Do you understand the differences between ‘Sales’, ‘Marketing’ and ‘Business development’?
What do you think of when someone mentions the term ‘business development?’Is it that annoyingly optimistic person you used to work with? Or is it a term that invokes a fear reaction. Perhaps you are avoiding your own business development because, well… it’s just too hard to know where to start.
Many small business owners, due to limited resources, do their own business development activity. Many feel they need to. So it’s important to understand what that term actually means. Sure you can look it up on google. There are thousands of entries that mention business development. But I want you to reflect on what it means for you. In your small business.
Let’s look at comparative roles. Sales, versus marketing, versus business development.
Marketing is the tool(s) that will get people (good clients) looking in your windows and tapping at your door. They have seen something that attracted them to you – at the right time. They have a problem (maybe that problem is they just want to spend some money), and you have the solution. You are happy to take their money, right? The marketing has attracted a perfect client.
Sales is a conversion process. It transforms that looker (the person tapping on your window) into profit. Sales conversions are an important part of the process. A transition from prospect to client. You and the prospect are transforming your relationship into that of supplier and customer. So your sales skills, particularly as a small business owner, come to the party and win you that profit.
Now, business development. It’s a longer term strategic set of actions and processes that will position your business in the right place, at the right time. There is an element of marketing in business development. As also there is an element of sales. But the business developer is more strategic and forward looking. Reading buying patterns and looking at what’s hot in other (or emerging) markets. The good business developer will see trends, realise shortfalls or weaknesses, understand markets and industries and position themselves and the business to benefit.
A business development coach will help you to see through the mire of daily activity. As a small business owner the engagement of a coach will help you to clarify your own business goals, activities and markets. Are your current clients actually the best for you?