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Expert insights for bid, proposal, sales, GovCon, capture, marketing, and business development pros.

Addressing the Tension Between Business Development, Sales, and Proposals

In nearly every business, tension exists between Business Development, Sales, and Proposals. The tension is structural and natural. Each function relies on the others to achieve its goals. Yet each also maintains different goals and incentives that can often lead them to pull in different directions.

Just because the tension between BD, Sales, and Proposals is widespread and predictable doesn’t mean companies should tolerate it. Tension and misalignment sap productivity, stir discontent, and undermine growth.

While all three functions, Business Development, Sales, and Proposals, want to win opportunities and capture revenue, each has different goals, objectives, and incentives. By understanding the different motivations of each team, companies can better implement processes that align teams toward everyone’s shared goals. This post details the motivations and tensions that impact each function.

Business Development Goals & Tensions

Business Development is responsible for generating strong business opportunities through relationship building. They are tasked with breaking into new markets and forging strategic partnerships that advance company objectives. Because Business Development isn’t generally responsible for closing deals, they rely on Sales and Proposals to convert their opportunities into revenue. Below, we outline the goals, evaluation criteria, and tensions of the Business Development function.

Addressing the Tension Between Business Development, Sales, and Proposals

Sales Goals & Tensions

Sales is responsible for crafting and coordinating the strategy to win deals. Sales is a highly intensive role, and every opportunity they pursue demands tremendous time and attention. It’s also high-stakes. If they don’t deliver, their tenure might be cut short. Below, we outline the goals, evaluation criteria, and tensions of the Sales function.

Addressing the Tension Between Business Development, Sales, and Proposals

Proposals Goals & Tensions

Proposals is responsible for managing the responses to competitive bids and solicitations. Proposal functions are often overworked and under-resourced, and the field is notorious for having a high burnout rate. Notably, Proposals is rarely evaluated or compensated based on the revenue they generate, which is often different from the Business Development and Sales functions. Below, we outline the goals, evaluation criteria, and tensions of the Proposals function.

Addressing the Tension Between Business Development, Sales, and Proposals

Learn How to Break Down the Tensions Between Functions

Patri understands that tension between Business Development, Sales, and Proposals is all too common. That’s why Patri has developed a guide to aligning BD, Sales, and Proposal management functions that will help you improve your win percentage, reduce stress, and capture more revenue.

Download Unleashing the Three-Headed Monster: How a Seamless Business Development-Sales-Proposal Partnership Fuels Growth to learn:

  • How to Understand and Break Down Tensions Between Functions
  • How to Nail Handoff Between Functions
  • How to Build Toward the Optimal State of Collaboration

Download the eBook