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Hi Peri. Can you tell me something about yourself? Why did you choose Sales as a career?
Peri: I graduated from Alagappa University in Chennai. I picked Sales simply because I did not want to do programming or coding. Plus, my family and my closest friends told me that I spoke well and had great convincing skills. Also, in Sales, you get the chance to meet new people and learn something new every day.
What is Inside sales?
Peri: I would not call it ‘Inside Sales’, but ‘Intelligent Sales’! Because in Inside Sales, you are playing a volume game. You’re dealing with 50-60 customers a day, and if you don’t know how to prioritize and follow up, you will fail. It’s not just closing the sale that’s important. Every step is important. I compare each stage to an empty cage, and at every step, I need to do what it takes to lead a customer inside it!
What growth prospects did you see in the Sales field when you joined?
Peri: Rookies, or youngsters, at the time were hesitant to reveal that they were in a Sales job. They only considered it as a stop-gap until they found a more lucrative career option. I decided to go with it simply because I felt good being in Sales and it was a field where I could learn something new every day. Not book-learning, but real-time learning by interacting with my customers. Which, I feel, is the best kind of learning.
What are the challenges in this field?
Peri: Sometimes we try to follow the sales methods of others blindly. But you eventually realize that you need to follow your own techniques. Write your own scripts, create you own pitch etc. Also remember that your preparation and groundwork is very important in sales. Sometimes you need to start preparing a month in advance before you make your pitch!
What is the most important trait of a Salesperson?
Peri: Intelligence. One incident in particular sums this up for me. In Chennai, they have something known as ‘Shared Autos’, in which an auto driver would approach a group of waiting bystanders and announce the destination he was going to, and pick up only those passengers. So, a shared auto driver arrived near where I stood and announced “Besantnagar, Besantnagar!” I noticed that he only looked at the people’s feet. And he only approached those people who moved their feet. He completely ignored the others. If no one moved their feet, he moved on. With all due respect to the auto drivers, if these guys can do sales so intelligently, why can we not use intelligence to sell at the higher level? That’s why I called it Ïntelligent Sales, and not Inside Sales.
Also persistence, product knowledge, and a positive attitude is important. If you are shy or have a fear of rejection, you cannot do sales. You must believe in your product wholeheartedly and speak with confidence. It shows.
What advice would you give to budding and rookie sales people?
Peri: I would tell the rookies that there is nothing they need to worry about. If you have basic communication skills, the urge to succeed and a little patience, you will certainly do well. Today there are many tools one can use for time management and gaining product knowledge. If you can master these tools, then sales become easier. You also need to prioritize and manage your time efficiently to ensure a higher rate of conversions. Also, sometimes in Sales, you will have a bad day or call. Don’t take it personally and let it affect you. Brush it off and move on to the next call.
What roles are there for a career in Inside sales?
Peri: There are three main roles. First, MRE, Market Research Executive. Second, SDR, Sales Development Representative and third, an Account Executive.
What do you think of the SaleS4RookieS challenge?
Peri: We are always looking for good sales talent. It’s a great opportunity for those planning a career in inside sales to not only be trained & certified but also interact the seasoned sales professionals in the business
Thank you, Peri, for sharing your valuable thoughts. I’m sure these very candid insights will certainly help youngsters who are aiming to chart a career in Sales.
-Hubert J D’Mello
For SaleS AddA