The Differences Between Sales & Business Development Positions

business developments

What are the differences between business development jobs & sales jobs

Years ago, a sales representative was an employee who both searched for new clients & closed sales. They visited offline & online places to find customers, make presentations, phone calls, emails, concluded contracts & were responsible for the entire cycle of attraction, development & closure. Today, two roles have arisen from one:

  1. Business development representative.
  2. Sales representative.

Briefly – the responsibilities of the first & second are:

  1. Search, find & attract customers, turning a cold client into warm.
  2. Taking a warm client & make a sale, closing the deal on the finish line. 

So, the first finds & attracts, the second sells. A unified work of both depends on how well the company will do in terms of revenue generation & so the work of the two must be aligned within the same goals & consider the capacities of one another.

Why these two were separated? Because of the increasing specialization & complexity of the described processes in the modern world. In the two next chapters, we’re diving into bigger detail of their professional responsibilities. 

Business development positions & responsibilities

Client attraction & pre-heating is a science, which today requires a nearly completely different set of skills than typical salesmen have. That’s why many specialists speak about business development vs marketing making these notions equal, as client attraction is the main task & part of marketing efforts. So, what specifically a business development representative does:

  • makes marketing researches, studies markets, segments clients & initiates marketing campaigns
  • searches for clients online & offline, including buying client databases from specialized companies
  • builds tools for attraction of them online, which would include marketplaces, Google search, contextual & banner advertising, direct ads, blog posts, social media, email marketing, phone calls & other available channels
  • contributes to building a brand of a company by taking part in advertising, social responsibility, charity & participation in various events
  • creates websites & landing pages to attract clients & lead them through the sales funnel to create leads & prospects from cold or pre-heated clients
  • searches businesses to cooperate with – working on them and/or their clients, including a partnership with other brands.

Since everything mentioned requires increasingly bigger skills & more advanced software tools, a business development representative’s salary easily can be bigger than the salary of a salesperson. But what it will be in your company shall be decided only by you, depending on how hard it is to attract specifically your client, how hard it is to sell to an attracted client & what is the correlation between the two in efforts & time.

sales vs development


Sales responsibilities

The second important part of client work is given to the sales rep. This guy takes a client from the point where they were left off by a business development guy & does these tasks:

  • makes presentations & consultations
  • does field meetings
  • gives booklets & test pieces
  • does drafts of contracts
  • handles prospect objections
  • signs contracts & monitors payments
  • does cross-sell, up-sell
  • makes sure the rest of the client lifecycle.

Best job titles for sales & business development

What can increase the dedication of your employees, making them work better yet not consuming additional costs? A sound job title! Here are some, which you might employ.

Business development titles could be like:

  • Business Development Manager
  • Business Development (Special) Representative
  • Business Development Deputy
  • Senior/Vice President of Business Development
  • Director of Business Development.




For sales department:

  • Strategic Sales Manager
  • Solutions Consultant
  • Corporate/Individual/VIP Sales Representative
  • Account Manager/Representative
  • Sales Director
  • Vice President on Sales.

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