Say 'Hi' to George and Edwin!
Edwin (left) is a UI-UX Designer and George (right) is a Data Analyst.
These two typically spend their days in the Product and IT Engineering office. However, for a duration of two-weeks, they have been helping in our sales operations (Sales Op). Branded as the ‘Sales Op Immersion Programme’, Edwin and George took part in this programme to put themselves in the shoes of our Sales Executives having realised that while they have been working and collaborating with them, they have never truly understood the perspectives of their Sales teammates. Today, they share their experience being on the other side of the business.
Learning Sales Op-Specific Skills
Edwin and George were certainly apprehensive at the beginning of the ‘Immersion Program’. When asked if he ever expected to participate in sales operations, Edwin answered, “No way. I thought I would only ever be comfortable with a product-related job scope. Interacting with customers is just not what I’m naturally gifted at.” Once they have set their fears aside and recognized it to be good exposure, they were ready to dive into customer relations.
Luckily, they had a caring Sales mentor to facilitate their transition, Sales and Operations Executive Patricia (Pat), who taught them the tricks of the trade. “They both came to me quite anxious,” she recalls with a fond laugh, “Edwin and George are quite resilient, and they became used to the nature of work after a couple of days.”
More than Just Making Phone Calls
Being a reserved person, Edwin laments that the learning curve was especially tough with the phone calls. “Customers usually call with a problem,” he reveals insightfully, “and they are always in a rush when talking about it, which gives me very little context to understand their issue.”
While Edwin expresses his admiration for the Sales Op team’s capability to understand customers’ queries even when they call in a rush, Pat assures him that this knowledge comes with time. “The queries that a customer calls in with may seem random now, but, after a while, you realise that there is usually a pattern in the issues or requests the customer brings up,” she reassures, “They use the same terms to describe their shipment. They also ask questions that revolve around the typical problems.”
A Learning Experience
George, having gone through the sales executives’ day-to-day life, shares that he can also understand better why his colleagues provide him with certain information for his data analysis. “Previously, a sales executive will always assist with the data cleaning process. Having learnt the procedures, I am now able to perform the data-cleansing on my own.”
This experience has caused Edwin’s and George’s respect for the Sales Op team to skyrocket.
“In the end, our sales executives are really important to us because they are the ones who interact with our customers and create positive service experiences that encourage them to become repeat customers. On our part, we just need to support them in the ways they need.” George would fully recommend that his colleagues from other departments try out sales operations to understand their thinking, prioritizes and skills.