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Marketing Business Development and Sales, it’s easy to tell these three roles apart when you look at them on paper, but in the real world, it can get a little fuzzier. It’s not uncommon for a salesperson to be responsible for generating leads or working with marketing teams to develop content that will appeal to potential clients. Likewise, in some companies there is no clear distinction between business development and marketing—they’re both seen as integral pieces of the same puzzle. In other cases, marketers may have more than one “hat” they wear on any given day: they might write ad copy one minute and then jump into a meeting with some potential clients the next.  As such, it’s important that everyone involved in these critical areas understand their responsibilities within their role while also being flexible enough to step outside their comfort zones as needed

Marketing is understanding the customer, knowing who they are and what makes them tick

Marketing is understanding the customer, knowing who they are and what makes them tick.

  • Understand your customer’s needs, problems, goals and aspirations – this will help you to identify where you can add value in their lives.
  • Know how to deliver on these promises in a way that’s relevant, valuable and memorable.

Marketing is also about persuading prospects

Marketing is also about persuading prospects that they need your product or service, and that you are the right company to provide it.

What does this mean? It means that marketing requires you to understand your customers’ needs and wants, as well as their readiness to purchase. You have already figured out what makes them tick—you know what they like and dislike when it comes to products and services in general, but now it’s time to get specific: What do they like about your company? What will make them choose yours over someone else’s? If a customer is interested in buying something online but has never heard of the product before, how do you convince them that buying from your website is worth their time?

Business Development focuses on building relationships

Business development focuses on building relationships in such a way as to identify new business opportunities for the organisation with new partners and clients.

As a business, it is important that you have a clear understanding of what your company does and how you can add value to others. This will help you to identify the kind of person or organisation that would benefit from working with you or purchasing from your company.

Marketing is also about building relationships – but these are intangible ones based around brand awareness, loyalty and trust rather than tangible products or services offered by organisations. While marketing focuses on creating awareness, business development drives demand by supporting customers through sales cycles – including identifying target markets and generating leads, closing deals and negotiating contracts

There is a lot of crossover between Business Development and Marketing

In practice, there is a lot of crossover between Business Development and Marketing.

Business development focuses on identifying new business opportunities for the organisation with new partners and clients, while marketing is about persuading customers to buy your product or service. Both roles require a deep understanding of your target market’s needs, desires and motivations, but their approaches are rather different: BD is more relationship-focused while marketing tends to be more transactional in nature.

So how do you go about building those relationships? The answer lies in understanding the customer journey from first discovery through lead nurturing to purchase decision and beyond – which means working closely with sales teams who are responsible for closing deals at each stage.

Sales, in its purest definition, is about closing the deal

When it comes to sales, there are a few specific things you should know. First, closing the deal means understanding your prospect’s needs and then being able to address them. Second, the process of selling can be broken down into steps: prospecting for potential customers, qualifying them (determining whether or not they have a need for your product or service), presenting your solution and closing the sale.

The other key thing about sales is that it doesn’t stop once you’ve made a sale. You have to make sure that everything goes smoothly after the fact—that all of your promises are kept by providing great customer service and making sure that each client receives all the support he needs after purchasing from you.

Business Development and Sales can be very closely aligned

Sometimes, Business Development and Sales can be very closely aligned – for example in organisations where a BD team prospect for leads and pass them over for the Sales team to close. In this case, it’s important to understand the difference between identifying new opportunities and closing deals.

Business Development is about identifying new business opportunities, while Sales is about closing the deal.

Understanding how Marketing, Business Development and Sales work together

When you understand how Marketing, Business Development and Sales work together, it will help you build a more unified approach across your organisation.

It’s important to know the differences and similarities between each role. By doing so, it will help you see how the three roles can be combined to create a more unified approach that keeps everyone on their toes in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Trust is the foundation of any business relationship

Trust is the foundation of any business relationship, and it’s equally important to both sides of the equation. So while salespeople are trusted by their customers in order to close a deal, marketing and BD people need to be trusted by prospects in order to get them on board with a deal in the first place.

Business development professionals are often seen as being more sales-focused than marketers or B2B marketers, but they need much more than just a good pitch to win over new clients. They also need evidence of past performance—proof that what you do works and will continue working for their company too.

Consider your own day-to-day activities: Are you getting new leads? How many? What kind? What can you tell about those leads based on their profiles (industry type, job title)? How does this compare with previous months/years? Are there trends that show growth or decline over time? If so, why do think this is happening now?


Marketing, Business Development and Sales are all essential to the success of your business. Marketing is essential for getting people interested in what you do; Business Development helps identify new opportunities and build relationships with new partners and clients; while Sales closes deals and manages customer relationships post-sale. Understanding how these three teams work together will help you to build a more unified approach across your organisation.

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