You have an amazing blockchain technology solution, and users and clients have been so positive about it that your ICO has been a success — but however great your software is, however much enthusiasm your ICO created, a company will always struggle if it doesn’t have an effective sales strategy in place.
Without sales and business development, your company will struggle to grow. Even with effective marketing, without a sales team to close the deal or a business development function to forge new relationships, it’s unlikely that marketing alone will guarantee your success in the market.
Marketing will get your name out there, but sales and business bring in warm leads and generate revenue.
The Difference Between Sales and Business Development
“Sales” seems like a clear enough concept, and “business development” is slightly murkier, particularly when some businesses combine the two into one “sales and business development” department, or even conflate the two aspects under one umbrella role.
But both roles require very different skills and ways of working to be effective, and it’s unlikely that one person would be able to perform their best in both sales and business development.
Sales is the act of identifying a lead and honing in on them to close the deal. Sales professionals tailor presentations around a target prospect to demonstrate how a software solution fixes challenges for companies, provides free trials, and an implementation plan.
Sales professionals also agree terms and payment schedules. Sales teams are often quota-driven and/or motivated by commission, and their numbers can increase rapidly in a growing business to cope with the demand.
Business Development is much less goal-orientated and more concerned with the process. This team is responsible for generating cold leads and getting them warm enough to push into the sales pipeline, while they also look out for strategic and long-term opportunities. Business development considers how the company might be in the future: How its product could react to developing trends and market needs, scalability as the business grows, and selling through other businesses.
How Business Development Evolves Into Sales
Business development is the precursor to sales. By collecting information and examining the big picture of how the business might expand in the future, the team can work on building relationships to reach a greater audience. Although there are marketing aspects, such as conquering new markets, acquiring a new audience, and brand placement, it is not a marketing role — rather than reaching out into the public eye to promote your application, it involves particular research into emerging industry trends, buyers’ needs, and the moves of competitors.
When business development sees how the company could react to these factors, the product can then be developed further before being sold by the sales team to individual consumers.
In sales, the presumption is that both parties are benefitting from the arrangement: the business gets paid, and the buyer has software that makes their working easier or more productive or solves another issue they have experienced.
In business development, both businesses must feel that they are benefitting from third-party selling — but the partner business doesn’t have a software need, and the business development team must therefore identify how they can be persuaded to partner with a product that wasn’t part of their original plan.
As previously mentioned, the sales team is limited by the number of staff they have to chase up leads and close. The business development team has opportunities to ride of the grander scopes of more far-reaching companies, meaning that while sales work laterally from business to consumer, business development makes exponential sales by linking with one business that sells it on to numerous consumers.
Benefits of a Multi-Forked Approach
Sales are obviously integral to the success of any business, but particularly in B2B software companies. Without that targeted focus, there would be no opportunity for expansion. Business development, however, stretches beyond the current scope of the business to expand exponentially. There is no one aspect that merits greater consideration than the other, but the two work in tandem to bring the business from strength to strength.