By Mukul Gupta
Recruiting is fun and exciting but every new position that we recruit for, comes with some new challenges, some new terminologies and some unknown or partially known job description phrases. Recruiting looks interesting if we are able to understand a requirement well but it becomes more exciting if we are able to understand it better than others do. On the other hand, it looks very complicated and problematic in case we are unable to understand the key parameters asked for in a JD.
Here in this post I will explain you all about recruitment for Sales and Marketing job roles which will simplify your understanding on recruiting in this field. We will talk about various kind of job roles that are there in Sales & Marketing and also the kind of and specifics of various industries/companies that we may recruit for, as different industries look for different attributes and profiles in their sales and marketing staff. This will surely help you in understanding all Sales and Marketing positions in a much better and clear perspective.
Sales and Marketing is the most important function in most of the companies. Sales effort and team can make a company highly successful or a failure. Sales & Marketing, at times use interchangeably, are two different things. While sales means generating of business by selling products and services of the company, marketing involves creating awareness and demand for the products by means of Advertising, Promotions, Branding etc.
Sales may be broadly categorized into 3 main categories namely:
Corporate, Institutional & Industrial Sales
Distribution or Channel Sales
Corporate Sales means selling products or services to a corporates/companies and if its a manufacturing unit then selling to its corporate office. Some examples of Corporate Sales are- Software/IT Sales, Sales of Office Automation Products like- EPABX, Computer Hardware, Photocopiers, Furniture for Offices etc.
Institutional Sales which is quite similar to Corporate Sales, means selling to Institutions like Colleges/ Educational Institutes, Research Labs etc. Few examples of Institutional Sales are- Sales of Office Automation Products or Research Lab Equipments or Educational Materials to such Institutes.
Industrial Sales means selling to the Industries or Manufacturing units especially products related to their factory. Some examples of Industrial Sales are- Sales of Plant & Machinery, Sales of Factory Equipments, Sales of Raw Materials for production etc. When these sales are made to Government Organizations it is called Govt Sales as it has its own typicalities. Some Primary Government Organizations are- Defence, Railways, Various Ministries etc.
Normally Corporate Sales/Institutional Sales/Industrial Sales/Government Sales involves selling high value products, solutions and services to these. This requires good communication skills, excellent confidence and capability to deal with senior level people from these organizations. These sales, individually at times may be of the value of even hundreds of millions. To make these sales, sales people would normally interact with Purchase Department, Administration Department or Top Management of these organizations. At many places such sales may take long time and a person may only do one sales, in say, a quarter or a year.
Second category of Sales is selling through Dealer & Distribution Network. Dealer, Distribution or Channel Sales involves selling company’s products through a network or channel of dealers, distributors, stockists and retailers. Some examples of such sales are selling of FMCG (that is Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and Consumer Products, Sale of Car Parts and Sales of Pharma Products etc. To understand this better, think of a general market, and most of the shops in that market are actually dealers or retailers for selling products of various companies. FMCG products are the one’s, which are normally sold in the general stores. Here the companies instead of selling directly to the actual user, sell through a network of distributors/wholesellers who in turn sell to dealers/retailers and who finally sell it to the consumers. This kind of sales generate big revenues by way of volume sold through a network of large number of selling points. Such sales even goes to rural areas through the network.
People involved in such sales may not have excellent communication skills but would be the people who knows how to deal with local people and people who represent these distributors/dealers.
Direct Sales primarily means selling products by visiting the customers without appointment individually. Eureka Forbes and Cease Fire are two companies who have continued to sell their products by direct sales mode successfully. But such sales normally is not widespread. Even corporate and industrial sales may be termed as direct sales incase sales people go from office to office or industry to industry without appointment to generate sales.
With lot of companies opening their own outlets directly, retail sales is becoming more and more important with removal of distributors and dealers from the chain and hence you see lot of retail stores of big companies in the malls. Salesmen selling products in retail stores are the one’s who do retail sales which is also a form of Direct Sales only as it sells directly to the customer.
Export Sales is selling of company’s products overseas it may be a corporate or an industrial sale or even appointing of distributors in other countries and building a network there.
Incase, sales is done through telephonic calls or leads for sales team are generated by tele calling it is called telemarketing/tele sales.
Marketing is a prerequisite that help sales. Marketing helps to create awareness and branding for the product, helps in creating advantages and attractions over the competitors and involves managing all other activities that creates motivation to buy the product.
It includes the following-
Market Research- It includes understanding the customer’s needs, perceptions and competitive products to assess what product line will sell best in the market.
Packaging & Pricing- Marketing involves finalizing the right packaging which creates interest to buy the product and it also involves deciding the right price for the product which motivates buying and at the same time generates good profits for the company.
Branding & Advertising- It involves using various means of advertising and branding like TV, Newspapers, Radio etc which are best suited for the range of products and the target customers.
Promotions, Schemes, Road Shows & Events.
Public Relations & Corporate Communications- While public relations deals with external media like papers and TV channels to manage publicity and image of the company, corporate communications deals with various communications/informations about the company that is shared by the management within the company or to external sources to create a positive image and impact for the company.
Online/Digital Marketing-This includes improving online presence of a company by means of Search Engine Optimization, online campaigns, etc. Digital marketing also includes sending e-mailers/SMS etc to the prospective client/customer
Marketing creates the awareness, curiosity and saleability for the products.
In some companies marketing is handled by different people, while in others sales people themselves take care of the marketing.
So when we are recruiting for sales and marketing profiles we should clearly understand as to what is the requirement. If it is totally channel sales then corporate sales kind of people will be a misfit and similarly when a Marketing Manager is required (with a typical marketing JD) a Sales Manager will not work even if he handles few marketing aspects in his role. We need to understand from the candidate as to what extent he is involved in sales and to what extent in marketing and similarly for a profile with a mix of corporate marketing and network marketing we should understand his extent of expertise and experience in each of them before we can process the same for say corporate marketing role or channel sales role. This is extremely important because in lot of resumes you will see that 1 or 2 line are there which indicates experience in other fields as well besides his core competency. We as a recruiter cannot take a profile forward just because 1 or 2 words or sentences indicate that a person has some experience in the area we are trying to find an expert in.
Customer Care /Customer Service Department– Customer Care has varied importance in various companies depending on kind and need of business. In some it may be a full-fledge department with total hierarchy structure attached with it. Profile also varies and may include handling customer queries and grievances, attending visiting clients, generating feedbacks, providing support to sales team etc.
Recruiter’s comments, suggestion and queries are most welcome and I will try to answer most of your queries.
CEO & Director at Mukul Consultants Group
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