When I opted to be salesguy in my 40s

Last year in November, I asked for a sales role after failing to relate to the Operation profile outlined to me. I am 45 years old without any sales experience and was sure to be refused. But, my hiring manager was an ex-colleague from the Company we worked together (2008–2011) who surprisingly agreed and said, “We let you romance the idea of being a salesperson.’

Hence, I start my third career transition from strategy-to-finance-to-Operations-to-sales in 18 years of my work life. Sales role was going to be challenging for the following reasons:

a. No first-hand sales experience

b. Technology intensive product with 4–6 months sales cycle

c. Poor networking skills

I was ready to take up the challenge backed by the belief that ‘Sales’ is science rather than ‘art’ and sticking to a well-defined process and being persistent will give me the results I aimed for.

November 2020:

  • I was onboarded remotely

December 2020:

  • Boredom setting in

January 2021:

  • Decided to give up the co-working space

a. Checking the LinkedIn profile to find a talking point (6–7 minutes)

b. Searching for email id from Lusha (2–3 minutes)

c. Creating contact on the Sales CRM (1–2 minutes)

d. Drafting the email 4–5 sentences in each of the two paragraphs (6–7 minutes)

February 2021:

  • My valentine (my prospects) were nowhere in sight

March 2021:

  • First change in my focus from the leadership. I am asked to singly focus on pitching the MLOps platform (product) alone instead of pitching solutions.

April 2021:

  • Signed up for 5 roundtables/webinars with the event’s vendor

May 2021:

  • 12 prospects generated

June 2021:

  • 7 prospects generated; none reached the POC stage

July 2021:

  • Only two prospects from the roundtable conducted for South African customers

August 2021:

  • 5 customer prospects

September 2021:

  • Leadership change and the company becomes 100% subsidiary of a global IT solutions and Services provider

October 2021:

  • Assigned the Account Management responsibility for the Parent company

(Posted on my LinkedIn profile as well)

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