Definitions of Business Development, Marketing and Sales
The terms “business development” and “marketing” are often confused with sales. Discover the difference and how they connect
By Heather Suttie, September 2006
“Business development” and “marketing” are buzzwords in many industries, including professional services. Since the meaning of these words can be vague, they can sometimes be interpreted to mean “sales”. This is simply not true.
The truth is that business development involves strategy while marketing involves tactics. This combination enables sales.
Business development is how you define WHAT you provide to the marketplace. It is a set of strategic objectives that help you gain recognition. Business development strategy focuses on your points of difference and unique selling propositions. This differentiates you by reinforcing your brand through heightened profile, deeper market penetration, and increased market share.
Marketing is a set of tactics that demonstrate HOW you do business. It involves communicating to the marketplace about how you operate. Moreover, marketing is a proactive and continual process of listening, understanding, and fulfilling the needs and wants of your clients and prospects. Effective marketing helps build trust through demonstrated client care and service excellence.
Sales is the result of carefully considered business development strategies supported by marketing initiatives that help you develop trusting relationships, which lead to opportunities for attainable new business.
Heather Suttie is a legal marketing and business development consultant. She works with a range of law firms and legal service providers — Global to Solo, BigLaw to NewLaw. Reach her at +1.416.964.9607 or www.heathersuttie.ca.