Career in Sales

How to Build a Career in Sales - Key Insights with Premanshu Singh

Do you remember the career choices which you used to list with pride during your school days?

Doctor…engineer… pilot… chartered accountant… and what not?

But have you ever heard of anyone aspiring to have a career in sales?

To bring to light the exciting journey that sales can offer as a choice of career, we organised a workshop with Premanshu Singh, Senior VP at Paytm. Check out how Premanshu’s experience in sales helped him reach the pinnacle and what he had to say about ‘Building a Career in Sales’ in his insightful conversation with Juno School of Business. 

All You Need to Know to Make a Career in Sales 

In today’s world, sales is among the most lucrative careers. Not only because of appealing packages but also for an exciting and challenging work-life. Working in sales can scale up your career and increase your chances of getting into leadership positions. But where to begin?

Putting simply, Premanshu explained what all one must know to start and create a career in sales:

  • Are you a salesperson?
  • What are you seeking from your career?
  • What is a good company to work for? 
  • What’s the entire Math behind sales? 
  • What does the market look like? 
  • What is a ‘sales funnel’? 
  • What is the art of selling and do I have it in me? 

Let’s dive in.

Are you a Salesperson?

Are you a Salesperson

The first and foremost thing you need to do while making a career choice is to discover yourself, your abilities, and your interests.

Premanshu said that there are two kinds of people:

  • There are ones who like to build, like engineers, architects, etc., who like building a product, platform, or service. But, many times, they shy away from pitching their idea or creation.
  • Others are those who are great at pitching and selling these products and services. These are the ones who make a good salesperson.

Premanshu also spoke about a third category that excels in doing both. And these are the people who turn into entrepreneurs. Hence, the ability to sell always comes in handy if you want to grow high in your career or want to venture into entrepreneurship. Some popular examples in agreement here are Warren Buffet, Howard Schultz, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Premanshu also added,

“You need to understand what your strength is as a salesperson and what I am good at selling.”

What are you Seeking From your Career?

Understanding what your priorities in work and life are can help you choose the ‘sales’ career for the right reasons. These can be:

  • Money or wealth
  • Work-life balance
  • Passion for work
  • Learning
  • The impact that you want to make on the world
  • Recognition

Choosing the Right Place to Work  

For choosing the right place or the company, try to figure out:

  • Whether you want to work for B2B (business to business) or a B2C (business to customers) company.
  • The kind of work culture you are comfortable working in.
  • Whether you want to work for companies with a local or global presence. Educate yourself about the cultural nuances of the countries where the business is targeted.  
  • If it is a sales-driven company or a brand-driven company for which you have applied. For a salesperson, it is better to work in a sales-driven company.
  • The type of industry you want to work in as it may have a long-term effect on your career.

Understanding the Math

Some basics an aspiring salesperson should be aware of are:

  • Cost of production, when selling a product
  • The Price that would be fixed
  • The Value that product would have in the consumer’s mind irrespective of its price
  • The Cogs, which refers to the cost of goods sold
  • The Revenue achieved from the selling of goods
  • LTV, which refers to the lifetime value of a customer
  • The CAC which means the cost of customer activation
  • Sales Funnel, which means the visual representation of the customer journey from awareness to action. Every month you should use this funnel as this will help you diagnose where exactly the problem lies.

Knowing the Market

Premanshu emphasised a salesperson should :

  • read about all product materials
  • meet happy customers to know what is working
  • meet churned customers to understand what isn’t working
  • read all online reviews to understand the product’s performance
  • know the competition
  • be able to do objection handling to attend to the customers’ grievances in a hassle-free way

The Art of Selling

The Art of Selling

‘Sales’ is a practice as well as an art. A salesperson must have or develop certain attributes like:

  • Power of persuasion
  • Patience
  • Keep an eye on the target
  • Good listening skills
  • Excellent pitching skills 

Premanshu emphasised the above abilities that a salesperson tries to inculcate if he or she wants to be in the race. On this, he says,

“ ‘Sales’ is a challenging field, but it is rewarding as well. You should be cut out for it, and if you are made for it, you can make a great career in sales.”  

Simplifying further, he adds,

“The first sale is always tough, the tenth one is easier, and the hundredth one is even easier.”

He explained that the more info you would have about the end customer, the more likely you would be to make the sale. If you want to make a sale, you need to understand the customer’s persona, for which you must be a good listener. 

How to Pitch

  • The most important thing for a salesperson is ‘persuasion.’ Do regular follow-ups. Never leave a customer.
  • Try to gauge if the customer is getting more convinced or less convinced. Slow down if it is annoying the customer and pitch further if they show interest.
  • Make sales with respect. Schedule a call rather than doing cold pitching as the right timing is all that matters.
  • Ask for references from happy customers. 

Some Final Takeaways

Here are the key points to remember:

  • Make a list of potential companies- B2B/B2C with whom you would like to work.
  • Know who is the decision-maker and the influencer in the organisation that you are pitching for. Understand their demographics, what they like, media they use, and then target them.
  • Try to network as much as possible through networking sites and groups like LinkedIn, etc.
  • Set your goal or a target and work towards it.
  • Maintain a playbook where you can record all your networks, clients’ names, learnings, etc.
  • If you are already in the field, try to pitch to your clients through emails, SMS, or personal visits, whichever suits your client.
  • Never give up and keep following up. Remember conversions usually happen after your fifth meeting. So keep pitching strategically.  
  • Plan it ahead as your lifetime career. Keep the first three years for learning rather than switching jobs, unless it is too important.

Premanshu concludes the session with the remark:

“Always remember that a customer buys a salesperson before buying a product.”  

Becoming a good salesperson, as Premanshu says, might be an art. But this art can be acquired through practice and proper training. Start your training course in ‘sales’ with Juno and take a step ahead towards upskilling. Apply for a counselling session to find the best course in sales for you.

Let us Guide you!

Talk to our counsellor and understand our courses better