From engineering to marketing: Why a job in sales can work for you
If you are passionate about working in the field of business but do not have any previous experience or come from a non-business background, you might be struggling with the question: What type of job should I go into?
Don’t worry, we’ve all struggled with the same question at some point in the beginning of our career. And I am no exception to that.
“I look at my engineering degree as an experience which gave me an understanding of IT and helped me find business-related jobs in the IT industry.”
I’m from India, where it’s commonplace for your parents to encourage you to do engineering first, before you figure out what you want to do with your career later. It was the same in my family. I did my first degree in Engineering in Information Technology. I look at my engineering degree as an experience that gave me an understanding of IT and helped me find business-related jobs in the IT industry. Despite my engineering degree, my passion is for marketing. I like creating impact and selling ideas to people. Since I didn’t have any academic background in business or management, it was hard for me to find a business-related role in large companies. That was when I started looking at opportunities within startups, where I landed a role in a marketing and business development department.
“The skills and expertise I gained through sales and business development helped me immensely in making decisions about every aspect of my career.”
I worked for three years in the field of business development. This experience gave me an understanding of how to find potential clients, pitch a product or service, and persuade companies to do business with you. I’m an introvert who came out of his comfort zone to do cold calling to potential clients. I researched a lot to find companies who might be interested in our product. I practiced sales scripts to ensure a great conversation with them. I understood my company and product or service on a deep level—how it would help my clients and how I could communicate the value proposition. I worked extra hard to close every deal to reach my targets. I worked along with the marketing department and account management team to take care of customers and through this, I learned what success means for the customer. The entire process gave me an insight into how a business cycle works, and working with other teams gave me an idea of what they do within the company. This is one of the best experiences I’ve had in my career. The skills and expertise I gained through sales and business development helped me immensely to make decisions on every aspect of my career.
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You do not know what you are capable of unless you get out of your comfort zone and try something new. The process of generating leads and qualifying them will help you grow. You will learn how to find people and understand if they are a good fit for the product.
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As a sales person you need to have a clear understanding of your product or service and how it can help people. From lead generation to closing a deal, the entire process will help you improve your communication skills and give you a significant business network. Reaching out to companies or customers, pitching the product, negotiating, and closing a deal is valuable business experience which builds incredible confidence as a business professional.
Beyond these skills, you learn to network like a boss internally and externally, and networking is everything in business. You can also reap great rewards, and who doesn’t like to be rewarded for their efforts? So, I recommend to newbies in the field of business, not to ignore jobs in business development and sales. It may be just the stepping stone you are looking for.
Ram is a Master of International Business student from India. He has a background in business development and marketing with 3 years’ experience in the IT and eCommerce industry. He co-founded a think tank based in India that worked with international and non-profit organizations in China, Europe, and the US. Ram is passionate about traveling, script writing, and watching films. Ram can be reached directly through his email.