What’s the Difference Between a Business Development Manager and a Sales Manager?

It seems as if there is some confusion as to the difference between a business development manager and a sales manager. While they are similar in nature, they are also both very different, as well. Both a business development manager and sales manager are concerned with sales, but in different ways (In smaller companies, the business development manager and sales manager may actually be the same person.).

A business development manager does more on a strategic level, has a specific vision for the company and its product ranges, researches new potential markets, is in charge of building new business relationships, and works towards building a brighter future for his/her company. Meanwhile, a sales manager does more on a tactical level, calls customers, makes/maintains/grows contacts, solicits interest, promotes products or services, and then closes the final deal.

The business development manager serves the business and works towards the future, while the sales manager functions as a client serving executive and works for the present. Once the business Development manager has made the relationship, it is the sales manager who has to do the follow up with the store owners regarding quantity required, he has to push them to place more quantity orders and ensure that payments are being received in time. A sales manager is working to increase the throughput of a known products/services through agreed channel.

In order for a company to run smoothly eventually grow, the business development manager and sales manager need to be working hand in hand. If either is not pulling their own weight, the whole system will crumble.

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