Marketing, business development and sales activities all help grow your business, and the latter two terms are often (wrongly) used interchangeably, but they achieve this end in different ways.
If you think of these roles like a journey, then marketing is responsible for creating the strategy and plan, raising awareness and nurturing prospects, as well as maintaining a consistent company image across all relevant channels.
Business development is about finding the match between a product/service and a segment in the market, forging partnerships and referrals, supporting with the development of the strongest value proposition and so on, based on continuous and close interaction with potential customers. The objective is not short-term revenue generation, but finding the right product-market fit, and therefore your achieving longer-term business success.
Sales is all about closing deals, and this process therefore has a short-term orientation. It should be the systematic process of revenue generation after you have proven and documented product/market fit and defined the most effective way to support your customers’ buying journey. To achieve market leadership you will have to optimise sales team performance, and continuously scale their numbers, and/or recruit more channel partners.
These key differences are vital to understand in order to hire the right type of people, particularly in the sales function where you will need to set performance, compensation and bonus schedules benchmarked against colleagues. Otherwise the result will be unfocused market penetration, unpredictable sales cycles and revenue forecasts, fluctuating revenue and processes that are impossible to repeat, optimize and scale. Market leadership will be accidental.
Once you are certain of your product:market fit, your growth strategy will revolve around engaging those with the strongest need, clear ability to pay, and deliver you the highest lifetime value for the lowest cost – marketing, business development and sales working in harmony.
YTKO business consultants can help you with all these key processes for success, which form part of the biggest barrier to growth for SMEs across the UK.
Thanks to GetSet For Growth, we now implement our marketing activities in a smarter and more strategic manner that yields results.
Head of Corporate Immigration, Hartley Bain Solicitors