Just less than 20% of CEOs had their “formative experience,” or five years of experience after college, in sales and marketing.
Having in-depth knowledge of sales and marketing is the first step of starting a business and acquiring customers. It can be quite confusing if you haven’t had exposure to the basics before you put in the hard work, capital and resources.
Let’s break down the process of how you gain customers for your business :
“Targets -> Leads -> Opportunities -> Customer” – Sales and Marketing Funnel.
We need to understand our target’s demographics, behaviour, and preferences.
That information combined makes up a Customer Persona: an outline describing our target customer in detail. All these targets combined make up the target market and these identified targets, in turn, become Leads.
When these leads are engaged and are willing and able to become customers that’s where Sales steps in and now we get Opportunity. When we get the opportunity we sell our products to the potential customers by automated (basic product, online sales), outside (in-person meetings to sell the product) or inside (over the phone sale of product) sales. Closing is converting an opportunity to a customer and concluding the journey.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s put down the benefits of working in this “powerhouse” field before we begin the journey of starting a business!
1. Skill Acquisition :
Before starting a business, acquisition and honing of the sales skills that are essential for pushing and selling your products in the initial days are so important.
2. Client Handling :
Client acquisition and handling are never as easy as people in sales make it look like. You need to have the experience of handling clients first hand to be able to understand and deliver the needs in a seamless fashion to acquire and maintain the client base. This experience comes with working in the sales and marketing field.
3. Product Management:
Understanding the customer and their needs and correlation of these needs with the product is very essential for creating the persona for the target market and identifying the correct clientele and modifying the product to meet the needs of the existing clients.
4. Clear View of Market Scenario :
Learn about your product, product category, and your industry before starting a business. This goes a long way in helping you understand where and how your product fits in a larger scheme of things which in turn helps you sell your products more efficiently.
5. Presentation :
You’ll learn how to present your product and simplify your presentation down to only what matters to your customers.
6. Expanding Contact Base :
As an aspiring entrepreneur, this is the best opportunity to mingle with top-level executives, to get first-hand experience of powerful decision makers’ way of thinking and make strong connections with important and the right kind of people.
7. Self Motivation :
Self-motivation and autonomy are skills that working in sales gives you in abundance, working to beat your previous targets daily and having to make decisions without much of management interference gives you the opportunity to grow and learn.
8. Financial Gains :
Working in sales before starting a business can help in funding your startup as you make lots of money in sales in terms of incentives, stock that up and you’ll have the buffer stock and funding for your startup apart from external funding.
9. Business Analysis :
Report making and sales analysis is an essential part of all businesses and knowing how to make, read, analyze reports makes it easier to run a business and have an objective outlook towards your business tactics.
10. Gaining Technical “know-how” :
To be successful in sales, you’ll need to apply your technical and business expertise to solve a wide variety of problems. This is useful because that expertise will help you understand what needs to be done next as your startup grows and succeeds.
11. Closing Deals :
In sales, you definitely must learn when it’s time to ask for the “Yes.” This is useful before starting a business because you’ll be doing a lot of selling and it will take a lot longer to get going if you don’t know how to close.
12. Dealing with Rejection :
Learning how to handle rejection and to be courageous is very important, having a thick skin and shrugging off fear and keep selling is the key to success here.
It’s never easy to quit a stable paying job and venture off on your own but having a vision needs some work to be done before you begin. Gaining the right expertise and skills is the most important requirement for beginning any kind of business. Hope this helps you understand the nitty-gritties of how working in the field of sales will help you start and grow your business smoothly.
Want to learn more about starting a business? Give this article a read – you’ll love it!