Employees · Recruiting

Head of Business Development or Head of Sales ?

Simon fakhoury Make it happen

Last updated on August 10th, 2017

Hey Guys, I am currently working at a software company and soon we are lunching the 2ndplatform our marketplace, my current job is customer acquisition, sales strategy, processes, and keeping them on board, basically reducing churn rate. My CEO gave me the option to choose my next title as either Head of Business Development or Head of Sales, what do you think is better?

Harrison Rose Co-Founder & CEO, ex-AT&T Labs, ex-Apple, MBA, strategist, startup expert, robots, software, bus dev

August 9th, 2017

First, I want to point out the primary fallacy here. Business Development DOES NOT EQUAL Sales. Sales is customer facing, revenue production. Business Development is developing relationships and opportunities that enhance the business. For example, a specialist in partner relations for a software company will not be an Account Specialist, but someone who works with and is usually the intermediary between the many people of each company that are involved in some business enhancing prospect such as making the APIs work together and then helping the sales and marketing teams promote the combination as a solution.


If you are at a high enough level, responsible for strategy as well as operations in sales, you might have the title Chief Revenue Officer.

Joanna Weber Founder & CEO Follow Me Post (pre-active), market analyst (CIM)

August 6th, 2017

I would go with Head of Business Development as your title: head of sales is quite product-focussed, whereas business development implies a broader, more strategic role that aligns the activities of the organisation to the changing needs of customers.

Sully Co-Founder & Business Strategy in Tech

August 11th, 2017

Agree with Harrison and Joseph. I've held both positions in the past and they were completely different roles. Today, many companies interchange the two thinking that a 'biz dev' role is a more professional - or easier way to get in the door for a salesperson. A true strategic Business Development role involves efforts that basically 'develop the business' towards achieving specific growth goals and/or a specific outcome. For example, the particular strategic business development role I was in was to position the company for a future acquisition or IPO, and to develop the messaging, activity, partnerships, & relationships towards executing that objective. It also meant working with internal exec's (like the VP Sales, Ops, Prod Mgmt, etc.) to ensure cohesive alignment. What you're describing (to me) sounds more like VP Sales or Head of Sales or Chief Revenue Officer.

Davida Shensky We help small to medium size companies put together a strategy for success and hold you accountable to follow through

August 6th, 2017

I like Head of Business Development better

Maryrose Felix Loves the fashion world,would love to design and have a fashion line

August 6th, 2017

Head of business development is

Ian Morgan Strategic business development expert: Leadership, Sales, Planning, Marketing & Talent management

August 6th, 2017

I'd go with whatever is the most accurate (to avoid misrepresenting yourself to potential investors or clients etc), so in this case Head of Business Development

Oluwafemi Owoeye

August 6th, 2017

Head of Business Development is better. Sales is archaic, business development is in vogue, and business development relates more to what you will doing in your role, than sales.

Paul Garcia President at TABLE

August 6th, 2017

The question is not whether one is a more prestigious title than the other. It depends on whether what you consider "better" for your career. Take a look at the standard descriptions for these two job titles at salary.com online. In the long run as the company grows, you'll need to fit the title as it's described, because your title gives you a certain degree of credibility within a specific area that you control at your company. Business development is quite different than sales in terms of responsibility. And when you introduce yourself to someone, they will make assumptions about your authority and area of control by your title. Choose wisely. Only you know what you intend with the promotion.

Rhon Chua CEO, Co Founder of Petropolitan Animal Center-- Visionary, Risk Taker ; Active Learner.

August 8th, 2017

Is it just a Title or there's a corresponding job for each? if it does, I suggest go to the one you excel the most. If its just a title, I'll go for the Business Development title.

Joseph Wang Chief Science Officer at Bitquant Research Laboratories

Last updated on August 9th, 2017

Business Development, if that's your job


The reason for this is that business development is the person that you contact if someone wants to sell something *to* your company or if you want to do some sort of strategic partnership. So if you are the person who people should contact if someone wants to sell stuff to your company, that's what you should put on your business card.


So I'm an angel investor, and sometimes I'm interested in a company and I want to talk to someone in the company to see if there is a potential deal, but I don't want to bother the CEO if there isn't. Putting in business development means that I should contact you, whereas putting in sales says that I shouldn't.


The reason that business development is usually the right person for this is that salesman are good at taking care of incoming sales inquiries.


This assumes that this is in fact your job. If it turns out that you are just responsible for outgoing sales, and you aren't the person to be contacted for incoming queries, then you should put in sales.