With this piece, we broadly take a look at a day in the life of an Area Sales Manager (ASM) – one of the most coveted sales roles an MBA grad aspires to get into. We’re hosting a very special guest, Nandit Dayal, one of the coolest ASM you will ever meet. He’s an Area Sales Manager at Trinity Health Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Given his penchant towards fitness and health, working at Trinity is like a dream and passion for him. Trinity is the distributor and service provider of the premium wellness brand, TECHNOGYM.
One note before we dive right in Nandit’s post. While we may be specifically talking about Trinity here, the role of an ASM is more or less similar in terms of broader activities. So, regardless of what industry you’re looking at, this piece will help you get a broader perspective on the role of ASM in any industry.
Waking up as an Area Sales Manager
As the alarm rings every morning, all the thoughts start gathering in. What is my goal for the day? Which clients do I need to speak to? Any meetings? How many clients do I need to follow up with? I should target at least 5 sales proposals for the day and try to have at least 12 meetings.
The day begins.
If you were to look at the textbook definition of an ASM, you would be a little misguided. It says an ASM is someone responsible for overseeing sales operations, meeting targets and managing the sales team in the region. While the above statement does come true in reality, it is a little more than that. I manage sales for the city of Mumbai. I meet numerous customers throughout the day. Customers require new machines, renewal of service contracts, have a new project in the pipeline, want a machine for home use, and the list goes on.
Customer: The king of the market
The customer is the king in any market and it is very important to understand the product specifications and requirements of the customer. My day usually has new sales meetings, follow up meetings, sharing business proposals with customers, follow up calls and filling in sales reports. Each sales meeting is a customer who requires certain specific products for his project. The project could be a new real estate building, an upcoming hotel, a new gym or an existing customer looking for new equipment in the existing facility.
I meet the customers, explain the products that we have, help them understand why they should choose our brand and the advantages of working with us and the services we have to offer. After the meeting, I enter the product details that the customer has selected and make a detailed proposal for the customer. Not all meetings convert into a proposal because some customers may prefer another brand, may want to think a little more before taking things further or may have inquired for general information. My target is to share a proposal with each and every customer I contact either through a meeting or over the phone.
Sharing proposals is only half the work done. I schedule follow up calls and meetings with customers who I have shared a proposal with, to understand if their requirements are met and if we can take things forward, or get general feedback on what the customer thinks of the proposal and if there are any changes the customer would like to make before taking a decision on the purchase.
Related: Take a look at Customer-centric vs Brand-centric marketing techniques.
Building and maintaining relationships
Sales are not carried out through pricing and negotiations… They’re carried out through trust. It is very important for a customer to trust me, my brand and the services I have to offer. If there is no trust in the business relationship, I cannot make a sale. For example, purchase of household groceries from a particular shop is not about the discount the shop is offering, but the quality of the products offered. If there is poor quality in a product even once, the shop will lose the customer on the basis of lack of trust.
I end my day by filling in a report on the number of meetings done, customers who I met, number of proposals shared and wins and losses. I sleep looking forward to an exciting new day at work, new people to meet and new business opportunities!
To sum it all up, an ASM is like the CEO of a specific area, he has to keep tabs on expectations of not only the internal but also the external stakeholders. Obviously keeping in mind the competitors, SLA’s (Service level agreements), feedbacks, everything.
If you are someone who’s looking to become an ASM, you have to be a peoples’ person. One of the few tips to cracking an ASM GD and PI would be to ensure you come out as someone who is a passionate problem solver. During a GD be someone try to solve conflicts rather than causing one and listen to people when they’re talking. In an interview, ensure you keep all of what you learned above in check. You’d be typically expected to have problem-solving and conflict management skills, not to mention the good communication and goal-oriented nature.
Related: Take a look at how you can crack an FMCG interview.