Importance of Collaboration Between Marketing, Sales and Business Development

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When a company's salespersons and marketers work together with the business developers, the results can be compelling. These three business functions' common objectives are simple: create customer value and drive company results. On the surface, realizing these objectives seems basic but to fulfill these objectives through effective collaboration is not an easy task. Developing strategies and implementing tactical imperatives in the market requires collaboration between Business Development (BD), Marketing, and Sales functions. This means that all three functions must be focused on the customer. This sounds incredibly logical and common but most businesses do not understand how marketing can assist the sales department in its business development activities. To understand these three functions, we need a good understanding of their roles

The Role of Business Development

Business development is a more strategic perspective of selling. In contrast to simple selling, business development takes a long-term view of the relationship between a company and its customers. Growth is the focus of business development processes. Business development is responsible for Increasing revenue and boosting the profitability of strategic decisions. Key areas of BD involve sales growth, business expansion, strategic business partnerships, evaluation of competitor developments, and new opportunities in the market or new markets.

The Role of Marketing

Marketing is all about your target audience: understanding who they are, what they want, and how you can communicate with them that your product or service has what they are looking for. The role of marketing is to identify consumers who need the product or service that their company offers. From there, strategic marketing efforts will continue to communicate with those customers, building a relationship via sophisticated marketing plans that will eventually lead to the consumer buying the product or service.

The Role of Sales

A sales department is responsible for selling products or services for a company. The department comprises a sales team that works together to make sales, increase profitability and build and maintain relationships with customers to encourage repeat purchases and brand loyalty

Benefits of Collaboration Between Marketing, Sales & Business Development

While all three sectors play crucial roles for the business as a whole, their collaborative functions serve specific goals or outcomes. Successful companies rely on the results of all three strategies to form a complete depiction of the company's strengths, its plans for the future, and how it will achieve goals for the business. Collaborative Marketing, Sales & Business Development can result in these outcomes.

Better Qualified Leads: The worst thing you can do is spend time, energy, and resources on an unqualified lead. Sales and marketing teams that are in near constant communication with the business development team allow information to flow freely from department to department. This means sales can return leads that aren’t quite sales-ready back to marketing for further nurturing. The marketing reps can also inform the business developers where the poor leads come from, so they can adjust their strategies accordingly.

Increased Revenue: Organizations with excellent marketing, business development, and sales alignment close 38 percent more deals, achieving 27 percent faster profit growth, according to research done by HubSpot. This helps a company to achieve nearly 200% higher revenue than businesses with discontinued marketing, business development,, and sales forces.

Buyer Personas That Match The Audience: Marketing, BD, and Sales, all three departments rely on buyer personas to appeal to the audiences that will invest in your product or service. But often, organizations whose marketing, business development, and sales team have ineffective communication find that their buyer personas do not line up with their target audience. Collaboration between sales and marketing with the help of business development helps marketing generate content that will capture the audience sales is after.

Stay Ahead of The Competition: Most business developers constantly patrol their competition’s website, blog posts, and other marketing material so they know where they stand in relation to other vendors. If the business development team keeps marketing and sales informed of the tactics and positioning of their competitors, sales can properly address why their product is superior to their competitors when speaking with prospects.

Happy Customers: When marketing, business development, and sales don't communicate effectively, customers suffer. For example, a miscommunication between departments about an expired promo code can create confused and frustrated customers. When these departments communicate properly, brand messaging is always aligned, and the right products and promotions are always highlighted, providing the smoothest possible experience to the customer.

Examples of how sales, business development and marketing work together

The individual departments of sales, business development, and marketing integrate to target customers from different angles. Each uses an approach that fits the goal of the department and works in tandem with the other departments for a complete customer experience.

Below are examples of the strategies of sales, business development and marketing departments with an “Online Course Content Development” business as the model:

Messaging and content

Online Course Content Development company develops clear messaging and related content for each department's objective


Business development: Business professionals attend education-related trade shows or networking events and display examples of content to develop connections with schools, administrators, or other decision-makers.

Marketing: Marketing focuses on topics the customer wants to know. It develops compelling brochures that detail the company's offerings, its qualifications, and favorable reviews.

Sales: Works one-on-one with decision-makers to clarify how the content development company solves the client's needs. Sales focus on content that tells the customer how the content development company can promise faster order production.

Speaking engagements and events

The online course content development company presents its newest learning management system they hope to sell the services to other online course creators.


Marketing: This department handles the coordination and promotion of the event, which includes creating a detailed video that demonstrates the platform and services. Marketing pitches the speaker's expertise and knowledge of the platform.

Business development: This department presents the video and hosts a question-and-answer session following the presentation. Business Development provides outreach after the event and collects potential sales leads for the new service.

Sales: The sales team evaluates sales opportunities and pursues leads. Sales emphasize how the LMS saves the client time while producing a high-quality final course.

Client feedback

All three departments must process and respond to customer feedback.


Business development uses feedback to strengthen relationships and find new partnership opportunities.

Marketing uses customer feedback to get a better understanding of customer expectations and needs.

Sales uses feedback to develop or improve sales plans, sales quotas or the approach to the sale.

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