What Is Sales vs. Business Development vs. Marketing?

Sales: Find new ones and extract more value from current ones. Marketing: Figure out where new customers “live” (both geographically and in terms of “buying mindset“) and find a way to reach them. Business Development: Build and leverage relationships founded on trust and integrity to facilitate opportunities.

What’s the difference between marketing, business development, and sales?

What is business development?

Business development seeks to locate, entice, and acquire new clients through successful alliances. Building and utilizing relationships to take advantage of business opportunities is the main objective of business development. Excluding customers and suppliers, business development seeks to form.

partnerships with other companies to sell their goods to those companies’ customers

Business development increases an organization’s market reach and forges connections with potential customers that sales teams can then pursue. One instance is a businessperson who addresses a networking gathering and then provides business cards or other materials to prospective partners for follow-up. Effective business development helps the company:

What is sales?

Sales is the process of conducting research, contacting potential customers, and creating leads that end in the sale of a good or a service. The goal of sales is to close the deal and complete the sale. Finding new customers and increasing the value of current customers are the main objectives of sales.

Some companies assign a sales development team to gather and assess leads for sales quality in order to divide the responsibilities of sales teams. A sales development team might assess a lead’s quality using variables like:

When the customer needs the solution. The sales development team may decide to follow up with leads later if they don’t have an immediate need for the company’s goods or services.

Budgeting. The sales development team determines whether the company can meet the customer’s needs within their budget and what the lead can afford.

The sales team works to close the sale by following up on qualified leads. Several strategies are employed by sales teams to persuade leads to make a purchase:

Uses of sales vs business development vs marketing

While each of the three strategies is essential to the operation of the company as a whole, each of their individual roles serves a particular objective or result. Successful businesses rely on the outcomes of all three strategies to create a comprehensive picture of their strengths, future plans, and methods for achieving business objectives.

You can start to see how sales, business development, and marketing fit together to support and grow the company by examining each of their individual roles.

The role of business development is to:

The role of marketing is to:

The role of sales is to:

What is marketing?

Understanding the market from the customers’ perspective is the process of marketing. Finding new customers, understanding their needs and wants, and creating content that demonstrates how the company meets those needs and solves those problems are the main objectives of marketing. Marketing works to focus the business on audiences or avenues where it might have a competitive advantage. Marketing places the focus on:

Differences and similarities between sales vs business development vs marketing

Though they employ them in various ways, sales, business development, and marketing all rely on similar strategies. Each one uses controls and measurements to assess success and identify areas for strategy improvement. Although sales, business development, and marketing all employ similar strategies, the following examples highlight the main variations:

Each department’s goals are used to guide the development of the plans for sales, business development, and marketing. The customer is considered in each role’s approach to customers, but the distinct strategies of sales, business development, and marketing complement one another.

Examples of how sales, business development and marketing work together

The separate business development, sales, and marketing departments work together to target customers from various angles. Each employs a strategy that fits the department’s objectives and collaborates with the other departments to provide a comprehensive customer experience.

Examples of sales, business development, and marketing department strategies are provided below using a high school portrait photography business as the example:

Messaging and content

A high school portrait photographer creates relevant content with clear messaging for each department’s goal.


Speaking engagements and events

The high school photography studio exhibits the most recent internal portrait printing system that they intend to market to other photographers.


Client feedback

All three departments must process and respond to customer feedback.



Is business development the same as sales and marketing?

Business development prioritizes strategic alliances and business relationships from a broad perspective. Marketing focuses on communication and consumer targeting. Sales representatives work to close the deals that the two teams have brought to the table by prospecting qualified leads.

Is business development better than marketing?

Marketing aims to produce better content and messaging that can also draw customers to the business, while business development is concerned with enhancing the customer experience through your brand.

What comes first marketing or business development?

Once a marketing strategy is in place, business development can start. To attract new customers, the sales and business development department should be in charge of establishing strategic alliances with referral sources and other contacts in the target markets.

Is sales and marketing the same as sales?

Within an organization, sales and marketing are two departments that have an impact on lead generation and revenue. All activities that result in the sale of goods and services are referred to as sales. And generating interest in the products and services being sold is what marketing does.

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