After my MBA, I wasn’t sure of what I want to do, but I was sure that I would never take up a sales role. It was the time when almost all my friends had the same thoughts. We desperately were looking for something in Marketing, Operations, HR but Sales was never on the cards. I started my career with a non-sales role, but after only 6 months I realized I am in a wrong place. Luckily, I got a business development role soon. I was still scared of a sales role and I was just surviving in my previous organization. Then I moved to a marketing role when I joined IBM. I thought now my life is set. I worked in the marketing role happily for 2.5 years, but after that, I was completely convinced that, if there is a career which is lucrative, glamorous and rewarding then it’s sales. I was fortunate enough that I got a Sales job in IBM. It was when I was not doing Sales I realized that MBA is first about business development. Every thing else is a business support function. Not that they are not important, but if I were to list down the roles, I will put Sales at the top because:
- Money matters : Among all the professions I have found Sales is the most rewarding one. Yes you have an issue of variable and fixed pay, but if you really look at it, fixed component covers almost 60% – 70% of any other professions. So if you are in Marketing or let’s say a developer with similar no. of years of experience and skill sets and if you are earning is 1000, atleast 700 would be the fixed component in Sales. But it’s the variable which makes the difference. You are stuck with 1000 for ever, but in sales you can make it 2X or 3X depending on how you perform and unlike other professions you will be rewarded next month or next quarter.
- Apply what you learn: You really get a chance to apply what you have been trained in the company or what you have learned in your academics. To be a high performing sales professional you definitely need to be good in the following skills
There are many sources of learning and if you are like me who want to be questioned and apply what you have learned in real life scenarios, then sales is definitely for you
- Building relationships : Every other professions are most limited to office premises and your interaction is limited. There is no limit of whom you can meet in Sales. And you get chance to build to a relationship with a person sitting at reception to CEO of the company. Relationship matters in all the aspects of life. You simply can’t ignore them. And you will not get any other profession which will challenge you to establish a relationship for your success. To an extent you can exist on your own but sales doesn’t work like that.
- Everyone need you badly : What is THE most important thing to any human being ? The feeling that someone need you badly and someone values you to an extent that they just don’t want to let you go. In sales you grow business. You know how to make money for the organization. And if you succeed in doing that, then you will certainly succeed in becoming one of the most essential person for your company, customers, business partners and of course boss.
- Challenges every single day : Every deal is different, market changes with time, geo, demographics, products or services and you have to learn to handle change to exist. You are challenged every single day and with every single deal. There is no formula set to win.
Sales is all about numbers and discipline. It’s a pure game of consistency. It’s a game of perseverance and a lot of smart work. You are at your best when you do all the small things and put your acts together.