Myanmar is currently experiencing unprecedented economic growth amongst all sectors, and the sales and development function is imperative to businesses large and small across all industries. Sales and business development in its rawest form is to increase the profitability of the business by attracting business and getting the “product” of the company into the customer’s hands. Sales and business development works very closely with marketing to attract new business, develop opportunities, and establish and maintain loyalty with their clients in order to propel growth. In this increasingly competitive economic environment there are many factors playing into this but customer service is key.
On a day to day basis, a sales executive may be sourcing new clients, researching their competitors and industry trends, forecasting future trends and meeting with both prospective and current clients. To do this they need to be knowledgeable, well presented, have a great command on the English language, know their product and be able to meet any objections. If any of this is not functioning well, then they will not make the sale (or may lose a customer) which would lead to not meeting their targets. And the sales and business development function is target driven.
Making sure that all of this falls into place, and that their team is meeting all their targets is the sales manager, who to succeed at their job needs to be able to motivate their staff, manage them, and ensure that targets are met. A sales manager will also work closely with other departments. For example they will work closely with human resources to ensure that the best staff are attracted and retained through aspects such as development and renumeration. Not to mention accounting and finance as sales very often has a bonus system based on targets, and correct payment is essential for an employees wellbeing.
There is much opportunity in sales and business development in Myanmar as foreign investment starts to pour in. A sales executive after proven experience may move onto the role of a sales manager, and may then proceed to take on more teams, going from an area sales manager (for example in Yangon) to the role of a regional sales manager and this can progress to the role of a national sales manager. There is also opportunities to apply for roles in larger companies, such as an international one and gain further experience in the same industry.
The skill sets of employees in the sales and development function are quite unique, meaning the skill set is transferrable to other industries. For example, a sales supervisor in an electronics store may very well move into a corporate environment, in an entirely different industry.
To work in sales and business development does not necessarily require formal education, but it helps, especially when it is industry relevant. The more grasp one has on the product the more effective their results will be, and knowledge constantly needs to be updated. Saying that, when one has a proven track record in meeting targets and has received on the job training, advancement is obtainable.
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