Sales and business development are interchangeable — or that’s at least what many auto dealers and business owners think.

While they do share some similarities and are sometimes, in fact, used interchangeably, they have many differences and are entirely different departments that should serve different purposes for your business.

You wouldn’t call an orange an apple, would you? Sure, they’re both fruits, but they have different tastes, textures, and health benefits.

We know what you’re thinking: how is sales different from business development?

Sales vs Business Development

Sales, of course, revolves around making a sale — selling something to a consumer. A transaction takes place. Your company gives the customer a product (in this case, a car) in exchange for cash.

While business development is about increasing profits by making more sales, it’s not as simple as gaining more customers who then purchase your product. Business development is creating relationships with other companies and people. It’s also about creating sources of leads that your business can then contact and hopefully convert to paying customers.

Business development deals with all aspects of growing a customer base, from identifying who’s a target, lead, or customer, to actually acquiring new business (but not making a sale). Business development is making a pipeline of potential customers that can be passed off to the sales team.

Sales is the next step in the process. Through identifying, targeting, and acquiring leads, sales can take place. In this step, your company can further gauge with leads and customers and try to get them to buy from your dealership. The sole purpose of sales is to make a sale. Of course, ensuring the customer is having a good experience is part of that. For example, if a customer is having a bad experience, then he or she likely isn’t going to make a purchase. Finding the balance between meeting the customer’s needs and setting him or her up with the best-matched product is key.

How Business Development and Sales Work Together

To simplify things, business development comes before sales. The business development team generates sources of qualified leads and hands these leads off to the sales department. As a result of these leads being well-researched (and ideally interested in purchasing from your company), the sales team has a better chance of closing them (making a sale).

Business development is about generating sources of leads while sales is about transactions.

It’s important to have these two different forces on your team in hopes of, well, making more sales.

After all, a high-quality business development team specializes in acquiring leads, not making sales. A sales team knows how to close deals. They know what to say to customers to get them to buy vehicles by showing off the benefits and features while meeting the needs of the customers. While these two departments play off of each other, they’re not the same and require different skill sets.

How Your Business Should Use Business Development to Help Sales

Now that you understand the difference between business development and sales, how can your company incorporate a business development team? MOTiiV can help.

MOTiiV’s Business Development Center provides solutions to drive more traffic to your sales department. Our platform generates more business with comprehensive customer retention and prospecting strategies. We focus on the quality of service to give each customer a great experience while driving dollars. Being able to put both of these factors together could be the difference between your business surviving and thriving.

Knowing the differences between business development and sales is crucial in the automobile industry, and if you want to take full advantage of the powers of both, then we encourage you to have two separate teams. If you need help getting started in the business development department, we have you covered. We encourage you to reach out to us today to see how we can help and how you can take full advantage of MOTiiV’s Business Development Center.

MOTiiV Business Development