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I'm in Marketing and have just been offered to be Sales Manager in addition to my current duties.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm a marketer. I've graduated in it and worked in it since. I'm good at it, and it's easy for me. My marketing background is in research, analysis(mostly relating to sales and manufacturing), lead generation, direct marketing, and digital marketing. I'm a left brained numbers guy, but I can still write good copy and do all the other marketing stuff, I just don't enjoy it that much. I'm also a fairly good manager. Three weeks ago I started working at a tech company. We sell hardware, most in the US, and for 2013 we made ~$10M-$13M in revenue. Prior to my arrival, the marketing department had no direction and a horrible history. The owners did not really understand marketing, nor have they worked with a career marketer. The owners are more about sales, manufacturing, and distribution. We have around ~700 products we sell B2B. When I interviewed and kept on talking about numbers and money rather than buzz and hype, they responded well. When they hired me, they cannibalized the guy who wanted to assume the position as director. He was fired the very day before they hired me.

Sales are down but they don't have a big picture of where the loss is coming from. I can figure that out. Their sales staff also has to generate their own leads. I know I can do better and give them all a boost with lead gen. In addition to this, I've also always done a lot of overall business governance work in my past, and at this company they bring me into all the sales meetings, ask for my input on distribution, and tell me to decide what the sales team can and can't say to our wholesalers about new product releases, and launching products in new countries. This company is very ripe for me to make an impact, but the nature of the work day is so slow. People come in every 20 mins or so for something. I'd love to dig into the important stuff, but it's surprisingly hard to just put in a good 3 hrs of quality work with a spreadsheet. I'm starting to think this is just a growing pain of being in higher level management than I'm use to. I have two direct reports to help me. I will fire one after a trade show because he has no skills and get an experienced marketer. In the past I've mostly hired right brained extroverted marketers, and those in between, so they can make up for what I lack. I think this time around I will need to hire an analytical marketer because in the short time I've been here I can tell that most of my time should be spent communicating and deciding. I had to make a report today. In other jobs I could have gotten it done in 2-2.5 hrs, but I finished it well after lunch because everyone is coming in asking me to approve stuff, having short meetings, bugging me on skype/email ect...

Today, I was offered the position of sales manager, in addition to being the director of marketing. If I choose this rout, I could hire two marketers, making my marketing team 4 strong, including me. This would be amazing. On the sales side, I would have about 5 direct reports. There are two other salesmen, but one is an owner so it's not as if I'll be his boss, and another is a salesman who is now into product development, doesn't land new accounts, and just maintains accounts made years ago.

They are absolutely unfamiliar with marketing that generates leads to increase sales, or an analytical marketer who can get a sense of what should be pushed in sales, what kind of clients and markets should be pursued, and what kind of products should be developed. I think I can make an impact with sales just by staying in marketing. This is a very new concept to the owners. I could decline the offer and just be in pure marketing. I could have a general correlation to increased sales that would benefit me in asking for a raise or commission.

I could assume the position of sales manager in addition to being the director of marketing, hire more marketers to make up for the loss of my time spent on pure marketing and just manage. I get along great with those in sales, but I know some would resent me since I've never worked in sales myself. As far as office politics, I know I could get them under my control by personality after a few weeks. I also know that I could restructure marketing to work more in favor of sales. I also know that my political power in the company is such that I can help them make their numbers by putting pressure on other departments for the benefit of sales. My father has worked in sales for decades as a manager and told me that he views the job as doing what he can to help his guys make their numbers. I'd then have a direct correlation with increased sales, but also a direct target on my back. For example, the next big product launch is awful and will not sell. I can't change the course of it now, but it contributes to the target on my back. If I choose this job, I want to be able to direct product development.

It has been hinted that there would be no extra benefits with this. They are of a culture which values frugality and ridiculous undercutting though, so I know it's bullshit. I can get more money out of this and I'm sure of it. As far as my career goes, it would be great. That said, I can imagine long days and a lot of worry. Then again, more money is always nice, plus I have to save to start a family. It's all a lot of think about, and I have 2 weeks to think about it. I was flattered by the offer, especially so soon into this job, but for the rest of the day I've just been stressed out thinking of it. I have the confidence to work just about any job in marketing. Sales is a territory that I have always been around my whole career, but never participated in in such a direct way. It's just a lot to think about. Any insight or advice?
post #2 of 6
From what I've read, my gut tells me that it may not be prudent to take more responsibilities just yet. It sounds like you're not as efficient as you used to be because you have more duties, direct reports to manage, and other administrative stuff that comes with being more senior.

Could taking on more responsibilities potentially cause you to slip and backfire?

I'd be wary of that, personally, and wouldn't want to take on more responsibilities unless I knew I had a solid grasp on my current duties and had the capacity for more.

Also, I sure as hell would demand more compensation for added responsibilities.
post #3 of 6
Sales manager is better titled sales whip, so that may be a very tough position for someone who does not consider themselves extroverted. Keep all those in line and on task, including those who feel entitled not to be.
post #4 of 6
I'm curious how this story ended. I'm in sales myself and would resent having a sales manager who hasn't been "in the trenches," so to speak.
post #5 of 6
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggs View Post

I'm a marketer. I've graduated in it and worked in it since. I'm good at it, and it's easy for me. My marketing background is in research, analysis(mostly relating to sales and manufacturing), lead generation, direct marketing, and digital marketing. I'm a left brained numbers guy, but I can still write good copy and do all the other marketing stuff, I just don't enjoy it that much. I'm also a fairly good manager. Three weeks ago I started working at a tech company. We sell hardware, most in the US, and for 2013 we made ~$10M-$13M in revenue. Prior to my arrival, the marketing department had no direction and a horrible history. The owners did not really understand marketing, nor have they worked with a career marketer. The owners are more about sales, manufacturing, and distribution. We have around ~700 products we sell B2B. When I interviewed and kept on talking about numbers and money rather than buzz and hype, they responded well. When they hired me, they cannibalized the guy who wanted to assume the position as director. He was fired the very day before they hired me.

Sales are down but they don't have a big picture of where the loss is coming from. I can figure that out. Their sales staff also has to generate their own leads. I know I can do better and give them all a boost with lead gen. In addition to this, I've also always done a lot of overall business governance work in my past, and at this company they bring me into all the sales meetings, ask for my input on distribution, and tell me to decide what the sales team can and can't say to our wholesalers about new product releases, and launching products in new countries. This company is very ripe for me to make an impact, but the nature of the work day is so slow. People come in every 20 mins or so for something. I'd love to dig into the important stuff, but it's surprisingly hard to just put in a good 3 hrs of quality work with a spreadsheet. I'm starting to think this is just a growing pain of being in higher level management than I'm use to. I have two direct reports to help me. I will fire one after a trade show because he has no skills and get an experienced marketer. In the past I've mostly hired right brained extroverted marketers, and those in between, so they can make up for what I lack. I think this time around I will need to hire an analytical marketer because in the short time I've been here I can tell that most of my time should be spent communicating and deciding. I had to make a report today. In other jobs I could have gotten it done in 2-2.5 hrs, but I finished it well after lunch because everyone is coming in asking me to approve stuff, having short meetings, bugging me on skype/email ect...

Today, I was offered the position of sales manager, in addition to being the director of marketing. If I choose this rout, I could hire two marketers, making my marketing team 4 strong, including me. This would be amazing. On the sales side, I would have about 5 direct reports. There are two other salesmen, but one is an owner so it's not as if I'll be his boss, and another is a salesman who is now into product development, doesn't land new accounts, and just maintains accounts made years ago.

They are absolutely unfamiliar with marketing that generates leads to increase sales, or an analytical marketer who can get a sense of what should be pushed in sales, what kind of clients and markets should be pursued, and what kind of products should be developed. I think I can make an impact with sales just by staying in marketing. This is a very new concept to the owners. I could decline the offer and just be in pure marketing. I could have a general correlation to increased sales that would benefit me in asking for a raise or commission.

I could assume the position of sales manager in addition to being the director of marketing, hire more marketers to make up for the loss of my time spent on pure marketing and just manage. I get along great with those in sales, but I know some would resent me since I've never worked in sales myself. As far as office politics, I know I could get them under my control by personality after a few weeks. I also know that I could restructure marketing to work more in favor of sales. I also know that my political power in the company is such that I can help them make their numbers by putting pressure on other departments for the benefit of sales. My father has worked in sales for decades as a manager and told me that he views the job as doing what he can to help his guys make their numbers. I'd then have a direct correlation with increased sales, but also a direct target on my back. For example, the next big product launch is awful and will not sell. I can't change the course of it now, but it contributes to the target on my back. If I choose this job, I want to be able to direct product development.

It has been hinted that there would be no extra benefits with this. They are of a culture which values frugality and ridiculous undercutting though, so I know it's bullshit. I can get more money out of this and I'm sure of it. As far as my career goes, it would be great. That said, I can imagine long days and a lot of worry. Then again, more money is always nice, plus I have to save to start a family. It's all a lot of think about, and I have 2 weeks to think about it. I was flattered by the offer, especially so soon into this job, but for the rest of the day I've just been stressed out thinking of it. I have the confidence to work just about any job in marketing. Sales is a territory that I have always been around my whole career, but never participated in in such a direct way. It's just a lot to think about. Any insight or advice?

I am just curious, did you survive? How did it go?

I have been presented with similar situation in that a position recently opened up and I have been nominated to take up the work, which in a nutshell is a sales oriented dealing with new leads as well as servicing existing accounts. It will be more directly related to generating revenue for the company, more so than my current position. I currently work on existing accounts, too, by way of service and maintenance. The new position would mean the volume of service related support would increase dramatically. Aside from that, I am very much involved with the operation and sales support much like you in your marketing position. Other things include writing and co-editing client and public communications, manage day-to-day workflow, and follow up on leads. Lately I have been in meetings with management and brainstorming on ways to improve, integrate, and implement more efficient ways of running the business.

When the position was presented to me, I was hesitant because though I understand the workflow, I'm not much of an extrovert. The sales position is also heavily product related that can branches into technical expertise (law & accounting). The former requires licensing and the latter is certification neither of which I have currently. I believe I can help more by way of organizing and tracking leads, documenting and sending communications, and take up an admin role with less client interaction (I can step in to support or as a backup). As you alluded to, most of my time would be more focused on communicating and decision making/problem solving. As you stated, the company and sales team is more focused on generating sales and individuals are more independent in their approach. The issue is how to incorporate various resources be it utilizing a CRM tool or recruiting the right team in order to better generate sales and close the deal.

I enjoy working on making the entire operations turnkey so that anyone who wants to help or generate sales can easily go through our pipeline. Granted everyone has their own method but the point is there needs to be an admin to oversee and identify stumbling blocks when they occur and quickly mend the situation. If the resources and support is not available, I need to see to it that it becomes readily available.

FWIW I feel a lot of my co-workers resent me and despite the full support of management, my colleagues are less inclined to contribute and collaborate. How to deal with low morale?

As it is currently, I will still maintain my current responsibilities on top of sharing the load with a new associate to the company. To be frank, I am quite optimistic since I believe with the right infrastructure, it will all be routine and systematic. Sales will be able to quickly identify leads, open cases, follow up, close, and provide appropriate client-account support. I was informed there would be a bonus for the added workload. The pressure now is figuring how to get the gears turning to generate 2 quarters worth of business in 1.5 months. That and balancing the workload as you stated; I have to really divvy up my time efficiently. My attention is always being taken away. Management understands this though so we have set some clear guideline as to what takes precedence, which is good.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
I do not have the position, but I have much of the work load that would have came with it, and a lot more respect from upper management.

The person who offered me the position was going to give it up because she already managed another department and she had too much on her plate. Shortly after I posted this she nearly lost her role as manager of the other department. I assume she feared losing her relevance. The offer was revoked, but I was taking on more and more sales related tasks. I'm heavily entrenched in sales now. I started providing leads, I'm making sure salesforce get implemented and integrated, I price items, tell them what to push, I'm in every sales meeting, work on allocation when we have a limited number of units, and I kind of half-manage any new sales staff. I hired a stats person to take over the more numbers oriented marketing projects but have since lost that person. Along with this new work, I'm also taking on a larger role in product development and review/negotiate all sales related contracts. I'm stretched very thin. I work long hours and when I go home I almost never go out because I'm so tired. If I was offered the position again today I would most likely refuse depending on pay or if I could hire someone experienced to help. It's flattering that I've been having a larger role in other departments, and I know it's good for my career, but I feel burnt out. If I have time to daydream I always think of how I feel on vacations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gettoasty View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

I am just curious, did you survive? How did it go?

I have been presented with similar situation in that a position recently opened up and I have been nominated to take up the work, which in a nutshell is a sales oriented dealing with new leads as well as servicing existing accounts. It will be more directly related to generating revenue for the company, more so than my current position. I currently work on existing accounts, too, by way of service and maintenance. The new position would mean the volume of service related support would increase dramatically. Aside from that, I am very much involved with the operation and sales support much like you in your marketing position. Other things include writing and co-editing client and public communications, manage day-to-day workflow, and follow up on leads. Lately I have been in meetings with management and brainstorming on ways to improve, integrate, and implement more efficient ways of running the business.

When the position was presented to me, I was hesitant because though I understand the workflow, I'm not much of an extrovert. The sales position is also heavily product related that can branches into technical expertise (law & accounting). The former requires licensing and the latter is certification neither of which I have currently. I believe I can help more by way of organizing and tracking leads, documenting and sending communications, and take up an admin role with less client interaction (I can step in to support or as a backup). As you alluded to, most of my time would be more focused on communicating and decision making/problem solving. As you stated, the company and sales team is more focused on generating sales and individuals are more independent in their approach. The issue is how to incorporate various resources be it utilizing a CRM tool or recruiting the right team in order to better generate sales and close the deal.

I enjoy working on making the entire operations turnkey so that anyone who wants to help or generate sales can easily go through our pipeline. Granted everyone has their own method but the point is there needs to be an admin to oversee and identify stumbling blocks when they occur and quickly mend the situation. If the resources and support is not available, I need to see to it that it becomes readily available.

FWIW I feel a lot of my co-workers resent me and despite the full support of management, my colleagues are less inclined to contribute and collaborate. How to deal with low morale?

As it is currently, I will still maintain my current responsibilities on top of sharing the load with a new associate to the company. To be frank, I am quite optimistic since I believe with the right infrastructure, it will all be routine and systematic. Sales will be able to quickly identify leads, open cases, follow up, close, and provide appropriate client-account support. I was informed there would be a bonus for the added workload. The pressure now is figuring how to get the gears turning to generate 2 quarters worth of business in 1.5 months. That and balancing the workload as you stated; I have to really divvy up my time efficiently. My attention is always being taken away. Management understands this though so we have set some clear guideline as to what takes precedence, which is good.


That's strikingly similar to how I feel. So little that happens in my company is automated. Salesmen were writing down leads very crudely in excel. I've just been identified as the guy who understands systems. In addition to getting salesforce working and integrated, I'm also the one selecting and overseeing the implementation of an ERP system. It's going to be a complicated and painful transition, but worth it. Everyone but upper management is confused by all this and why a marketer will go around asking for or about all these things that have absolutely nothing to do with marketing. There is also some resentment too.

If you've ever taken the Myers-Briggs test, I'm INTJ. For an introvert, I can fake the extroverted stuff but it's so draining. One very damaging quirk about this company is that the CEO is the first person to interview anyone, and he is the only person in management who is not really a businessman. When he hires someone he looks for "passion." I slipped through the cracks because I can fake being a passionate extrovert. On the job, all the social interaction is tiring for me. When I could just sit at a desk and work one something undisturbed I would leave home with enough energy to do a lot of chores or go to the gym. I like other employees contributing, but usually not collaborating unless it's something where I'm out of my element. Less hands on the steering wheel and all that.

Do you think they will hit them up for a raise? I always try to set aside some time to tack how things improve under me. I have a secret excel sheet for it. When I hire my next intern that's going to be some of what they do, just track numbers about how different functions are before and after me so I can use it when I ask for a raise, or to add to my resume.
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