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Focus on these things to succeed in Business Development

Four Ways to Transition Business Development into Sales Revenue


Sales and Business Development are often interchangeable words for many companies due to lack of resources, or past routines.  If you are one of those companies, you are probably missing out on growth opportunities.  There are distinct differences between Sales & Business Development that require different talent profiles, organizational structures and strategic initiatives.  Look at your own sales and business development organization; are you set up for growth?

Here are Four Ways to transition business development into sales revenue.

1) The Combined Approach:
Business Development is a component of each salesperson’s job, not a separate position, however there is a distinction between Sales and Business Development activities.  If you are going to spread your Sales group to manage both roles, you must have a very strong support mechanism to manage day-to-day business and ensure customers are getting the service they require.

2) The Separate Business Unit Approach:
Business Development is a completely separate group from the Sales organization.  Sales focuses on current customers and increasing market share. The Business Development team focuses on longer-term opportunities outside of the current business model.  These opportunities can turn into new businesses all together via acquisitions, different production capabilities or geographical locations.

3) The Growth Transition Approach
Sales and Business Development work together on longer-term opportunities.  The Business Development person takes the lead on research, building a business model, and vetting new opportunities while a sales person is there to support and follow-up after Business Development generates a potential customer’s level of interest.

4) The Build and Hand Off Approach
Business Development builds a complete business model with a new type of customer base, maybe new products, market entry strategies, pricing, etc.… to the point of being fully established with multiple paying customers before any handoff to the Sales group.  At that point the entire group of customers is handed off for the Sales group to continue to grow market share.

What approach to growth is right for you?  What approach are you taking now?  Are you satisfied with your revenue expansion?  Are you keeping your business fresh so it continues to build market share, as well as higher margins over the long term?


Written by Lisa Woods,

President ManagingAmericans.com


How well does your sales team support business development efforts?