When it comes to business, there are a lot of different roles that people can play. One of the most important – but often misunderstood – is the role of Business Developer. Some people might assume that this is just another term for Salesperson, but this isn’t actually the case. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between Business Development and Sales, and explain why it’s important for your business to have someone in charge of Business Development.
First of all, let’s define what Business Development is. Business Development can be described as the process of identifying and pursuing new opportunities to grow your business. This might involve exploring new markets, developing new products or services, or finding new ways to reach your target audience. Essentially, Business Development is about growing your business in a strategic and sustainable way. Within the Defense Industry however, the culmination of a business developer’s strategic efforts is a formal requirement document that includes specifications and features only his company can meet.
Put in a simplistic way, Business Development is akin to a landowner finding an unplanted field, deciding on the best crop, and cultivating and planting it.
Now let’s compare this to Sales. In the commercial market, Sales can be defined as the process of convincing someone to buy your product or service. This involves creating and delivering an effective sales pitch, negotiating with potential customers, and closing deals. Unlike Business Development, Sales is focused on generating revenue in the short-term. In the terms of the Defense Industry, this culminates with a contract award.
Following the landowner analogy, the Salesperson is the person that harvests the landowner’s crops.
So why is it important for businesses to have someone in charge of Business Development?
Protracted Sales Cycles. The Defense Industry is notorious for having long and drawn out sales cycles, which can last anywhere from months to years. This is due to the fact that Defense contracts are usually large and complex, with a lot of different stakeholders involved. Because of this, it’s important to have someone who is focused on the long-term goal of winning the contract, and who has the patience to see the process through.
The Sales Cycle Is Not Always Linear. In addition to being protracted, the sales cycle in the Defense Industry is also often non-linear. This means that there isn’t always a clear path from start to finish, and that businesses need to be flexible in their approach. Business Developers are used to working in this kind of environment, and are adept at finding new opportunities and adapting to changing circumstances.
There Is More to Business Than Sales. Of course, generating revenue is important for any business. However, it’s not the only thing that businesses need to focus on. Businesses also need to invest in research and development, build strong relationships with their partners and suppliers, and create a positive brand identity. All of these things are essential for long-term success, and Business Developers are well-placed to help with all of them.
In conclusion, it’s clear that Business Development is not the same as Sales. Although both roles are important for businesses, they serve different purposes. Business Development is focused on growth in the long-term, while Sales is focused on generating revenue in the short-term.