While leading a Career Day session at a local community college for high school seniors interested in the marketing profession, I asked who in the room wanted to have a career in sales. No one raised their hand. I wasn’t surprised. To an eighteen-year-old, a career in sales probably means walking door to door or sitting at a telephone making cold calls all day. What I told these students may not change their minds about sales, but it’s the truth. It’s hard to find a job today that in some way does not involve sales. True, most think the sales job is the guy working out of the office and calling on prospective customers. But what about everyone else with jobs directly related to supporting these sales efforts? I would bet that most jobs not associated with sales still somehow impact the way a product or service moves from a seller to a buyer.
At our agency, I am an Account Executive, which is a fancy title for salesman. But I would not succeed without the support from all corners of our organization. Our receptionist is the first voice our customers and prospects hear. She is in sales. Our strategists, writers and designers all have unique input into the final product that the client is paying for. Each of them is in sales. Our project manager keeps a project moving and keeps all the outside vendors on task to assure a timely project completion. She is in sales. But these hidden sales positions don’t just reside in the marketing industry. Next time you order a meal, realize your server isn’t a waitress, she is in sales. An accountant does everything in his or her power to provide the best tax service possible. But without sales, a tax return is never started. The guy mowing grass for a living better have some selling skill, or he may not have many yards to mow. I could go on, but I am sure my point is made. Sales drive business. Without it, nothing would happen. Although not everyone is well suited to go out and pound the pavement for the next sale, everyone in the organization does play some role in sales and it’s important they realize this.
What’s your role in sales? Have you ever looked at it that way? What can you do in your job to increase sales for your company?