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With companies experiencing an uprise, a career in sales and marketing is hands on, dynamic and requires good persuasion skills, details Mithila Mehta

With companies increasing leveling their focus towards the customer, sales and marketing has become an increasingly important corporate function. These are times of competition; the consumer is spoilt for choice. Winning new customers and maintaining profitable relationships with existing ones is hence the need of the hour. Explains Mahesh Nair, Director of Spear Business Academy, "What would happen to a company which has the best product developed, packaged well but has no customers? It is bound to fail. This is where the sale and marketing teams enter."

Job wise

Sales and marketing is a practical, onthe-ball function. There are different challenges on a daily basis, and the only thing constant is change. Says Nair, "As a sales person, you will either be based internally or on the field as a sales representative. They usually work within a specific area, calling in person or by telephone to make appointments to show products or services, negotiating sales and after-sales services."

Personal profile

Not everyone is suited for a career in sales and marketing. Reveals Nair, "The core skills every sales professional need are persuasiveness, commercial awareness, a pleasing personality and self-motivation." Communication skills are of utmost importance. Further, the individual must be able to perform well under pressure. Sales targets are very difficult, but these must be achieved. Hence organisations look for individuals who are strongly goal driven, think out of the box and show strong leadership skills.

Sales and marketing representatives should also love meeting and interacting with people. An insight into how people think and behave can go a long way in winning over new customers. The ability to network is also helpful.

Study smart

Despite the importance given to personal skills and characteristics, the value of education and on-field experience should not be discounted. "Though graduation is not mandatory for entering a Sales Career, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have earned a bachelor's degree. A MBA degree after couple of years of Work experience will also benefit the candidate," says Nair.

By Mithila Mehta, MUMBAI MIRROR