Choosing a Career in Sales or Operations

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One thing that keeps bothering you when you are in College is that whether you should go for a Career in Sales or Operations. Today we will try to figure out how to choose a career which is built around the positive traits of your personality and which will bring Growth and Satisfaction in your Professional life. You need to keep following points in mind which will help in taking an informed decision about choosing your career : –

  •  Understanding your Personality type – Having worked in middle management level in Operations department in financial services industry for 16 years and the close interaction with sales people at all levels during this period has made me understand that there is vast difference in personalities of Sales and Operations people. Sales people specially in the early part of their career are mostly out of office meeting people and trying to convince these people to try their products. Operations persons on the other hand mostly have the luxury of sitting in their air conditioned offices and carrying out accounting, back office operations, documentation, customer service, man management etc. Hence first of all you need to figure out what sort of personality you are. Are you self confident, outgoing, extrovert, love to talk and make friends easily? If the answer to above questions is yes, your Personality type is more suited to be in Sales Profession. However if you are introvert, shy, egoistic, afraid of taking risk, wait for others to start a conversation with you, then may be Operations Profile is in alignment with your Personality. However you may find opposing personalities in both professions but they will be less in number.


  • Can you deal with Rejection in Sales Calls –  One of the most common problems faced by Sales guys is the answer from prospective Client “Sorry, I am not interested”. Though they have to deal with this issue most of the times, it is most heart breaking when you are confident that you are on the verge of closing sales and then you receive this answer. I must tell you not every body can deal with rejection in sales calls. And though i am not a sales guy, but i know even i can’t handle it. To overcome this feeling of fear and dejection, companies make them attend training’s where they are made to understand that they should not take rejection personally, they should behave in a professional manner and be courteous with prospective clients despite rejection, discuss the issues with Colleagues and learn from their experiences and personal mistakes. The motto is “Never give up”. However if all this makes you uncomfortable, its better you opt for a career in Operations. The choice is yours. 

        You may also like to read “Challenges Faced By Young Team Leaders”

  • Remuneration and Recognition – In most organisations, Sales Persons get more Recognition and Remuneration as compared to Operations. Since sales team directly contributes to the profitability of any company, they are given better salaries and in order to increase their motivation and morale, most companies pay sales staff handsome incentives. The more they achieve sales, higher is their Incentive. Extra ordinary performers in sales always have a sense of achievement in their life which might be missing in the life of an operations person. In case of operations job, incentives are generally capped as a percentage of fixed salary. Career growth in operations job is slow compared to sales. Though in operations also, exceptions are always there. At times, operations persons have to overcome the feeling of being neglected at the cost of sales team in an organisation.
  • Job Security – You need to figure out how much Job Security matters to you. There is no doubt that Operations job is much more safe and secure compared to sales. In sales, every month you have to meet targets and pressures are high from superiors. You might loose your job also if you are consistently failing in achieving targets assigned to you. On the other hand, operations jobs are more of daily routines and if you understand and follow the defined processes religiously, you will have a comparatively relaxed professional life.

        You may also like to read “Motivating Teams During Testing Times”

  • Facing Challenges in Life – The hardships in sales job, handling dejection’s from prospective customers makes a person bold, independent and adventurous. He has better chances of being successful in his own venture. Sales person overcomes fear in life and is better equipped to face ups and downs in life. Operations person is however a perfect planner who conservative in his approach. He loves to maintain accuracy, goes into the details, follow processes, maintains time schedules, takes calculated risks only, and does not get carried away. Operations job can also make a person complacent. Hence one also needs to figure out whether he is willing to take challenges in life or wants to live a relatively easy going life.
     Keeping  above points in mind, you need to figure out that whether you want to take the “Path of High Risk and High Growth” or of “Low Risk and Moderate Growth”. At the same time you need to understand that ultimately to be successful in your business or professional life, you should be able to sell yourself. You need to have a salesman in you. A doctor cannot get a patient unless he sells himself. A lawyer cannot get cases unless he sells himself. A chartered accountant cannot get accounts for auditing unless he sells himself. A businessman cannot get business unless he sells his products. You have to sell yourself in front of others by making them understand what you can do for them. Similarly if a sales person can inculcate some of the qualities of operations person like having thorough product knowledge, understanding processes, taking calculated risks, this will help him in becoming a highly successful sales person.

n   I hope, now you will be in a much better position to take a decision on choosing a career in sales or operations. Best of luck for your career.

     




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