Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Business Development VS Sales Job Overview

Good morning. Today, I would like to share about my job as a Business Development & PRM in IT industry. PRM stand for Partner Relationship Manager. So one of my job is to maintain relationship with partner or principal. In my case I manage several products like MicroStrategy, IBM, TIBCO, etc... It's quite easy to tell you about the PRM, but how about business development?

Some people say business development / BD is about sales. Some say it is about marketing. So, which one is correct? Well, I don't know but with my experience I can tell you that both of them is correct. In my company, I do both roles, sales & marketing. Before we going further, let's understand the BD definition from this 2 source:

Business development comprises a number of tasks and processes generally aiming at developing and implementing growth opportunities between multiple organizations. It is a subset of the fields of business, commerce and organizational theory. Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships. 

Business function focused on strategy, creating strategic partnerships and long-term relationships with suppliers and customers. The business development function within a business can be thought of as a jack-of-all-trades position focused on strategic deal-making with an eye toward increasing sales and expanding the company’s long-term business success or scope. 

So? From the paragraphs above, 1 word across my mind, it is strategy. Strategy how business can survive and grow in the market. Next, what is the difference between sales and business development? I would like to share article by Andrew Dumont. It is very clear and insightful.

The Difference Between Sales and Business Development

When you think about the function of business development, it should be thought of as a marketing function. Yes, there are some soft sales skills (qualification, negotiation, etc.) that are necessary to become a good business development professional, but at the end of the day, it's a marketing function.

If you were to think about it on a sliding scale between a pure function of sales or marketing, it would wind up somewhere around here.

The reason behind this, is that typical goals of business development include brand placement, market expansion, new user acquisition, and awareness -- all of which are shared goals of marketing. The slight slide towards sales is simply because of the tactics business development employs to achieve those goals.

Which is where we get into the meat of it.

Regardless of the company, business development tends to hold the same structure, which I sketched up quickly below.

Simply stated, the function of sales is to sell directly to the end customer. The function of business development is to work through partners to sell to the end customer, in a scalable way.

That last part is key.

Scalability is the differentiator. It allows a company to use pre-existing sales teams or communities that a partner has developed to reach new audiences. Sales is very much an equation of capacity, which is why sales teams tend to grow so large. Business development teams, on the other hand, are typically very small, maintaining their small size by working through existing partner infrastructures. The art of business development comes in identifying partners that fit that description, while finding a way to provide value to the partner's end customer and business.


I agree with Andrew, that based on function, sales is to sell directly to end customer, but BD is to work through partners or through sales it self. In my company "through sales it self" called presales. So I need to support the sales team before the project deal. I conduct some product and competitor research, create a solution and strategy, negotiate the solution with customer and in summary coordinate and bridging the sales and the customer. I have to manage relationship with customer too, so we can identify what they really needs and to build trust. 

Beyond that, I develop concept and content for the business development itself. Concept is about whole package solution or framework. How we improve our solution in the future. Content is about how we are going to achieve or realize the concept. So maybe that's all I can tell you about my job in business development. I am also a business analyst and analytics (business intelligence) consultant. But let's discuss it later. I have to go to work. Thank you for reading. :)


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