13 Jan How to shift from sales to marketing?
Sunita Menon asks: I want to shift from ‘sales’ to a ‘marketing’ role? How do I go about it?
Sarabjeet Sachar answers:
If your goal is to move to marketing, then from the beginning, during your initial years of work experience , you have to consciously work towards it.
The following are action points you can consider to shift to this domain. These would be applicable selectively, as per your individual case.
Excel in your job: Remember, first it is important to love your current ‘sales’ job. They both are related functions and without sales, all kind of marketing activities would lose its impact. Most organizations groom marketing talent by first taking them through a sales stint (Unilever has been doing this as a process). The ground realities are in the field with the customer and if you do a good job in sales and remain a top performer, chances are that you will make a good marketing professional and will have a slight edge over others who have directly joined the marketing function.
Gain Knowledge: Upgrade your knowledge about marketing to get a deeper understanding. Keep track of customer feedback in terms of product, pricing, pricing, distribution and offer feedback and suggestions to the marketing team.
Educational Qualification: Consider pursuing a post graduate management course in marketing (part time) from a premium institute.
Share Market Feedback: Spend additional time without affecting your regular work in understanding the nuances of marketing, reading up case studies, and keep applying your learning in the sales function by providing valuable suggestions to your organization. If you do have market feedback and find that over pricing of product is a factor hindering sales or there is a perception challenge within the customer’s mind, share the feedback with your proposed plan of action to the marketing team.
In case you successfully keep getting a break through with a wide base of clients/customers, study the positive buying pattern and devise a strategy to increase market share and provide the inputs to the marketing department.
Routes to Marketing: Activation, Business Development, Strategic Account Planning and Brand Solutions are the kind of roles which you can consider when you initially shift from Sales into Marketing. These roles offer you a canvass to apply marketing principles and would get you closer to the marketing function. After spending 2 to 3 years in these kind of roles, you would be a more suitable candidate to shift to marketing.
The above are few things you can do to meet your objective of shifting and it takes a lot of hard work as it means investing additional hours along with your regular sales job.
Every Wednesday, Sarabjeet would be taking up reader queries. If you have a query related to your career or job, just put in your question in the comment box below, along with your email id, and watch this space.
Next Wednesday, Sarabjeet will take up the question: ‘Should I change my job?’ As asked by Prateek Aggarwal.
Sarabjeet is a top management Recruitment professional with an overall management experience of over 3 decades currently heading his boutique recruitment agency – Aspiration.
Starting as a management trainee in Times Of India, he was one of the youngest media sales professional to achieve positions in the senior management at the age of 37, when he held the position of Senior VP – National Network Sales Head at ZEE TV Network.
Sarabjeet is a graduate in Physics from Mumbai university, a Diploma holder in Marketing Management from NMIMS and has a Management programme certification from IIM Bangalore.
A counselor and writer on HR, career building and media related topics, also a frequent speaker at various industry panel discussions and forums. He has also been a guest lecturer at reputed management institutes like S.P.Jain, K.C.College and Rizvi and has achieved ‘Expert Author’ status with EzineArticles.com. Has been invited to judge ‘Mock Interviews’ at reputed Management institutes. A “passionate learner, persevering, practical a student of success, mentor, determined and always re-inventing “…is how he defines himself.
(Aspiration is a specialized Recruitment and Executive search firm for Sales, Marketing & Advertising domains, across Media/FMCG/ Consumer Durables.)