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Career Story: Sales Operations Manager For An Engineering Software Company

Sales Operations Manager For An Engineering Software Company

Job Title: Sales Operations

Type of Company: My company develops engineering software.

Education: BS, Business Logistics, Pennsylvania State University

Previous Experience: I worked at IBM for 19 years, first in finance then in sales.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for running the sales operations for the company. There are approximately 1,000 people in sales. This includes sales people who sell directly to customers, pre-sales technical people who assist with demonstrations of our software, and sales support staff.

One of the most important parts of the sales machinery is channel operations: a team of people that supports our channel business. We have over 350 distributors who sell our products to small and medium-size businesses. The channel operations team supports those distributors by assisting them with training and development, order processing, contracts, etc.

In addition, we have the pre-sales technical team, which, again, provides demonstration support of our software and any technical support that our sales people need. The corporate briefing center also falls under operations. This includes an extremely nice briefing center in Needham, MA and another in Shanghai. We also have sales training and development which teaches our sales teams how to sell the software. Then we have general operations to support our commission system for the sales people, administrative support, etc.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is providing value to the sales teams around the world and enabling them to generate sales and revenue for the company. For example, many sales teams will bring their customers to the corporate visitor center and after the briefing, the customer will commit to ordering our products. Sometimes the order's very large.

The worst part of the job is that although we are very automated, there are parts of the job that require manual intervention. This is frustrating at times, and deadlines make it worse.

Job Tips: The key to being successful in this job is the ability to collaborate and work with a team. I also suggest practicing/taking classes in speech/presentations and writing in general is beneficial. The ability to work in a team, getting along with all types of people, and negotiating and being flexible is important.

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