Sales is a wonderful position. If you choose to be involved in it you can decide to become either a salesperson or a sales manager. But how do you decide which position is best for you. Let us look more closely at what each position is and what it takes to be successful in each.
Sales – you have the responsibility of presenting your products to the public. In order to do this successfully you need to know your product, know your client and know how to sell. Just because you offer something people need and probably want does not mean they will purchase from you.
What makes a good salesperson is to have someone who can consistently provide sales to your company; they are nice to your customers and build a referral base because of how well they do their job. Sales is the backbone of American companies and without it, most corporations would crumble and fall by the wayside.
For the person who likes working with different people each day, who wants some control over their income and to be rewarded for their efforts, a sales career could be right up your alley.
Sales Managers – this role seems to have some confusion for many people. I have had managers in the past who felt like they were salespeople who managed instead of managers who had sales people. There is a big difference.
A good sales manager knows their job is to manage the sales people under them. They need to make sure their agents have all the tools they need to do their job, engaging in making sure their staff is trained in both sales and product knowledge and helps them to get paid as quickly as possible on all submitted business. When managers run around constantly trying to outsell their sales people you don’t have a manager; you have a confused agent trying to wear two hats and not really succeeding as well as they could if they would focus on one position.
That is the real key to making it either as a salesperson or as a manager; focus. Why do you do what you do? Where should you be spending the majority of your time?
If you are sales, I can tell you that all the other activities you do should be leading to a sales opportunity because that is the only way you will make money. If you are in management you should be mentoring and training your staff to become as great as they can be. That is the acid test of a truly great manager.
I don’t know which position suits you best. But please, pick one and become the best at it you can.