Business Development Consultant And Sales Person: What’s The Difference

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Business development or sales? If you’re a newbie in the sector, you may easily confuse these two notions. What’s the difference between the terms? How do you differentiate these two job directions? 

There’s a clear-cut line between a business developer and a sales person. If you want to learn how these positions differ, you should read the article. The knowledge about various job options may help you in your own career path. 

When you know about the key specifications of any popular job position, you can target the relevant requests and meet your goals faster. Why should you learn the difference? When you have a clear understanding of the topic, writing custom, for example, won’t be complicated for you. 

What about the business development vs sales competition? Which one should you choose? There’s no clear competition between these two directions. They have a lot in common. However, you will find these job positions completely different in terms of tasks and key perspectives, if you look deeper into the issue. 

For this reason, let’s get to the topic of the article and find out how these two positions differ. In the article, you will learn more about each notion and compare them to learn the differences.

Business development sector

Let’s start with the business development sector. If you google the term, you can find tons of sophisticated definitions that may help you better understand the specification of the job. 

Business Development Consultant And Sales Person: What's The Difference

However, the definitions are usually intricate enough to mix everything up for the reader. Hence, it’s better to explain the term in plain language. 

What’s business development? It’s the ability of the particular business to help the key product and the target segment meet. If you work as a business development manager, your major task is to help a newly developed product find its audience. This is the main task on the market, too. 

In short, the main responsibility of the business development industry is to find new customers or grow the current customer pool. This process can be done differently. The strategy determines the further growth of the company. 

A successful business development manager will build up working strategies, work on effective and fruitful partnerships and grow revenue to attract more target customers to the business.

If you plan to work as a business development manager, you will have to find an efficient way to match the product or service with the target user or consume with the help of effective strategies. It’s not an easy task. It takes a lot of time, effort, and communication skills. 

This is with the help of new relationships that a business can grow. And the task of a successful business developer is to find new perspectives and offer opportunities to integrate a product or service on the market. 

Business development: a practical role on the market

Who’s a business developer? If you’re new in the sector, you may wonder what positions are valued in the business development world. 


There are a couple of roles presented in the structure of a large company to ensure the smooth process operation. What are these roles? 

  • Business Development Managers are responsible for already existing projects. If a company manages a certain project, it’s the task of a manager to rule the process, cultivate new opportunities for extensive growth on the market. 
  • Itinerant Business Developers have another responsible mission. Their task is to find new projects that a company can take on. They have to build trustful relationships with the potential partners and make them get interested in the common work with the company. 
  • There’s another position extremely necessary for the company and its projects. The position is called a Corporate Sales Executive. Who’s this person? The expert has to research the global market and target new clients. These must be prospective clients the company has to establish relationships with.

What if you look for a job as a business developer, but can’t find one? There are different titles HR managers can use when posting job offers on the Internet. You can meet such positions, as business development specialist, director of business development, strategic partnerships manager, and many other names designating the same job position. 

You should not be confused about the use of different names. Your task is to read the responsibilities and understand the specificity of the work. You don’t have to pay much attention to the title used in the job offer. 

Sales development sector

Who’s a sales person? This is a different sector which is, however, directly linked to the previous section of the article. Who’s a sales person? The sales sector refers to the revenue generation necessary to promote already existing services and reach the leading positions on the market. 


As you can see, the difference is noticeable. There’s a sales team that works with the sales person to reach the intended goals and bring results. The sales department is usually involved in a huge and complicated process. The goal of the process is to find new customers that can use the product the company introduces on the market. 

Leads are the final goals of the sales development department. Every business needs clients. And this is the task of the sales department to find and engage these clients in the process. 

What are the responsibilities of the sales person? There are plenty of them. It must be mentioned that the tasks and level of responsibility of a sales person will depend on the type of the company and project. In general, a sales person is engaged in outbound calls, different social media, and email campaigns. 

Sales manager responsibilities

Would you like to work as a sales person? Does it sound appealing to you? Before you send your CV and start working for a company, you should learn more about the specificity of the work. Here are the main tasks most sales representatives will have to do: 

  • Cold calls are a must. It may sound like a piece of cake for you. However, with practice, you will understand how complicated the cold call process might be. Your task is to call a random person and try to convince them to buy, use or try the product. 
  • There are also different online campaigns where you will have to keep in touch with the existing clients, make them interested in the product, and help them make positive decisions related to the product or service. 
  • Cold calls aren’t the only responsibility of the expert. You will also be a part of the email campaign. In some cases, finding more clients for the business means chatting with them and contacting them using different means.

The sales department is an important part of the whole company organization. A company may have an interesting and prospective product, however, the lack of clients and potential leads can make it a failure for the business in general.

Hence, there must be a strong and well-developed sales department to solve the issues, find clients and attract more leads that could be converted into customers. 

How should you look for a position in the sales department? There are different titles for the same job position. If you see an open position as a client advisor, sales associate, telemarketer, assistant store manager, you must be sure you will apply for the sales person job. 

The names can differ in sales development, but the responsibilities remain almost the same. For this reason, it’s better to pay attention to the company, its values, and policies, than to the titles of job offers on the website.

Business development consultant vs sales person: the main difference

How do you differentiate these two positions? Why is it necessary to understand the difference between business development and sales? 


The main reason why you have to find out more about these notions is your performance at work. If you apply for any of these jobs and misunderstand the key features, you will fail as an employee.  The level of responsibility, the time needed to master the workload, and other points can make you fail fast. 

However, if you learn the differences between these two jobs, you can easily take on the level of responsibility and enjoy the work in the team. What are the main points to consider? 

Level of responsibility

Let’s start with one of the main differences. When you decide to join the business development world, you might be frustrated. You will have to deal with the sales department first. Sales person job position is for pioneers. This job position doesn’t include a high level of responsibility. 

You will have to deal with the clients. find new leads and try to convert them into new customers. This is an important role, however, it doesn’t have a massive impact on the work of the company in general.  Business development is the next step. 

Once you have enough experience as a sales person, understand how the processes in the company work, you can move further to a more advanced position that is a business development expert. It includes work on the global market, the search for new clients, and professional relationships with the existing partners. A sales person with no background can’t handle these tasks successfully. 


We have figured out how the responsibility level differs. Now it’s time to learn what’s the difference in the tasks. What are the tasks of a regular sales person? 

You will have to make calls, accept calls from potential customers, make various business inquiries, and communicate with the leads. Your major task will be to tell them about the product and make them buy or use it. Business development covers a wider spectrum of tasks. 

They have a more global impact on the life of the whole company. A business developer has to work on an effective strategy to show to the new clients. This is almost the same as with the sales person tasks but on a more advanced level. A successful business developer knows how to communicate with global partners and settle new deals with benefits to the company. 

Main focus

When you work as a sales person, you will need to promote the products or services the business can offer at the moment. The potential customers can benefit from their purchase at the current moment. On the other hand, the business development department will work on the technology and offer a completely new way of thinking for the partners in the long run. 


In a nutshell, the sales managers will work to create effective selling algorithms for the existing products. A business development sector will make sure new solutions for the business are created. The combination of both will make the company grow. However, there would be no growth if any of these fields fail. 

How do customers perceive work with the experts?

There’s another important thing you should know about the sales sector and business development field. How do customers comprehend the work with these two sectors? When a potential client refers to the sales department, there are 3 main issues to be discussed: 

  • In the first case, the client can understand what the possible solutions are and target the certain company for the relevant solution. 
  • The second case is when a potential customer can’t choose between several options and asks for help. 
  • In the third case, a potential customer is looking for additional information to back up the research.

However, when a client refers to the business development department, there are no ideas or solutions to the problem. In most cases, the problem needs a personalized approach to be solved. For this reason, a business development department often works with global customers looking for life-changing ideas for their business.

Final words

You can now understand how the business development sector and sales development files differ. If you look for a job, you have to clearly understand what the differences between these two positions are.

A lot of people misuse the terms. And it may cause no harm if you use the wrong definitions while talking to your friends or family. 

But when you find yourself in the professional environment, it’s critically important that you know the terminology and understand the tasks, scope of work, and the relevant level of responsibility. Make sure to keep in mind the main differences and stick to them when you work in the discussed direction. 

How do you choose which sector to try if you look for a job? You have to keep in mind your personal goals and understand the level of expertise. If you want to become a successful business developer, taking a sales managing position could be a nice start. If you don’t want to manage complicated tasks on the global level, a sales person position must fit you more.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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