Sales, and Business Development – What’s the Difference? with Judy Sparks and Katie Cash

Episode 9:

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There is a common misconception in the AEC industry that sales, marketing, and business development all serve the same purpose, but ‘sales and marketing’ are not synonymous and they represent completely independent efforts in your growth strategy. In this episode of AEC Marketing for Principals, Judy Sparks and Katie Cash have broken down each term so that you can understand the different roles they play in reaching new inflection points at your firm.

The only terms that can be appropriately grouped together are sales and business development, because biz dev is just a stilted version of the term ‘sales’ and they mean the exact same thing. Your sales efforts refer to growth opportunities pursued by the seller-doer or member of the sales team on a one-to-one basis, and they are embodied by direct exchanges with your clients or prospects in an attempt to move the needle.

Marketing is completely independent of that process. While sales includes everything that is done one-to-one, marketing is conducted with a notion of one-to-many, because it embodies the communication of your brand to your entire target audience. Marketing controls the way your brand is elevated and projected across a wide variety of channels, and when it is carried out in tandem with successful sales tactics, the seller-doer can start collecting market-qualified leads and drastically improve his or her close ratio.

If you are not aware of the distinct differences in these three concepts, it will only cause confusion, deficiency, and missed opportunities within your AEC firm. This is a battle for business between firms and the AEC firms that understand the different applications of sales, business development, and marketing efforts are going to see more success. In this week’s episode of AEC Marketing for Principals, you will learn the differences among these commonly misused terms, and how they fit with current AEC marketing strategies and trends.

What You Will Learn:

  • The difference between sales, marketing, and business development
  • Current AEC marketing trends and strategies
  • Challenges your AEC firm might face in ramping up your marketing efforts
  • Using marketing to cut through the noise and reach your target audience
  • ABM and how to practice it


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