A business has several modules which work together to render it into a successful venture. Sales, Marketing, Operations, Finance, Human Resources and Research & Development are all bits of it. Every element is vital but Sales is the function that is akin to bedrock! You might build a great product but without consistent sales, you are just sitting with a great team without any revenues to continue.
Why is Sales Function important?
You might manufacture products or offer services but you need to sell them. This can even be seen in Campus Placements where the majority of students pursuing MBA and other courses are placed in sales roles. In fact, even in the most prestigious MBA College in India, IIM Ahmedabad, over 22% students are placed in Sales and Business Development sector.
Sales Internship – A Fast Track to a Career in Sales
A sales internship requires you to work in the sales and business development department of an organisation. You can get to work at any stage of the sales funnel which is essentially the different stages of sales leading to a successful financial output.
The sales stages involved are creating awareness, generating interest, making the sale and retaining the customers. As a sales intern, you can be involved in any of these stages in the following capacities –
- Creating awareness – Work on pre-sales work like creating sales literature, working on website, creating lists of potential clients/customers, creating customer briefs and presentations
- Generating interest – Work on generating leads for the organisation, cold calling or cold emailing prospective clients, work alongside the sales manager in fixing appointments
- Closing the sale – Accompanying the sales manager in making the sale, visiting the client and closing the sale independently
- Retaining customers – Working on post sales projects like newsletters and mailers. Getting referrals for new customers and getting reviews from existing customers.
You will be hired as a Sales and Business Development Intern and can be asked to do any of these or all of these activities.
Benefits of a Sales internship
The purpose of any internship is to help you gain work experience while providing you exposure to the business world. The sales internship will also –
- Help you understand the sales function practically
- Help you figure out if you are cut out for sales as a career
- Provide a boost in campus placements or sales job interviews
- Enhance your personality and help you if you choose entrepreneurship as a career
Do you have it in you?
Sales as a career choice is definitely not for the faint-hearted! While anyone can become a sales professional not everyone can excel at it. To be successful in a sales internship you need to have these characteristics –
- Keen listener – Sales is not always about convincing the other person. It is about listening to his needs and accordingly sell the product.
- Intrinsic motivation – You will have to be self-motivated, if you constantly need appreciation or push then sales might not be for you.
- Perseverance – Sales is a long drawn process. Even if you have the best product in the market you will still need a lot of hard work to convince your customer. You will have to persevere till you make the sale.
- Good Communication – Sales at its core is nothing but storytelling–how effectively you tell it and how much it impacts your customer.
- Bold and Brazen – You are going to hear a lot of negations as sales professional. If you are going to be embarrassed or dejected then you will not last long in the profession. You need to have the ability to understand that the customer is saying no to your product and not to you as a person and keep going!
If you believe you have all these traits of a sales person and find yourself excited at the prospect of a well-paying exciting sales career, then kick start your journey by applying to these sales internships.
Let us know your thoughts and queries in the comments. 🙂