By Alvin Katto
It’s important to note that companies take sales as a department very seriously, and they invest incredible portions of their budget to boost their sales.
When you leave high school and you’re choosing the course that you want to take up at the university level, Sales is the last career you think of pursuing. The indifference towards Sales as a career is occasioned by the fact that Salespeople are viewed as annoying promoters who won’t leave you until you give them attention. Like a housefly.
However, if you come from that school of thought perhaps you might want to reconsider your stance and attitude. I submit to you that companies take sales as a department very seriously. And they invest incredible portions of their budget to boost their sales.
Why is sales so important to companies?
It connects the company to the people
The sales department connects a company with its most important group of people. Its clients or customers. The sales personnel usually go to the ground or make phone calls to initiate conversations with buyers. Conversations with customers reveal how a company’s products or services are being received by people and the attitudes that they’ve formed towards the same.
At the same time, salespeople can understand the pain points of the customers and take notes so that they can work on improving and addressing those complaints. Other times customers have very good ideas and suggestions. When they communicate these ideas and see that their feedback is valued, they’ll stay loyal to the company. Moreover, a pleased customer will also refer a company’s services to their friends and networks.
Courtesy of the sales department, the brand name will sell itself. Taking the world of social media into account, salespeople can encourage customers to give good reviews online. This is referred to as User Generated Content (UGC). UGC is so effective because customer testimonies are viewed as more credible. Therefore the sceptical public will tend to believe other customers more.
Consequently business grows gradually and organically.
The main reason why a company is still in business is the revenue streams that keep them going. Salespeople are the engine that ensures that those revenue streams are growing. When we as the leadership of the company come up with additional business ideas, it’s the sales team that will ensure that the market purchases these new services or products.
Salespeople are crucial to any company because they’re the ones that do the work of ensuring that a company’s customer base is growing. It’s very challenging to convince a sceptic to spend their money voluntarily on a certain product.
These sales professionals have developed the virtues of communication, persuasion and empathy. All these skills are crucial in converting a lead.
Good sales personnel are the reason why a company gets repeat customers. As an article by Oxford College Marketing reiterates, “sales builds trust and loyalty between a company and its customers”. Trust and loyalty are the key ingredients to bringing your customers back many times over. Additionally, it inspires them not only to write a great review of your product or service online but also to recommend the same to friends and family.
When recruiters are looking for sales professionals, they are always keen to evaluate if this potential hire has the panache to connect with customers on a deep level.
The formation of long-term relationships between a company and its clients falls largely at the feet of its sales department. This is done through sales follow-ups by setting up after-sales meetings or calls. After-sales follow-ups help a company build a sustained relationship with clients and a pipeline for valuable feedback over time.
Heightened hiring of salespeople
We published a report that revealed an increase in the hiring of sales personnel as they have seen in their platform. Compared to 2021, there has been a 92.1% increase in companies advertising vacancies for basic level roles in sales. These roles include Sales Representatives, Sales Executives, Business Development Executives/Officials, and Sales Agents. In 2022’s Q1 there has been a sharp spike in demand for experienced senior workers in sales compared to a similar period in 2021. Overall we have experienced over 90% increase in sales related roles over the past year.
Fuzu posted a total of 1699 vacancies in 2022 as opposed to 83 in 2021. This represents a 95.11% increase.
The facts are obvious that companies are out in the market to exponentially boost their sales. They want to recover and break even from the devastating losses that resulted from Covid-19. The Fuzu report reveals that companies are keen to build their teams back up to their previous numbers pre-Covid.
Why should you consider getting into Sales as a new graduate?
Obviously, with this kind of soaring interest from recruiters, it’ll be easier for you to find a job. Companies have thrown their nets wide into the sea. Therefore, you should equip yourself with knowledge and skills in sales. At Fuzu we have valuable certification courses for free that can give you vital skills in sales such as Sales and “Learn the basics of working as a sales executive”. With such qualifications, you position yourself as a suitable candidate who knows how to connect with customers and retain them.
Secondly, with sales, it’s easier or you to transition to other departments or become an entrepreneur. A salesperson spends more time reaching out to prospective and actual customers than doing any other thing in the office. They, therefore, understand how customers think and what they like. This information places you in a pole position to advise leadership on new products and how to improve the existing ones. With good knowledge of the market, you can transition easily to any career you prefer as you enrich your portfolio with years of work experience.
Along with interacting with different people, your mettle is developed. When you deal with difficult clients, your patience is developed. At the same time, your creativity to handle different situations is honed. All these are qualities that you’ll need in the long haul so that you have an enduring stellar career in the corporate world.
A career in sales will make you money
Financially, when you close a sale, you get a commission. Therefore it’s fulfilling to see and eat the fruit of your labour. When you successfully sell you will receive satisfaction and motivation to go for more. Eventually, with consistency, you set yourself on a trajectory of financial growth.
As long as you’re making successful sales, the company is getting revenue. That way your job security is assured. And when you prove yourself in the sales field, your company will do anything to keep you because competitors will notice and try to poach you. I can assure you that successful sales professionals are valued as hot cakes in the market.
Instant feedback is a by-product of regular interaction with customers. You need this feedback so that you can keep improving areas that need improvement. That way you keep getting better as a person and as a professional.
Sales is a great career to take on because of the long term benefits it accrues to a graduate. When you see an opportunity, don’t waste it. Take it and run with it.
The writer is the country director of Fuzu Uganda.