Don’t mix up business development with your sales & marketing

Business development is a varied, complex and exciting function that sits somewhere between marketing and sales, allowing all three functions to seamlessly deliver positive growth results for your business.

Too often I’m mistaken as a sales person which I’m certainly not. My skills lay firmly with seeing new opportunities and establishing relationships then nurturing them towards a position when they’re ready for a sales person to take on the baton.

So what is business development?

Basically, any activity that will generate interest and long-term value to your business from customers, the market and relationships with others. It’s about figuring out how these interactions will create opportunities to grow your business.

Long-term value

Creating opportunities that will add value, bring sales and customers or give your business greater exposure to your potential customers and market. Such activities are no about securing quick wins but more slow building regular work and relationship nurturing.


Keeping in touch and up to date with their activities and news and not missing opportunities to communicate with them on items they might find interesting or introductions to other businesses. Understanding who their own customers, partners and suppliers are and leverage your relationships to forge new ones.


Customers live in specific markets. Researching your existing market(s) to see if any natural cross overs to new ones exist. Geography plays a key part so maybe wider opportunities are awaiting locally, regionally, nationally or even globally for your business.


Any successful business development effort relies on an underlying foundation of strong relationships. Building, managing and leveraging relationships based on trust, respect and mutual appreciation of one another’s value is fundamental to enabling long-term value. Relationships with partners, customers, employees and suppliers and the press are all critical to the success of any business development effort.

So as you can see business development is about identifying and strategically assessing an opportunity to create long-term value for your business.

Or put another way, business development is the glue between marketing and sales

Get in touch with me if your business needs its marketing and sales sticking together.

Mark Bates

07837 546 228