Thinking of joining Sales? Think beyond schmoozing and free dinners…..

A lot of people think of sales as something ‘sexy’ and ‘fun’. A job that requires one to smooth talk clients and take them out to dinner/events (Oh and so much more). You get to do this all, you close deals and you go home with commission dollars…..Pretty good deal, isn’t it?

Well..my advice to anyone picking a career in sales based on the above is to think again. Depending on your industry, job profile, Budget and sales team maturity, you may get to do a lot of the above but those ‘good days’ dry up quickly. Ultimately, you are hired to deliver numbers and I can almost guarantee that other than a few lucky incidents these ‘fun’ activities alone will not get you those numbers-

To give you additional insights, let me outline a few reasons, why I absolutely LOVE sales and why I think it is the “Hardest easy Job” ever. Also, to clarify — I am mostly referring to “Enterprise or large Sales” with typical sales cycle of several months (from finding an opportunity to signing a deal) and not transactional sales e.g. — Buying a phone from a store-

  1. There is no ‘trying’ in sales; You either get a deal or you don’t — There are fewer excuses in sales. You can’t blame it all on luck or situations. There is always someone else who is getting the deal that you couldn’t so you got to give it your best every time.
  2. There is always ‘more’ to do; an opportunity to top your own results with clear numbers — You are a rainmaker. You made it big last year. Now go and make more rains (because everyone loves you).
  3. You may use both sides of your brain — Sales is both science and art. You need to know a person, your own product and the situation. You can get creative about sending ‘emails’/’letters’. There is a lot of number crunching involved too.
  4. Your work impacts the whole organization ‘significantly’ — Chance are, if you don’t execute, you may put even other people out of work (not just yourself).
  5. An opportunity to build personal wealth- A successful sales person can make most money in the organization even more than any CXO. After all She is bringing the green (not to undermine anyone else’s efforts though- see the next bullet).
  6. Independence and interdependence — I find sales as one job where working with others is as important as working alone in order to be successful. Either part alone may not get you results. As a sales person, you are dependent on technology or solution partners to demonstrate and deliver a product but you also need to ensure that relationship/trust/comfort is built between you and buyer independently.
  7. It keeps you humble — This may sound a bit ironic because sales folks are anything but humble. However, as a sales person you are bound to loose a few deal (quite a few actually) and while it beats you down every time it happens, you must get over it quickly and not let it affect your other opportunities. Ever heard of ‘Sales Highs’ (know that there are ‘lows’ too)

These are just a few of my reasons. I’d love to hear what others say.

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