Conducting business efficiently to generate profit while maintaining ethical and professional standards is the ultimate goal of most organizations. Although some may view sales as the primary means of achieving this objective, the process is more deeply embedded in the organizational structure, internally as well as externally.
Both business development and sales play vital roles in a company’s success. However, each task is managed separately and distinctly, with occasional overlap and synergistic focus.
What is business development? It is the growth or expansion of a company to develop core elements that will ultimately broaden the path to success. Examples of key aspects of a business operation include personnel, ethics, accountability, ingenuity, accuracy, troubleshooting, and community relations, to name a few.
Each dynamic plays a part in keeping the business operating efficiently. As one or more of these processes improve or expand, the company may be able to streamline its performance. This can also help enhance its public image through establishing professional relationships with other businesses that impress current or prospective new customers.
Professional development within an organization can target specific departments, operations, or individuals. Some companies hire public relations specialists as regular employees or as consultants to promote the company’s image in positive ways throughout the community.
Executives and human resource administrators often fill this purpose by networking with similar organizations or industry leaders to create an expanded market niche. As the company becomes more visible locally and industry-wide, it will attract more interest. In turn, this may feed through several channels to attract new customers, and in turn, increase sales.
Examples of Business Development Plans
For example, business development plans might include a partnership with local colleagues. This can presuppose the sponsorship of a new soccer field for youth sports. Although this may seem unrelated to business interests, it is actually a smart strategy to engage with news media for positive publicity.
It could also help make a good impression on local area families. These could come to show their appreciation through their support of the sponsoring organizations and word of mouth recommendations.
Another example of business development is when a company adds a new service to target a broader market. A coffee shop might decide to expand its services to offer cold or hot sandwiches in a bid to attract the lunch crowd in addition to the breakfast customers. With a well-researched marketing plan and reasonable expansion goals, the company could significantly increase sales.
Many companies that expand a product line or hire specialized personnel might do so in the hopes of increasing sales. Their developing new project initiatives might serve the same purposes. However, many benefits may result from business development efforts, of which sales is one of the most valuable and measurable.
Other advantages include making valuable professional connections that may come in handy with other business dealings. It could also help establish a meaningful presence as a respectable pillar of the community.
Some business gurus have studied the question, what do sales fulfill beyond generating immediate income? The business development vs sales debate often weighs more heavily on the side of professional development while downplaying the significance of sales. However, the sales process is far more dynamic than merely producing the hoped-for revenues.
Business Development Vs Sales
Beyond distinguishing between business development vs sales, it is important to understand the synergy that the two can produce when coalescing. This is not to suggest that they should merge to form one exclusive process and end result.
But rather, it could mean that they might build on each other in a recursive fashion. In doing so, they can create an additional, more powerful force than either one as a single entity.
Without the foundation of business development, sales could lag or stagnate. Without sales as the capstone achievement, business development projects may require more time and capital than they are worth in merely generating goodwill or planting seeds for future rewards.
How the Two Can Work Together
A company’s sales potential is grounded in the work that goes into its business development. The more influential a company becomes, the likelier it is to generate heightened sales.
Although some companies have retained popularity over decades and generations of customers by remaining true to their original brand and mission, many have grown from their original platform. Some of them might have done so to attract different customers and more of them.
Sales strategies like lower costs, fundraisers for community issues, and fun events such as contests and games invite customers to become more involved and to visit more frequently.
Take the example of any popular fast food chain. Most sell food that is mediocre at best or questionable at worst. Yet most major franchises build on business development platforms that support meaningful community needs like children’s hospitals, literacy, and hunger.
Many fast food franchises begin with a simple concept and limited products. However, they then eventually develop new initiatives to expand the menu or upgrade services to attract a more significant segment of consumers.
All of this is part of the business development vs sales strategy. This binds both concepts into a single force that energizes the company and excites the public. A well-designed and clearly-executed plan can help the company to meet or exceed expected goals.
Most companies develop a strategic plan and update it every year or two. The plan typically includes projected growth objectives and profitability. Each of these functions is intertwined with the other to ensure company success.
Sometimes a theme or slogan will be used to launch an expansion initiative and financial goal. This might be done within the company as an employee-driven project. At the same time, it could be shared publicly through news media or social media to invite public support.
Developing an extended company venture is expected to enhance sales and increased sales. Thus, it can help provide the organization with the funds needed to launch growth and development projects. While each can exist separately and still function as designed, the two processes can often work more efficiently in tandem. In doing so, they can help the company reach its goal faster and more efficiently.
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