So we have entered the last leg of my sales stint (provided appraisal goes well, HR finally reads mail etc etc)
Was given a target of a cool crore and some. The regular TSO who handles the territory being handed over to me would have lost many a days sleep as he saw me trip over wires , and smack bottles off the table in expansive hand gestures. So he has held my hand and helped me take my baby steps into selling .
If you thought only volumes mattered you would be talking about the company pre-2004. Now we have various excels with permutations and combinations of the target which need to be satisfied as well. So we need how many SKUs of the product sold, how is the credit/cash scenario etc etc. Basically a whole lot of numbers to be tracked, and lots of targets need to be met.
So I hop behind my salesmen on their 100CC bikes for daily 70km+ journeys by the end of which the substantial behind wants to resign from the job and apply for a plush leather cushioned banking profile instead. My salesmen aged between 25-45 are all different. Some are shy where all the conversation comes from one side-mine,some gregarious story tellers. All with bare minimum knowledge of hindi. So we use hand gestures, repetition of lines ad-infinitum till either one gives up or the throat goes dry in trying to get ones point across.
The shopkeepers curious on seeing why any woman in her sane mind would jump behind bikes in oversized helmet and then proceed to grin foolishly as they ask questions in fluent bengali would then whisper conspiratorially with the salesmen. All in all its a man’s world out there with guest aberrations like me.
Had a regional meet-party to celebrate 20% growth in past 6 months-the co people, the salesforce and the distributors. Saw my previous distributor in neon red fitted shirt and tight ‘gins-pant’ swaying to an item number after couple of Fosters. Him being 6ft length and breadth wise.It scarred all present for life.
A salesman from nearby territory fell of his bike and hemorrhaged to death. He was driving at 80kmph without a helmet. He was also getting married in 7 days time. Gave a long lecture to my guys after the incident. Vigorous head nodding took place. Next day saw one of the salesmen happily pillion riding without helmet. Lost all cool.
I look at my appraisal form which asks me list examples of qualities like a global mindset, external orientation, real accountability. I really dont know what I will write in those columns.
Does putting all your boriya-bistar and yourself on a redi to be taken to railway station count? What about sitting in a room full of mushtande and giving them higher targets and lower incentives?Go from super particular about how I look when I step out to combining twice worn yellow kurta with red salwar because all your clothes refuse to dry in the flooded district you are putting up at? Eat dal roti every day and spend each of your evenings alone watching TV in a cheap motel count? Is countering the daily struggle to be taken seriously and not a passing guest who needs to be humored mean anything?
Some say this was the toughest, its all uphill now. i donnot know…if I should be happy to go back to my preferred decadent lifestyle or be sad about the each-day-new-adventure I will no longer have.
PS: have loads n loads of pics. However transfer cable is lying in Cal. will put them up ASAP