Top differences between sales and business development

Sales and business development are two different but equally important areas of a business’s operations. Also, sales and business developement are vital functions of every corporate entity. The two terms are often misunderstood and used interchangeably. While the latter is critical for company success, the former affects income. It is vital to have an understanding of two concepts and what they entail.

Understanding Sales development

Sales development is one crucial marketing tactic used by many corporations. The process entails reviewing leads and analyzing them. It also entails choosing prospects that have the best chance of becoming customers. Corporate organizations often create teams to handle this duty. These teams review leads to identify the most promising ones. This concept aims at finding and valuing possibilities to increase an organization’s income.

Understanding business development

Business development is more complicated than handling leads. It involves operations for creating development initiatives that improve organizations. This concept entails expansion, boosting profits through forming alliances, and making smart business choices.

Basically, it entails promoting growth via marketing, alliances, sales, and other 


What makes sales development distinct from business development?

The two concepts are not the same. They differ in their function and objectives. However, people use the terms interchangeably. This post will highlight some of the differences.

Nature of Operation

The activities involved in these departments are different. The former is a transactional activity, while the latter is a relational activity. The process of developing sales entails trading goods and services for cash. It comprises increasing profit and generating revenue.

Business development aims to foster a positive work environment to create opportunities. These opportunities in turn improve the company. It focuses on fostering strong relationships and cultivating a growth culture.

Operation timeline

Sales development deals with short-term goals, while business development targets long-term objectives. The former usually works on improving revenue. The time frame for reaching this goal may be a month or a quarter.

Business development teams set a goal achievable over a long period. A team may sign a 10-year partnership contract to improve brand recognition.


Responsibility is another element that differentiates the two departments. A sales development team interacts with leads and clients. They respond to inquiries about products and services. 

A business development team carries out research to improve metrics over a period. The team creates business solutions and fostering growth.

Job level

The levels of the roles depend on responsibility. Sales development is an entry-level role and does not need much experience. It is the lower-level role of the two. Working as a business development representative requires expertise and years of experience. It is a bigger role than the former.

A business development role is the advanced version of sales development.

There are vital distinctions between the sales and business development departments. Entities need these departments to meet their financial and corporate objectives. Knowing the differences between them is crucial to understanding their roles and functions. This post will help in understanding the concepts.