The Sales Professional You Have Been Looking For!
I am proud to have a strong history and a humbling learning experience to mould myself in the sales industry. I have grown from a role of Inside Sales Representative (ISR), which is usually perceived as a junior role or a backend support function within the organization. However, the experience throughout these years has built a strong foundation to be an effective Account Manager and a successful Business Development Professional.
Starting from ground zero, the experience and background helped me to understand the needs of the various business units and functions of an organization. It also allows me to understand their limitations, frustrations and constrains. Thus, it is an opportunity to foster healthy collaboration between myself and the colleagues and be creative in solving challenges and issues, should any arise.
Moving on to an Account Management cum Business Development role, I have reached the heart of the business to ensure its viability and sustainability. As the saying goes, “A new customer is hard to get, why not take care of the existing ones?” My approach has always been drawing a blueprint of the organization’s structure and operations which provides me a deeper understanding of the customer pains and joy and that shows that we cherish their business. Also, Account management provides and additional layer of assurance, be it a sales enquiry or a distress call, customer can experience a quick turnaround respond time within the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) of the organization. This is tremendously needful because it provides reliability and builds credibility for the organization. It brings the customer great pleasure when they know they are being taken care of.
Whilst Account Management is an inward-approach, Business Development is an outward approach to seek opportunities and acquiring new labels. The manner in which of acquiring new customers has changed from a hard and cold call approach to a soft, content-feeding approach in the recent decade. Interestingly, the Business Development experience I have helped me to bridge the gap between myself and the decision makers, or at least my target audience. Business Development is never about spending money but spending with a purpose. The events which I have organized not only gave the organizations I work for elevates their branding profile, it has also forged some of the strongest relationships between the customers and myself.
Many perceives that only the man on the ground has the advantage on information and insights. However, with a humble beginning of an ISR, I learned in my experience that we are able to win the deal by understanding the customer and their landscape. For example, a CRM system is tool at its optimum when it is utilized as a blueprint for a customer. Understanding their organizational chart, who are their competitors, and the financial performance of the customer will help in the sales engagement with the customer. Even as I stepped up to customer facing roles, the fact of the matter is, the tools and experience needed to serve the customer effectively does not change.
I am humbled to be given opportunities to move vertically upwards, staying within the sales boundaries has its perks. The difference between a Sales Professional and an operational staff is the commissions component. This component allows the limits of my earnings to reach the sky. On top of that, it has also show me the side of being an entrepreneur, such as managing the various stakeholders to achieve the objectives and expectations. Learning a product or service can be considered static. However, the fundamentals of sales have been very dynamic to address the ever-changing landscape or the circumstance at that very moment. These are valuable transferable skills that I have honed in my humble length of experience as a Sales Professional.
Looking back, I have started out as a ISR to taking up portfolios in Account Management and Business Development roles in various sized corporations. Being tasked for roles such as Business Development Manager and Account Manager, it has helped me appreciate the essential need to start from scratch as a foot soldier. I would not be successful in where I am if not for the strong foundation of career values built over the years in the sales industry.
I foresee myself leading a team or managing a business unit in the near future to impart the right values of a Sales Professional. The goal of being a successful Sales Professional is not only about numbers, but to build a strong customer base which is a valuable asset for the organization. I am glad to be part of this ever-growing position to bear positive impact on both people and the organization at large.