer focus, zeroing in on forging strategic partnerships with accounts that can become revenue drivers. Instead of targeting all prospects, they focus on select accounts with the potential for an evolving, mutually beneficial partnership.

Organizational Hierarchy

Sales roles are often more junior positions, suitable for entry-level employees or recent grads looking to get a foot in the door and hone their skills. The sales floor is a training ground where drive and a hunger for immediate results can potentially reap high rewards.

Conversely, business development roles typically require more experience, business acumen, and strategic vision. Responsibilities like assessing markets, initiating partnerships, and long-term planning call for more profound knowledge of the industry landscape and overall business operations. Business development sits higher in the organizational hierarchy.

When Does Sales Pass Off to Business Development?

At what point should a sales rep pass a lead-off to the business development team? The answer depends on each company’s sales process and qualification framework— and there are several. 

Typically, the handoff occurs when a lead has moved past the initial sales cycle and shown potential for an ongoing, strategic partnership. Sales professionals excel at generating those first conversions and getting new customers on board. But once a relationship demonstrates promise for broader collaboration or long-term engagement, it’s time for business development to step in.

Their goal is to steer promising accounts into deeper, sustained partnerships. Business development takes over when there is an opportunity to evolve beyond a standard transactional relationship into an alliance that fuels mutual growth.

For example, business development may nurture an existing customer who could become a brand ambassador or reference account. They might also build strategic alliances with companies that complement your product line.

The key is identifying accounts that warrant a dedicated strategic approach beyond the sales pipeline. Business and sales development reps then dedicate time and resources to cultivating those high-potential relationships into lasting partnerships that pay dividends down the road.

The sales-to-business development handoff requires team alignment to ensure a smooth transition. With coordination, sales and business development can combine to convert promising leads into long-term business relationships.

Looking More Closely at Sales vs. Business Development Jobs

Diving into the heart of the matter, let’s zoom in on what makes each of these roles unique yet symbiotic.

Typical Sales Job Role

In sales, the role is clear-cut: as a sales professional, you are the engine driving the sales process. Your goal? To convert leads into sales and inquiries into transactions. A typical sales job description may read:

  • Identify and qualify leads, progressing them through the sales cycle.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with prospective and existing customers.
  • Understand customer needs and offer solutions and support.
  • Organize and coordinate sales presentations.
  • Achieve personal and team sales targets.
  • Use SDR tools like UpLead to capture sales initiatives. 
  • Monitor competitors, market conditions, and product development.

Junior sales roles like Sales Development Representative require resilience and work ethic to hit activity metrics. Senior salespeople combine technical mastery with executive presence to land significant accounts. But across all levels, being part of a top-notch sales development team demands execution excellence to hit targets today.

Typical Business Development Role

On the flip side, business development reps focus on the long-term vitality of your company. A standard job description for a business development professional might include:

  • Identify new business opportunities – including new markets, growth areas, trends, customers, products, and services.
  • Think strategically – seeing the bigger picture and setting aims and objectives to develop and improve the business.
  • Work strategically – carrying out necessary planning to implement operational changes.
  • Develop relationships with prospective partners and maintain existing company relationships.
  • Understand the core values and ethos of the company and reflect this in all business strategies.

Developing strategies that ensure sustainable success takes perception, creativity, and persistence. You are the visionary, architect, and relationship builder rolled into one.

FAQs About Sales vs. Business Development

When immersed in the intricate dance between sales and business development, several questions may whirl through your mind. Is one better than the other? How do the roles truly differ?

Both are essential to the lifeblood of your company. Sales are your company’s heartbeat, pumping immediate revenue through your organization. Business development is the breath necessary for long-term survival, expanding your company’s reach through strategic partnerships and entry into new markets.

Hierarchy in job titles can be deceptive. At the same time, a Business Development Manager (BDM) often works with a broader strategic scope; sales managers are the tacticians leading the frontline of your sales funnel. An SDR manager is key in generating closes. Each role commands unique skills and responsibilities crucial at different customer and client engagement points.

A business development representative (BDR) focuses on the future, scouting out business development opportunities and relationships that ensure sustainable growth. Sales development reps, however, concentrate on the now, employing their skills to guide potential customers through the sales process toward a successful close. The workstreams of business and sales development representatives complement each other. 

Sales development is the direct push to find leads, move them down the pipeline, and close deals. Business development strategically cultivates partnerships and market opportunities that may not immediately convert into sales. Marketing, distinct yet complementary, is the magnetic force that attracts potential customers and creates interest in your products or services.

What You Need to Remember About Business Development vs Sales

At the end of the day, whether you’re fine-tuning your sales department or your business development process, remember this: both avenues are geared towards the prosperity of your company. Business development and sales are two sides of the same coin; while they may look different and function separately, they’re united in the ultimate goal of growing your business.

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Business Development vs Sales: 2 Critical Key Differences

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Business development vs. Sales development. That’s quite confusing, right? Well, that’s understandable. The two are often used interchangeably, but they actually describe different functions in a company.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the following points to help you better understand the two:

  • What is business development
  • What is sales development
  • Difference between business development and sales
  • How to start on business development

business development vs sales

What Is Business Development?

A lot of people are arguing about business development vs sales.

Business development is responsible for finding new customers or growing existing customer relationships by generating revenue through strategic partnerships , marketing efforts, and other activities that create value for the organization.

The role of business development is to identify potential prospects in a company’s market area (or outside it) and establish contact with them to explore opportunities for growth.

The goal of business developers is to create new relationships and find potential opportunities for the company that can lead to more revenue.

Now, is business development sales? The answer is yes and no.

Business Development Representative Roles

Large corporations will often have a dedicated team of business development representatives, while smaller companies may share the role across other departments.

Business developers are usually assigned to one of three general roles:

  • Itinerant Business Developer – They focus on finding new prospects in an outside market and securing their interest in pursuing business with your company;
  • Business Development Manager – They have the responsibility of managing and cultivating the relationships with existing prospects, often by helping them identify opportunities for growth;
  • Corporate Sales Executive – Their role is to meet with prospective clients in a company’s market area (or outside it) and establish contact.

Business development representatives may also be involved in closing deals when the opportunity arises.

If you’re looking to hire, you can use the following business development titles:

  • Director of Business Development
  • Business Development Manager
  • Vice President of Business Development
  • Business Development Specialist
  • Business Development Representative

Those are only a few of the titles for business development. Other companies may be using other business development job titles to attract new hires.

Here are other names for business development and creative job titles for business development:

  • Senior Account Executive
  • Strategic Partnerships Manager
  • B2B Corporate Sales
  • Strategic Alliance Specialist
  • Senior Solutions Consultant

These creative business development titles can help you to attract new candidates who are interested in job titles that may be more interesting than just “business development.”

What Is Sales Development?

Sales development is a specialized department within sales teams.

The goal of this function is to identify, engage in conversation with, and bring qualified leads into the pipeline for marketing or other departments to work on converting them into customers.

Sales Development Representative Roles

The goal of these representatives is to identify, engage in conversation with, and bring qualified leads into the pipeline for marketing or other departments to work on converting them into customers.

This individual will use a variety of methods including outbound calls, email campaigns, social media outreach, among others. They may also be responsible for maintaining relationships with current customers.

Here are some roles of a sales development representative ::

  • Cold calls and emails to generate leads
  • Creating new, qualified opportunities for the company by means of outbound sales activities. It’s this person’s responsibility to not only create a pipeline of potential customers but also maintain relationships with existing ones.
  • Engaging in conversation with prospects through phone or email outreach methods.
  • Building partnerships with prospects, such as customer referrals or joint marketing campaigns.

Organizations invest in sales development representatives to generate new business opportunities and maintain existing ones. They are often a part of the company’s outbound team that works alongside other departments–such as marketing–to convert potential customers into revenue for their organization.

Sales development representatives nurture potential customers through processes such as lead generation , nurturing, and closing. They are often the first point of contact for a company’s prospects or existing clients by initiating conversations to build relationships.

These individuals maintain an ongoing dialogue with organizations’ prospective and current customers in order to provide information about products/services which may be beneficial to them.

Earlier, we talked about business development position titles, now it’s time to discuss sales position titles:

  • Sales Associate
  • Sales Manager
  • Account Executive
  • Sales Representative
  • Sales Consultant

Here are some sales manager titles alternatives for sales marketing business development:

  • Sales Account Advisors
  • Sales Account Executive
  • Assistant Store Manager
  • Client Advisor
  • Executive-Level Management
  • Retail Sales Consultant
  • Sales Director
  • Telemarketer

A good sales job title can help you find the best candidates for the sales business development position you’re looking to fill.

Remember that it’s important to use the best job titles for sales and business development if you want to attract the best candidates.

Difference Between Business Development and Sales

So, what is the difference between business development and sales?

Well, this section will discuss business development vs. sales.

The key differences between the two are:

1. The primary goal of business development is to generate revenue for the company; whereas, sales representatives’ main objective is to close a sale.

2. Business developers focus on building relationships and keeping in contact with prospects or existing customers; whereas, sales reps are primarily focused on selling a product/service.

Business development is not just about generating revenue. There are a number of other goals which business developers set for themselves, such as:

  • Informing prospects and customers by providing them with information on new products or services that may be beneficial to their needs.
  • Providing advice to help the prospect/customer make decisions on their own.
  • Opening up new paths of thought for the customer, in order to inspire them and open a window into some area they haven’t considered yet.”

A BDR job description usually includes some or all of the following responsibilities:

  • Research and identify prospective customers within an assigned territory.
  • Develop relationships with prospects to create a strong foundation for business development activities such as sales, marketing programs, special projects, etc.
  • Build rapport by providing insights into needs and developing trust in order to develop long-term relationships with prospects.
  • Present and discuss products or services that may be beneficial to their needs.

In short, Business Development focuses on strategy while Sales focuses more on tactics.

While the role of a sales development representative is to search for prospects and create leads. This person does not require as much specialized training, but they may have skills in networking or entrepreneurship.

The primary focus of a sales development representative is to generate leads and nurture them until they are ready for sale.

This person needs the ability to identify prospects with potential as well as skills in developing relationships.

  • Identify prospective customers based on general criteria such as size or location; contact and maintain conversations with contacts that have a high potential for converting to customers.
  • Nurture relationships with contacts in order to create customer prospects and develop the right timing for selling them on your product or service; qualify leads by assessing their needs based on specific criteria such as budget, timeline, etc.; maintain ongoing contact with qualified leads until they are ready for sale.

To quickly differentiate the two, you have to remember that a salesperson has the ability to close deals and is often judged on their performance. Business development managers, while they have some of these responsibilities, are more focused on growing the business without worrying about closing deals.

  • The difference between business development vs sales may be confusing for those who aren’t familiar with both roles.
  • A salesperson is judged on their performance, whereas business development managers are not.
  • Business development is focused more on growing a company without worrying about closing deals; the key difference between the two careers lies in whether or not they have these responsibilities.
  • Business developers do some of what a salesperson does and vice versa.
  • A business developer focuses more on growing the business without worrying about closing deals, and salespeople are judged on their performance.
  • Business development managers are not judged by how much they make or close in a set time period; instead, they’re focused more on company growth.

Business development manager vs sales manager

A business development manager and a sales manager have different sets of responsibilities.

A sales manager is judged by the number they make and close in a set time period; business developers are focused on company growth with less pressure to generate income.

Business development managers have more room for creativity because success isn’t measured solely on whether or not their team met the quota. Sales managers, on the other hand, are measured by how many sales they generate.

Business development managers can also offer strategic advice to a company’s leadership team and assist with decision-making that will have an impact on its future.

A major difference between sales manager and business development manager is compensation structure: A business developer may be paid as a consultant, whereas a sales manager is usually an employee.

Sales managers are often given commissions or incentives to help them meet their quota and keep up with the competition; business developers don’t have this type of incentive structure in place.

Another difference between these two roles is titles: A business developer will most likely be called “business development manager” or “vice president of business development”, whereas a sales manager might be called “sales manager,” “director of marketing,” etc.

How to Start on Business Development?

If you’re looking for help with business development, LeadFuze is the company to call. It offers a variety of services to help your business grow and succeed.

Its team has years of experience in sales, marketing, and customer service. They know what it takes to get results for their clients so they can focus on their core competencies. You’ll never have to worry about hiring another person again because they can take care of everything from lead generation all the way through closing deals.

Whether you need an extra hand or want someone else handling your sales process completely, LeadFuze will find a solution that’s perfect for you!

Sign up for a free trial of LeadFuze!

Business development vs sales is a tough topic. As with anything, the best option is whatever suits your needs best, and it’s impossible to say which one will work better for you without understanding both first.

It’s important that you’re able to honestly assess your company goals and needs before deciding which is the best fit.

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill

About Author: Justin McGill

business development vs sales

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[q&a] business development vs. sales | what’s the difference.

  • Tags: Getting Started , Hiring & Talent , Sales Development

The terms “business development” and “sales” are often confused, but they are distinct practices. While business development is about pursuing opportunities to grow a business, sales is focused on closing deals. 

The Difference Between Sales and Business Development

Sales and business development go hand in hand. It’s hard to win sales activities when there is no business development legwork. 

Business Development
Closing dealsGenerating opportunities
Increase sales revenueDiscover and pursue new business opportunities for growth

Definition of Sales 

Sales is a blanket term referring to activities of selling goods and services. Its primary goal is to generate revenue for the company. It comes in many forms, such as:

Inside Sales

Inside sales is the practice of selling remotely using phones and online channels such as social media and email. This is the one of most used models for B2B, B2C, and tech organizations. 

Outside Sales

Outside sales involve traveling and negotiating deals face-to-face. Good examples of outside sales are the traditional door-to-door sales and selling at conventions. It’s an approach commonly used in industries such as retail, real estate and insurance. 

The outside sales approach is often combined with inside sales. Companies who use an outside sales approach usually start by contacting potential customers through various online channels. They then convince the prospects to set appointments for a face-to-face meeting which is an example of an inside sales strategy. 

B2B means “business-to-business.” This is the sales process where a business sells products and services to another company. Most of the goods sold in this sales process are big-ticket items that are beneficial in improving the productivity of the buyer’s organization. 

B2C stands for “business-to-consumer” and focuses on transactions between a company and individual consumers. Unlike B2B, the sales cycle for B2C is more straightforward because consumers buying decisions are made on a personal level. 

eCommerce Sales

eCommerce sales refer to the buying and selling of products and services via the internet. Unlike other sales methods, this rarely involves the participation of a person, so it does not need a sales team to facilitate the selling of products. 

Definition of Business Development

Business development is the process of bringing in new business lines or customers for the company’s long-term growth. The main tasks involved in the business development process include:

Improving Brand Awareness and Reputation

One of the main goals of business development is to create a positive, long-term relationship with customers or other partners who can refer to new business. This is only possible by improving brand awareness and reputation. 

Business development professionals work closely with the marketing department to create campaigns that will help enhance the brand’s image to attract and gain customers’ confidence. 

Conducting Research and Analysis

Business development is a data-driven approach to growing a business, so it involves a lot of research tasks. Business development professionals must have a good understanding of their markets and target consumers to find new opportunities and develop effective strategies. 

Examples of the necessary research are market surveys and SWOT analysis. Market research, in this case, refers to gathering information about the feasibility of a new product or service for consumers. Meanwhile, SWOT analysis is a research method for analyzing a business’s internal and external weaknesses. 

Creating a buyer persona is also essential. This is a research-based profile of the target customer. It must have a detailed description of the customers’:

  • Typical job title and seniority
  • Preferences
  • Pain points
  • Decision-making influences

A clearly defined buyer persona will make it easier for companies to create targeted marketing and sales efforts. 

Some companies also invest in researching new technologies and assessing whether they could be additional revenue streams.  They could do this by taking a closer look at a different market segment and conducting an analysis on whether their products and services could be of value for those particular customers. 

Developing Outreach Strategy

Business development focuses on generating high-quality leads , so it involves developing an outreach strategy. There are different ways this is done depending on the company’s industry. Common strategies are:

  • Advertisement
  • Sponsorship
  • Upselling and cross-selling
  • Referral programs

BDR vs. SDR

The goal of both BDRs and SDRs is to supply the sales team with qualified leads by setting appointments . The processes of how they do this are very different.

BDRSDR
Uncover New Business OpportunitiesSet Appointments
– Business Networking
– Social Selling
– Lead Qualification
– Set Appointments For Discovery Calls
– Updating Lead List

The goal of both BDRs and SDRs is to supply the sales team with qualified leads by setting appointments. The processes of how they do this are very different. 

Business Development Representative

BDRs create new business opportunities by converting cold leads into qualified leads. Most of the day-to-day tasks of a BDR revolve around outbound lead generation. 

Outbound lead generation is also known as sales prospecting , which is the process of compiling a list of leads to contact using outreach methods such as:

Cold Calling and Emailing

Cold calling is the technique of reaching out to potential customers with no previous interaction or interest in your products and services. It is more difficult than warm calling since the responses are more unpredictable. Some prospects can be accepting, while others might end the call – sometimes rudely and unprofessionally. 

The success rate of cold calling is only 1-3%, but there are still benefits to doing it, such as:

  • Boost brand awareness
  • Establish human connection
  • Gather information about the lead

Cold emailing has a similar concept to cold calling, but instead of communicating through phone calls, BDRs use emails. Nowadays, many BDRs leverage email automation tools to help create better quality cold emails and send them out as fast as possible. 

Aside from outbound lead generation, BDRs also conduct other tasks that allow them to discover new prospects. This can happen through:

Business Networking

Business networking is a method of expanding a company’s network to find new leads. BDRs do this by attending events or trade shows and reaching out to people from their target industry. 

Business networking helps companies gather high-quality leads and build positive relationships. It will also allow BDRs to gain valuable industry insights such as:

  • Competition’s best practices
  • Latest trends

Social Selling

Social selling is a strategy that involves interacting with and reaching out to prospects via social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This method establishes a causal connection with potential buyers. BDRs use this strategy to gradually earn the trust and confidence of a prospect. 

Sales Development Representative

SDRs cold leads and sometimes warm leads generated from various marketing efforts. Warm leads are prospects who showed interest in the products and services through interactions such as:

  • Material downloaded from a website
  • Email requisition for quotes

In most cases, SDRs work with cold leads . These are prospects who have no previous knowledge or interaction with the products and services that the SDRs are representing. 

The problem is that not all leads generated by marketing efforts have the same quality. This is where the role of SDRs becomes crucial, as they filter which leads fit the company’s buyer persona. These are the day-to-day tasks of SDRs:

Work on Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is the process of assessing a lead’s potential as a customer based on the degree of willingness and readiness to buy. This process helps create a targeted marketing and sales approach, allowing companies to increase conversion rates and reduce costs. 

SDRs compare each lead that comes their way with the company’s buyer persona. They then forward those who fit the company’s buyer persona to account executives who will work to close the deal. 

Make Discovery and Appointment Setting Calls

SDRs make the discovery call that will be the first conversation with a lead interested in their products or services. The goal of these calls is to ask leads questions to determine whether they fit the company’s buyer persona. 

During discovery calls, SDRs have the opportunity to impress leads with their professionalism. It’s also a chance to make a general pitch about the product or service that they represent. 

Since discovery calls are two-way conversations, SDRs also use them to establish the brand they represent as an authority by answering questions the leads may have. 

Once SDRs have established a rapport with the lead, they’ll then do an appointment setting call. The goal of this call is to convince leads to book a meeting with a sales executive. 

Update Lead List

SDRs collect a lot of data about the leads through prospecting and during discovery calls. Part of their responsibility is to organize the collected information by updating the leads list. This will then be forwarded to the account executives for insights to leverage during the sales appointments. 

SDRs can significantly unburden your sales team by taking care of the daunting and time-consuming process of lead qualification. Unfortunately, setting up an SDR team is not feasible for all companies, as it requires a huge investment. But this doesn’t mean that its benefits have to be missed out: you can outsource the task to a reliable appointment setting company such as SalesRoads . Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you build an appointment-setting campaign that will uncover new sales opportunities for you. 

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business development manager vs sales executive

What Is a Business Development Manager? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Business development managers (BDMs) supervise business development representatives and generate company revenue through maintaining customer relationships. Here’s what to know about a business development manager’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.

What Is a Business Development Manager?

Business development managers solidify client leads and assist in strategic growth planning. While business development representatives may generate and transfer leads to account executives or similar professionals, business development managers often foster existing customer relationships and seek out upsell opportunities.

What Do Business Development Managers Do?

Business development managers nurture customer relationships, explore growth opportunities and manage lead generation processes.

Business Development Manager Responsibilities

  • Research and plan new growth opportunities, strategies and initiatives.
  • Contact potential customers, maintain current customers and increase customer value.
  • Establish business development goals and ensure quotas are met.
  • Oversee business development representatives and early sales cycle operations.

Business Development Managers Within a Company

Business development managers are part of a sales team within a company and may report to a director of business development.

Importance of Business Development Managers

Business development managers ensure that customer relationships are producing value for both parties, as well as help determine sales revenue and growth goals. They act as a significant resource for companies looking to maximize long-term profits.

What Skills Are Needed to Be a Business Development Manager?

Qualifications to be a business development manager.

  • Two or more years of experience in business development, sales or a similar field.
  • Ability to build, maintain and produce value from customer relationships.
  • Ability to guide growth planning, strategies and initiatives.

Business Development Manager Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or related field.

Business Development Manager Hard Skills

  • Expertise with customer relationship management (CRM) software.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets and related analysis tools.
  • Experience with sales performance analysis tools.
  • Understanding of sales automation tools.
  • Knowledge of presentation and data visualization tools.

Business Development Manager Soft Skills

  • Customer service skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Management and leadership skills.
  • Verbal and written communication skills.

Tools and Programs Business Development Managers Use

  • ActiveCampaign
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Salesforce 
  • Salesloft 
  • Tableau  
  • ZoomInfo 

How to Become a Business Development Manager

Business development manager education and experience.

Business development managers tend to hold a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or a related field.

Business development managers will need to obtain two or more years of experience in business development, sales or similar roles. Knowledge in the areas of strategy development, lead generation, customer relationship management, sales performance analysis and effective communication are recommended.

Business Development Manager Certificates and Courses

  • 20 Top Sales Training Programs and Courses to Know
  • Business Development & B2B Sales for Startups - Sales Valley
  • Introduction to CRM with HubSpot
  • The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process Specialization

Business Development Manager Career Path

After gaining experience as a business development representative or related role, professionals may move into the business development manager role. From this point, professionals can progress into roles like director of business development or vice president of business development.

Business Development Manager Salary and Job Outlook

Business development managers are expected to see a job growth rate of 8 percent  by 2028, according to Zippia.

The full compensation package for a business development manager depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average business development manager salary.

Careers Related to Business Development Manager

Related sales jobs, companies hiring business development managers, related sales careers.

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Top 5 differences between business development and sales executive

Do you know the difference between a business development executive and a sales executive? Most people don’t. They’re both responsible for generating new business, but there are some major differences. In this blog post, we’ll outline five of the most important difference between business development and sales executive. Read on to learn more!

Who is a sales executive?

A sales executive is someone who is responsible for driving sales and achieving revenue targets for their organization. They work with clients and customers to identify potential opportunities and then work with the team to close those deals. Sales executives are typically assertive and persuasive individuals who have a strong drive to succeed.

What is a business development manager?

The day-to-day tasks of a business development manager vary depending on the company and the product or service being offered but could include activities such as market research, customer research, competitive analysis, identifying potential partners or customers, developing proposals, negotiating contracts, and managing ongoing relationships with clients or partners.

Differences between sales executives & business development

The main difference between business development and sales is that business development is more strategic, while sales are more tactical. Business developers are tasked with creating and implementing long-term plans to grow a company’s revenue, whereas salespeople are responsible for acquiring new customers and closing deals.

From a skill’s perspective

Business development requires a broader skillset than sales, including skills like market research, product design, and relationship building. Salespeople need to be good at pitching products and closing deals, but they don’t necessarily need to know as much about the business itself or the industry it operates.

So in summary, business development is more about generating new ideas and opportunities, while sales are more about seizing upon those opportunities and turning them into actual deals. Sales persons can use a database tools to identify and find contact details of the leads. They need to personalize their approach to the position they are pitching too. 

From the customer’s perspective

Business development is responsible for creating opportunities and developing relationships with potential customers, while sales are responsible for closing deals with those customers. The main difference from the customer’s perspective is that business development is more focused on the long-term relationship between the company and the customer, while sales are more focused on immediately selling a product or service. business development also often works on larger projects and deals than sales and may be involved in complex negotiations.

From the customer’s perspective, then, business development is focused on developing a relationship with the company that could lead to future opportunities, while sales is focused on the immediate satisfaction of their needs. Many companies use a customer service crm and sales crm to manage and nurture their leads. 

From a hirer’s perspective, 

The main difference between business development and sales is that business development is more strategic, while sales is more tactical. Business developers are responsible for identifying new opportunities and building relationships with potential partners or clients, while sales executives are responsible for closing deals and generating revenue.

Another way to think of it is that business development is about creating demand, while sales are about meeting that demand. Business developers are responsible for generating leads and getting people interested in what your company has to offer, while sales executives are responsible for converting those leads into paying customers.

From a lead gen perspective 

Business development and sales executives have different roles when it comes to generating leads. A business developer identifies potential customers and builds relationships with them, while a sales executive closes deals with pre-existing customers.

Sales executives are usually responsible for converting leads into paying customers, while business developers are responsible for finding new leads and growing the customer base. In most cases, business development and sales teams work together to generate leads and close deals.

From a nurturing standpoint

The main difference between business development and sales is that business development is more focused on building relationships and long-term partnerships with customers, whereas sales are more focused on closing deals.

Business development typically involves more strategic work such as identifying potential customers, researching their needs and preferences, developing proposals, and negotiating contracts. Sales typically involve more tactical work such as generating leads, contacting potential customers, pitching products or services, and closing deals.

Read More: The Differences Between Cold Calling And Outbound Calling

There is some overlap between the two roles – for example, business developers often need to be good at selling in order to win contracts – but in general, they are two different functions with different goals.

Differences between sales executives & business development: Conclusion

Business development and sales executives have different but important jobs in a company. Do you know the difference? What side of business do you want to be on? Only by understanding the differences can someone make an informed decision about which career they would like to pursue. We’ve outlined the five major distinctions between these two positions, but there are many more nuanced aspects that we haven’t touched upon.

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The Role of an Account Manager in a Technology Company

Adding an account owner to verizon wireless, a recruitment agency's organizational structure.

  • The Role of an Operations Manager
  • Sales Management Structure

Business development managers and sales managers need to be persuasive, versatile and willing to monitor economic fluctuations consistently. However, the scope of their duties differs. For example, business development managers must weigh how product and price changes affect an entire company. Sales managers focus on how such changes affect a company's sales territories.

Monitoring Distribution

Business development managers look for ways to expand the reach of their company's products and services to increase revenue. To accomplish those goals, development managers research markets and create strategies for expanding in their company’s current markets and for finding new ones. Development managers at some companies also oversee a business development team. It's the sales manager's job to oversee the distribution of products and services to customers. Sales managers train sales representatives, set sales goals and assign the territories that representatives cover.

Managing Pricing and Inventory

Product and service prices get consistent scrutiny from development managers, who negotiate with manufacturers and distributors on price changes. For example, development managers may try to negotiate a lower price on a product if customer demand for the item drops. Sales managers also work with manufacturers and distributors to ensure they have enough items in stock to maintain appropriate inventory levels. Sales managers use sales statistics to determine their company's inventory requirements and to gauge customers' product preferences.

Navigating Trends

Agility may be a development manager’s most important characteristic. Development managers need to recommend timely adjustments to their company's products, services and pricing as they spot changes in consumer trends and currency fluctuations. Sales managers monitor consumer trends to advise their representatives on how to improve performance. For example, a manager may urge representatives to promote a product that's similar to a profitable item sold by competitors.

Considerations

A business development manager's effectiveness partly depends on his ability to look beyond his own work and focus on the needs of the entire company. For instance, business development typically involves working with managers in different departments to help them prepare presentations and manage contract negotiations. The success of some sales managers may depend on their ability to oversee multiple product lines in different regions. In such cases, managers have to adapt sales tactics to suit varying consumer demands in each region.

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
  • Laws.com: What Does a Business Development Manager Do?
  • Entrepreneur: Sales Manager Job Description

Frances Burks has more than 15 years experience in writing positions, including work as a news analyst for executive briefings and as an Associated Press journalist. Burks has banking and business development experience, and she has written numerous articles on consumer issues and home improvement. Burks holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan.

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Different between Sales and Business Development

Sales vs. Business Development: What’s the Difference?

business development manager vs sales executive

Sales and business development are different functions within a company that both work to increase awareness and sales. Sales focuses on identifying leads, researching and developing them and moving them along the sales cycle toward a closing. Business development involves finding new growth opportunities for the company and forming strategic partnerships that open up new markets. 

It’s easy to conflate business development with sales, and that’s fair. The positions are fundamentally similar — to the point that some companies don’t even distinguish between the two.

Both business and sales development contribute to a company’s success by bringing in more revenue, but they do so in different ways and within different time frames. The sales development function involves reviewing leads, researching them, determining which ones are most likely to convert and sending those on to a salesperson to close. In the business development department, staff members look for new avenues to grow through partnerships with other entities.

Business-Dev-vs.-Sales-Dev

In sales development, the focus is on what the customer or client can buy from the company immediately and what the company can deliver immediately. With business development, professionals develop relationships to give the company new audiences to sell to in the future.

For example, a sales development team for a company that makes household tools, such as hammers and screwdrivers, might respond to an inquiry from a hardware store about putting products on the shelves in the store for direct sales to consumers. The company’s business development department might work on a 10-year contract to sell tools to the city for the maintenance staff members who upkeep government buildings.

Difference between Business Development and Sales :

  BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SALES
01. Business development refers to the activities designed to expand into a new market by creating a competitive position in the market. Sales refers to the making revenue by selling products to the customers in the selected market segment it always aims in any way to sell the product and make profit.
02. It does not mean closing as many sales as possible in a small period of time rather it also focuses on establishing relationship for further business progress. It focuses on seal a deal means closing, receiving a lead and heading towards the finish line.
03. Business development always aims to sale the product by making partners in the market means selling products with establishing relationship which is helpful for future business. Sales always aims to sale the product to the end customer it does not think more about future business rather it focuses on immediate result.
04. It mainly aims represent the basic strategic components of the firm by being the part of the firm. It mainly aims to directly interact with the customer.
05. It is relational oriented as it mainly focuses on making relationship between two parties. It is transactional oriented as it mainly focuses on making transactions between two parties.
06. Generally business development team in a business is smaller size than sales team. Generally sales team in a business is larger size than the business development team.
07. It is focused on selling product. It is focused on strategic partners.
08. Business development team aims at devising, focusing and accessing a plan. Sales team executes the plans devised by business development team.
09. Business development is long term. Sales is short term.

Creative Job Titles for Business Development and Sales

There are other, creative job titles for business development you could hire for as well.

  • Business Development Manager
  • Strategic Alliance Specialist
  • Senior Solutions Consultant
  • B2B Corporate Sales
  • Senior Account Executive
  • Indoor Sales Executive

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Sales Executive vs. Sales Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

business development manager vs sales executive

A sales executive and a sales manager are both responsible for overseeing the sales process and ensuring that targets are met. However, these job titles have different duties and responsibilities. In this article, we compare and contrast the job titles of sales executive and sales manager, and we provide information on the skills and experience you need to succeed in each role.

What is a Sales Executive?

Sales Executives are responsible for managing a team of salespeople and achieving sales goals set by their company. They develop and implement sales strategies, set quotas, and oversee sales training and development programs. Sales Executives also work with other departments within their company to ensure that their sales team has the resources they need to be successful. In some cases, Sales Executives may also be responsible for generating leads and prospecting for new business.

What is a Sales Manager?

Sales Managers are responsible for the overall performance and success of a company’s sales team. They develop and implement strategies to increase sales and grow the business. They also set sales targets and quotas and track progress to ensure that the team is meeting its goals. Sales Managers also provide training and support to sales representatives and help them to improve their skills. In addition, Sales Managers work closely with other departments within the company to ensure that the sales team has the resources it needs to be successful.

Sales Executive vs. Sales Manager

Here are the main differences between a sales executive and a sales manager.

Sales executives oversee large sales teams and manage the overall sales process for a company. They’re involved in major business decisions, like which products to sell and how to improve the sales process. Sales managers work with individual sales teams, providing direction and feedback on daily activities. They also help team members develop their skills and provide support when issues arise. While sales executives are mostly office-based, sales managers often travel with their teams to attend meetings and conduct training sessions with customers.

Job Requirements

Sales executives and sales managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or another related field. However, some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well. Additionally, many sales professionals pursue certifications through organizations like the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) or the American Society for Quality (ASQ). These organizations offer training programs that teach sales professionals how to use sales software and other tools they might need on the job.

Work Environment

Sales executives typically work in an office environment, but they may travel to meet with clients and attend conferences. They also spend time on the phone or emailing potential clients about their products. Sales managers usually work in an office setting, but they may visit different locations where their team is selling products. They may also travel to trade shows or conventions to promote their company’s products.

Sales executives and sales managers share some similarities in the skills they use on the job. Both need to be excellent communicators, have strong negotiation skills and be able to close deals. They also both need to be able to develop relationships with clients, understand their needs and build trust.

However, there are some differences in the skills needed for these two positions. Sales executives typically benefit from having strong research skills, as they often are responsible for identifying new leads and potential customers. They also need to be able to give presentations, as they may be required to give pitches to potential clients. Sales managers usually need to have strong management skills, as they oversee a team of salespeople. This can involve setting sales goals, developing strategies and managing budgets. They also need to be able to resolve conflicts and provide coaching and feedback to their team.

Sales executives earn an average salary of $73,028 per year, while sales managers earn an average salary of $83,778 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which you work and the level of experience you have.

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Business Development Executive vs Manager

Business development executive and manager are common in various organizations, and most people think, or better still, take the two be the same. Though the duties are partly the same, it’s usually confused if the two titles are used interchangeably, and there are still clear differences between the two positions. A business development executive refers to an administrator or manager entrusted to work in the business or organization and a significant level deals expert. He/she helps their organization secure clients and offer extra items. It’s a critical job for any business with the desire to grow or expand effectively. That compelling business development executives are popular in the essential work area: business-to-business, business-to-buyers, and non-benefit associations.

Duties of a Business Development Executive

The duties of a business development executive lie in procurement and other business transactions. He/she must have ways of drawing people to buy goods and always keep the senior administration up to date with the trades and the ways of contenders. The basic duties of a business development executive are as follows:

Duties of a Manager

Comparison between a business development executive and a manager.

Even though business development executive and manager positions are used in a business organization, they aren’t the same in meaning.

A business development executive is concerned with the sales and marketing roles. He/she does things like creating business procedures, examine them, and tells what is required to tackle and grow the business effectively. That’s a business development executive does the selling and connection between the organization and clients.

The Similarities Between a Business Development Executive and a Manager

They deal with the sales of the association and tackles business problems without any difficulty. Thus, a business development executive works hand-in-hand with the manager in every stage of the business transactions. This helps them to have other departments who assist in running the business. All they do is cooperate with the business ethics guiding the firm.

Techniques and Prerequisites needed to become a Business Development Executive and a Manager

Educational qualifications needed to become a business development executive and a manager .

Annual Expectation for a Business Development Executive and a Manager

Both business development executive and manager’s compensation relies upon the abilities and aptitude. A business development executive’s salary is $83 431 for every annum, and a manager’s salary is $80 768 per annum. Sometimes, the salary of a manager falls between $68 754 and $93 462 per annum.

Difficulties encountered by a Business Development Executive and a Manager

The difficulties are:

 Chances Connected with a Business Development Executive and a Manager

Also read Business Development Job Description – Salary, Duties

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Executive Sales Manager Vs Business Development & Sales Executive

The differences between executive sales managers and business development & sales executives can be seen in a few details. Each job has different responsibilities and duties. It typically takes 6-8 years to become both an executive sales manager and a business development & sales executive. Additionally, an executive sales manager has an average salary of $115,692, which is higher than the $102,053 average annual salary of a business development & sales executive.

The top three skills for an executive sales manager include customer service, sales process and sales presentations. The most important skills for a business development & sales executive are cloud, market trends, and CRM.

Executive sales manager vs business development & sales executive overview

Executive Sales ManagerBusiness Development & Sales Executive
Yearly Salary$115,692
Hourly rate$55.62$49.06
Growth Rate
Number Of Jobs
Job Satisfaction--
Most Common Degree
Average Age
Years Of Experience88

What does an Executive Sales Manager do?

An executive sales manager is responsible for monitoring the sales team performance, developing strategic sales techniques to generate resources for revenues, and increasing the company's profitability. Executive sales managers identify business opportunities by researching current market trends, analyzing consumers' demands, and engaging in public interests. They coordinate with clients and business partners to negotiate contracts and respond to their inquiries and concerns and adhere to their specifications and requests. An executive sales manager also supports the development of marketing campaigns and media promotions, as well as reviewing sales goals and adjust targets as needed.

What does a business development & sales executive do?

A business development executive is a management professional who is responsible for searching for new business leads and building contacts with potential clients to create new business opportunities that can drive business growth. This executive must be familiar with the products and services offered by the company so that they can procure clients through direct contact or word-of-mouth. The executive is required to create business proposals and contracts to draw in more profit from clients. This executive must also train staff members with the technical and social skills that are needed to enhance sales.

Executive sales manager vs business development & sales executive salary

Executive sales managers and business development & sales executives have different pay scales, as shown below.

Executive Sales ManagerBusiness Development & Sales Executive
Average Salary$115,692$102,053
Salary RangeBetween $74,000 And $180,000Between $64,000 And $162,000
Highest Paying City-San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State-New Jersey
Best Paying Company-Amazon
Best Paying Industry-Transportation

Differences between executive sales manager and business development & sales executive education

There are a few differences between an executive sales manager and a business development & sales executive in terms of educational background:

Executive Sales ManagerBusiness Development & Sales Executive
Most Common DegreeBachelor's Degree, 72%Bachelor's Degree, 81%
Most Common MajorBusinessBusiness
Most Common CollegeUniversity of Southern CaliforniaUniversity of Southern California

Executive sales manager vs business development & sales executive demographics

Here are the differences between executive sales managers' and business development & sales executives' demographics:

Executive Sales ManagerBusiness Development & Sales Executive
Average Age4646
Gender RatioMale, 60.6% Female, 39.4%Male, 68.2% Female, 31.8%
Race RatioBlack or African American, 3.2% Unknown, 4.4% Hispanic or Latino, 9.8% Asian, 4.1% White, 78.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.2%Black or African American, 3.2% Unknown, 4.4% Hispanic or Latino, 9.8% Asian, 4.1% White, 78.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.2%
LGBT Percentage7%7%

Differences between executive sales manager and business development & sales executive duties and responsibilities

Executive sales manager example responsibilities..

  • Leverage other sales office resources and administrative/support staff to achieve personal and team relate revenue goals.
  • Launch sales initiative for start-up company with unique delivery method for continuing medical education programs targeting physicians and other healthcare professionals.
  • Recommend products and services to maximize customer service and target upselling on each customer contact.

Business Development & Sales Executive Example Responsibilities.

  • Lead centralized, electronic referral center coordinating post-acute service needs of patients discharging from multiple acute facilities in Arizona region.
  • Develop sales strategies, perform market analysis, present at industry events & utilize CRM software to streamline sales.
  • Analyze, recommend and implement a digital CRM database on behalf of the company.
  • Work in Salesforce to define pipeline of customers and potential advertisers.
  • Perform active account planning and activities document in SalesForce.com.

Executive sales manager vs business development & sales executive skills

  • Customer Service, 37%
  • Sales Process, 11%
  • Sales Presentations, 9%
  • Product Knowledge, 7%
  • Drive Sales, 4%
  • Market Trends, 11%
  • Direct Sales, 8%
  • Financial Institutions, 6%
  • Financial Services, 6%

Executive Sales Manager vs. Similar Jobs

  • Executive Sales Manager vs Director Of Sales And Marketing
  • Executive Sales Manager vs Business Development & Sales Executive
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  • Executive Sales Manager vs Sales Manager
  • Executive Sales Manager vs Senior Sales Manager
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  • Executive Sales Manager vs Sales Team Manager
  • Executive Sales Manager vs Market Sales Manager
  • Executive Sales Manager vs Sales Account Manager
  • Executive Sales Manager vs Inside Sales Manager
  • Executive Sales Manager vs Branch Sales Manager
  • Executive Sales Manager vs Division Sales Manager
  • Executive Sales Manager vs Territory Sales Manager
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Executive Sales Manager Related Careers

  • Account Executive/Sales Manager
  • Branch Sales Manager
  • Business Development Sales Manager
  • District Sales Manager
  • Division Sales Manager
  • Group Sales Manager
  • Inside Sales Manager
  • Market Sales Manager
  • National Sales Manager
  • Outside Sales Manager
  • Product Manager/Sales
  • Regional Sales Manager
  • Sales Account Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Manager/Sales Trainer

Executive Sales Manager Related Jobs

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What Similar Roles Do

  • Account Executive/Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Branch Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Business Development Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • District Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Division Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Group Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Inside Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Market Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • National Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Outside Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Product Manager/Sales Responsibilities
  • Regional Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Sales Account Manager Responsibilities
  • Sales Manager Responsibilities
  • Sales Manager/Sales Trainer Responsibilities
  • Zippia Careers
  • Executive Management Industry
  • Executive Sales Manager

Browse executive management jobs

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COMMENTS

  1. Business Development vs. Sales: Differences, Similarities, & Job Titles

    Business Development vs. Sales. The distinction between business development and sales essentially boils down to the difference between 'lining them up' and 'knocking them down.'. Business development reps identify and pass along good-fit leads, allowing a company's sales team to approach more accessible, accommodating prospects.

  2. Sales vs. Business Development: What's the Difference?

    The sales department in the tool company example would focus on getting the current product line out to stores and consumers. The business development department would create new and improved tools to offer in the future. Related: How To Build Business Development Skills Day-to-day tasks of a business development manager vs. sales manager

  3. Business Development vs. Sales: What's the Difference and Why You

    The business development manager focuses on introducing your company to other companies and expanding to new markets, while the sales development manager works on qualified leads to move them toward sign-off. Think of business development reps as researchers who evaluate the market and new business opportunities.

  4. Business Development vs Sales Manager: The Difference [Job Description

    A sales and business development manager does both: oversees the sales team and looks for new channels and partnerships. As a company evolves, it can significantly benefit from the expertise of a business development manager and a sales manager. These professionals help startups build their revenue to match the competition and sustain growth ...

  5. Sales vs. Business Development: Key Differences

    Sales and business development are distinct but complementary functions within a company, focusing on revenue generation. While sales focuses on immediate revenue through solutions for current customer needs, business development takes a future-focused approach, nurturing relationships for long-term growth. The difference between the roles can also be seen as tactical vs. strategic.

  6. Business Development Vs Sales: How These Roles Work Together

    These steps outline how business development and sales roles interact with the sales process: 1. Prospect. The business development team starts the sales process with prospecting. This is an early research stage in which business development associates generate ideas to find potential customers.

  7. Sales vs. Business Development: Key Differences to Understand

    With sales development, the revenue impact is direct and swift. As sales reps convert leads into paying customers, cash flow immediately increases. There is a straight correlation between sales effort and financial reward. When sales are up, revenue rises. On the other hand, business development initiatives are an investment in the future.

  8. What's the Difference Between Business Development and Sales?

    The business development and sales process. Though business development and sales are two separate jobs, and often two separate departments, these professionals work closely with and rely upon one another. Both business development and sales professionals interact with the marketing team, creating an essential team for success.

  9. Business Development vs Sales: 2 Critical Key Differences

    Business development manager vs sales manager. A business development manager and a sales manager have different sets of responsibilities. A sales manager is judged by the number they make and close in a set time period; business developers are focused on company growth with less pressure to generate income.

  10. [Q&A] Business Development vs. Sales

    The terms "business development" and "sales" are often confused, but they are distinct practices. While business development is about pursuing opportunities to grow a business, sales is focused on closing deals. The Difference Between Sales and Business Development. Sales and business development go hand in hand.

  11. Business Development Executive Vs Sales Development Manager

    A comprehensive comparison of Business Development Executives vs. Sales Development Managers. Explore the difference between Business Development Executives and Sales Development Managers in their roles, responsibilities, skills, salary, and career growth opportunities.

  12. Business Development Executive vs. Business Development Sales Manager

    A comprehensive comparison of Business Development Executives vs. Business Development Sales Managers. Explore the difference between Business Development Executives and Business Development Sales Managers in their roles, responsibilities, skills, salary, and career growth opportunities.

  13. What Is a Business Development Manager? How to Become One, Salary

    Business Development Manager Responsibilities. Research and plan new growth opportunities, strategies and initiatives. Contact potential customers, maintain current customers and increase customer value. Establish business development goals and ensure quotas are met. Oversee business development representatives and early sales cycle operations.

  14. 5 differences between business development and sales executive

    The main difference between business development and sales is that business development is more strategic, while sales is more tactical. Business developers are responsible for identifying new opportunities and building relationships with potential partners or clients, while sales executives are responsible for closing deals and generating ...

  15. Difference Between a Business Development Manager & a Sales Manager

    Business development managers and sales managers need to be persuasive, versatile and willing to monitor economic fluctuations consistently. However, the scope of their duties differs. For example ...

  16. Sales vs. Business Development: What's the Difference?

    SALES. 01. Business development refers to the activities designed to expand into a new market by creating a competitive position in the market. Sales refers to the making revenue by selling products to the customers in the selected market segment it always aims in any way to sell the product and make profit. 02.

  17. What Is the Difference Between a Business Development Manager and a

    A business development manager (BDM) works to develop business relationships or strategic partnerships on behalf of an organization. This type of marketing focuses on facilitating business growth and opportunities, while a sales manager focuses on generating revenue. Someone in either position may work to create new sales leads and contacts ...

  18. Sales Executive vs. Sales Manager: What Are the Differences?

    Sales managers work with individual sales teams, providing direction and feedback on daily activities. They also help team members develop their skills and provide support when issues arise. While sales executives are mostly office-based, sales managers often travel with their teams to attend meetings and conduct training sessions with customers.

  19. Senior Sales Executive Vs Business Development Sales Manager

    Each job has different responsibilities and duties. It typically takes 6-8 years to become both a senior sales executive and a business development sales manager. Additionally, a business development sales manager has an average salary of $111,309, which is higher than the $110,808 average annual salary of a senior sales executive.

  20. Business Development Executive vs Manager

    Both business development executive and manager's compensation relies upon the abilities and aptitude. A business development executive's salary is $83 431 for every annum, and a manager's salary is $80 768 per annum. Sometimes, the salary of a manager falls between $68 754 and $93 462 per annum.

  21. Executive Sales Manager Vs Business Development & Sales Executive

    The differences between executive sales managers and business development & sales executives can be seen in a few details. Each job has different responsibilities and duties. It typically takes 6-8 years to become both an executive sales manager and a business development & sales executive.