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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 3
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 3
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 3
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.
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