A business has several modules which work together to render it into a successful venture. Sales, Marketing, Operations, Finance, Human Resources, 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 or process but without consistent sales, you are just sitting with a great team without any revenues to continue.
The importance of Sales Internship can be gauged by the fact that in IIM Ahmedabad, over 32% students are placed in Sales and Business Development domain after their MBA.
A sales internship requires you 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 an intern, you can be involved in any of these stages.
Creating awareness – You have to 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 – In this process you 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 – Here you are required to accompany your reporting authority or supervisor 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.
But the most important fact that you need to understand is that no matter what the process or stage is, you are actually making a collection of learning for a lifetime. And it will be these nuggets of gold which will make your career shine tomorrow.
You all will agree that the purpose of an internship is to help you gain the all-important work experience while providing you exposure to the business world.
A sales internship other than helping you understand the sales function practically, will strengthen you core business skills develop winning characteristics which every employer seek.
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 corporate life 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 persuasion and negotiation to convince your customer. You will master the art of perseverance.
Good Communication – Sales at its core is nothing but storytelling–how effectively you tell it and how much it impacts your customer. So you develop the most important skill for any profession, or should I say – very existence.
Bold and Brazen – You are going to hear a lot of negations as sales intern. If you are going to be embarrassed or dejected then you will not last long in any profession. You need to develop the ability to take it in your stride and keep going!
If you believe that all these traits are fundamental for Professional Success then be excited at the prospect of sales internship.
Don’t let any opportunity slip.
All the Best!
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