If you study engineering you will become an engineer, if you study medicine you will become a doctor, if you study law you will become a lawyer but which course you need to pick in school to become a complete sales professional.
What skills do you need to become a sales professional? Do we really need sales skills? Skill is important but not primary.
WILL is more important than skill. The external skills can be taught if he is willing to do sales. No single company will put a guy in sales because he doesn’t suitable for other functions.
Do we need engineers to do sales?
Through the ages, we have the mindset that graduates who don’t get better opportunity end up in sales which is against the reality.
The transformation of commercial sales into techno-commercial sales brings the necessity to rope in core engineers for sales team by paying more salary than non-engineers.
When I joined as a sales executive after my graduation. I was told to take a sales eligibility test. If I pass I will be in sales else will be put up in some other functions.
Here we need to notice one thing if I fail I will be put up in other functions which indirectly implies a sales profession can survive in other functions but others cannot manage sales.
Yes, obviously sales is a Noble profession.
A flipside is, sales professionals always run behind the numbers whether it is first or thirtieth of the month they must achieve the committed target.
But it’s not only in sales all the departments have targets some are internal and few are external.
For example, an HR has a target to reduce the attrition rate. A production manager has a target to reduce the cost of production. A quality manager has a target to reduce the defects.
The basic rule is if you are paid you will be given the target. So, all the functions carry stress but sales little extra.
Nevertheless, there are more benefits and reasons to choose sales as your career.
You might have heard of sales people saying that they are not satisfied with sales that too specifically field sales executives because it involves physical work than inside sales.
But that’s the hue of unsuccessful sales guy not from successful one. Successful sales executives know the importance of his presence in the company.
Many important decisions will be taken based on his market feedback. He knows what happens if he twists the feedback.
Next to CEO, sales managers have very good knowledge about the product and the market. They cannot skip any functions right from accounts to quality they must have a complete idea what is happening in the domain.
Many qualified professionals quit the job because of belittling treatment but in sales, it won’t happen.
You will be put first irrespective of your performance because you are an important asset to the company.
The level of satisfaction you get while closing the deal you followed for many days is unexplainable.
In my sales period, I followed a major client for more than six months after a lot of rejections and negotiations I finally boarded him which gave me the complete satisfaction.
Sales are the only visible function where there is a direct measurement of your performance. So, you can easily justify the hard work you are putting for the growth of your organization.
Who doesn’t want to get paid high? Everybody wants isn’t? that’s the reason we are spending our time and energy.
Sales is the only function in the organization to have a special compensation structure. They have a lot of variable components like travel conveyance, Incentives, free abroad trip, free vehicle and many.
Again, these compensations differ from company to company based on the profit margin of the product they are selling.
For example, business like cement manufacturing companies may have a profit margin of 23-27% so the incentives will be low compared to software companies.
The cost of producing the second copy of the software is almost zero so the compensation and incentives will be higher than production companies.
Irrespective of the industries sales executives will be given more incentives than other employees. Few companies pay quarter incentive and some companies on monthly basis.
If a quality engineer wants to make extra cash in a month either he will lend money from his friends or get a loan but if a sales professional wants to make extra cash he puts extra efforts in the month and make extra cash.
There are two types of sales profession 1. Salaried and 2. Commissioned.
In salaried, sales executives are paid compensation and incentives whereas in commissioned sales they get paid only on successful closure of deal no salary.
Many companies in India are paying good incentives for sales executives especially start-ups.
None of the sales companies have 100% office work unless until you for work for foreign companies from remote locations like US and UK shifts in India.
You are allowed to roam freely but to bring the numbers for the company. If you are the field sales executive you can easily relate to what I am saying.
Cross-functional employees are restricted to the cubical space and regular punch in and punch out whereas the sales team can decide their own office hours.
I started my career as a field sales executive, complete freedom was given to me provided my performance won’t go down.
These flexible working hours depends on your organization work culture. You might have heard of Boss and Leader work culture, isn’t?
Boss decrees that if you don’t achieve target you will be fired. Leader says if you achieve the target you will get more incentives. Leaders won’t give job threat.
In Boss culture, they won’t pay much or zero incentive so they curtail your freedom by monitoring using GPS or through more number of visit reports in a day.
On the other hand, in Leader culture, you will be paid more incentive because they believe money factor will drive you to achieve the target.
This is the main reason why all the companies are providing Closed User Groups (CUG) numbers for their employees. They don’t want sales executives to take the customers along with them when they leave the company.
Even some companies prohibit sales people to share their personal number with the customer instead of official one.
The sales executive is the bridge between the company and the end customer and he is the face of the company. So, for any reason, if he leaves the present company and joins the competitor’s organization then their business will fail that’s why they prohibit sharing your personal numbers.
Though your number is not on the table your name and face are registered in the customer mind which will help you in future even if you change the organization.
For example, I worked as a sales executive in real estate domain but after two years I quit the company and joined a new company in the same domain but different vertical. I easily roped in my old customers to the new company.
Network building not only helps you in sales but also starting a new business in future in the same domain.
None of the decisions are taken by a brand or organization it is taken only by humans. We need to have a strong network in our domain to be successful in business.
This is one of the important aspects other employees don’t get.
The product can be different but the process is going to be the same.
A quality engineer cannot switch from one domain to another, a production engineer cannot but a sales professional could.
A sales professional need not worry about the job security or threat he can choose the niche he wants to pursue. He is not designed to stick to work under faulty management.
A sales executive from real estate domain can switch to chemical industry, a sales person from furniture manufacturing company can easily change to machine manufacture. It is possible.
You need not worry about recession or termination there is always a demand for sales professionals.
These are the five compelling reasons I found to choose sales as a career if you contradict or to better on please comment down your motions.
May 19, 2017
May 19, 2017
Stories by Nizam