Ajith Murali is a member of:
Ajith Murali's Experience
Monster India, Bangalore, INDIA
Ajith Murali's Education
My family background
Dad was a sales professional with Olivetti [many will not know this name now ] Mom was a Govt. servant, brother used to be in the IT industry now an entrepreneur, got married in 2000 to Ms. Preethy Sequeira an HR professional in the semiconductor industry, fathered 2 goons Rohit Murali in class 5 and Aaditya Murali in LKG both studying in Delhi Public School North.
Education system in India
Education system in our country needs a radical change; current system was introduced by British centuries back to create clerks and stenographers for their convenience. Children should be given basic education until the age of fifteen; this should include languages, basic mathematics, science, recent history, GK and current affairs. What is the point in thrusting the dates of Babar’s invasion and construction of Taj to children who are not interested? Catch them young and watch them flourish should be the approach. Secondly, theory should be limited to comprehend the concepts; mastering them should take a much practical approach. Curriculum should be more vocational; a diploma holder with 2 yrs of floor shop experience with an automobile manufacturer is far superior to a fresh BE automobile graduate; if we have the same BE graduate with 4 yrs of hands on from the campus. Unless we changes; we’ll continue to see chemical engineers from the IIT’s going on tbecoming investment bankers
Effect of sales on an organization
Sales is the backbone of any organization, to be in business you need to have a strong and efficient sales force, this is the channel that generates revenue for the organization to sustain and grow. Any organization that has an ambitious growth plan needs to invest in its sales function. The sales team needs to be trained to take a scientific approach to their customers. Each sales person should have a 2 pronged approach to his profession; he should be a sales person to his employer and a consultant to his customer, it is also very important to create a fine balance between these 2 roles. A good consultant is always approached by his customer for all his business solutions and a good sales person is always retained by his employer.
Firstly globalization has had a huge impact, sales force is the face of any organization and when you enter a new market; language and culture pose the biggest challenges; hence the need for collaboration with various geographies. Technology is another factor; today the buyer is leveraging technology for information, processes, execution, inventory management and ROI calculation. Today’s sales manager should be highly scalable as he would be dealing with sales people belonging to different generation, intense competition means ability and need to make quick decisions and the sales managers at the front line level should be empowered to take decisions to avoid loss of opportunity and finally the sales person should work towards the goal of the buyer and the seller. Becoming an integral part of the customer’s success is unavoidable to be in business. Hence I would say in today’s dynamics the sales process actually begins the moment a contract is signed.
After graduation it was a default option to join sales, I had humble beginning as a frontline sales person selling office automation systems; that is around the time the markets opened up and I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. It was the telecom sector, paging and cellular services were novelties; as I graduated to a fine sales professional, the IT industry was flourishing and technology training was a fantastic opportunity; here I consolidated my profession as a sales person, but it took me 3 jobs and 1 entrepreneurial venture before I found my career in the internet industry. I have been with this employer for a decade now and have grown consistently. Today I manage a sizeable business [relatively large for an internet company] for the enterprise division of my employer. When I look back I am completely satisfied the way my professional and personal graph has grown. I was just lucky to be at the right place at the right time.
Tons of patience, an avid listener who has the ability to pick up key information from your customer during a conversation, probe for specific information to understand the problem or the need of your customer; strong analytical abilities to identify the right solutions, ability to present, articulate and propose the solution and how it would add value to his business and finally the ability to identify, read, judge and build mutually beneficial partnerships.
Comparing Online sales with hardcore sales
Online sales are primarily transactional in nature when compared to enterprise sales, as mentioned earlier in enterprise sales the sales process actually begins once the contract is signed, simply because in today’s dynamics you have to become a part of the customer’s goals and success.
Developing a country
The utopian concept of bringing about change by being part of the system is good for thought, but actually in a very practical approach; one must understand that the political system in India is the only body which can initiate changes to bring about a paradigm shift in all areas leading to the overall development of our country.
Becoming good marketing professionals
I don’t know if a good sales professional can become a good marketing professional; but a successful sales professional can be a hit in all walks of life. In marketing it is very important to understand the pulse of the market and who better than a sales guy for that? Also being in sales he would know the ground reality of the market place, potential, customer needs and the scope of work. As mentioned earlier a successful sales guy would be good at identifying win-win partnerships and generally a great people’s man, he would be articulate and will have the ability to drive and mobilize resources to achieve a certain goal.
Motivating team members
Success and failure go hand in hand; failure was the stepping stone for all successful people, so seasoned professionals know how to handle success and failure. And hope is the best way to keep your team motivated, human race go to sleep every day hoping to see the next morning and hope is one thing that keep us going 24/7, helping them handle the failure by making them realize that the victory and success waiting ahead is the final destination; is the best way to manage the situation.
Handling new territory
Anything new is a challenge for everybody, one need to do his / her homework to make the task easier, identify opportunities, make a game plan and ensure surgical precision in execution, do not let initial hiccups bog you down, keep at it; sooner or later you’ll get your break through and the rest is just hard work and dedication.
Current Job description
• Managing the business operations of the assigned region with P&L Accountability.
• Responsible for the combined growth of the region as well as the growth of each branch in the region.
• Handling total team strength of 20 to 25 people in sales function and also overview support functions like Customer Support etc. with entire operational responsibility for the region.
• Responsible for annual business plan & revenue forecasting of the region; with quarterly projections to meet organizations growth plans.
• Responsible for the region’s revenue growth both gross and net.
• Analyze and monitor market penetration, Industry Segment wise and Product / Services wise V/S competition.
• Responsible for accelerating and growing the market share of the region to stay ahead of competition.
• Introduce innovative strategies to formulate new scope to generate additional revenue streams.
• Work closely with the marketing team to identify and conduct meaningful HR events in the region
My advice to upcoming professionals
I am a novice to give any advice or guidance; but my experience says that this is a high growth and high rewarding career option, at the same time it’s a high pressure job. The ability to understand your organization and your customer goals is very important, you are expected to create mutually beneficial partnerships; and effective communication skills, excellent analytic thinking and a great attitude is a must for this profession; having said that these skills are not learnt overnight. It can be acquired over a period of time with dedication and determination. Sales is all about winning! Like Adolf Hitler said “You win you need not explain, If you lose you should not be there to explain” Thus it requires tremendous amount of guts to take this profession; your performance is under constant scrutiny and It is certainly not for the weak hearted!
Importance of brand image
Brand image is not only important in attracting and nurturing good talent, it is important in building customer confidence and also positioning as a superlative product / service in your industry segment. Over all brand image is an extremely critical and important aspect for any organization in which ever perspective you look at it…
Essential qualification required
The basic qualification required to enter sales profession is as mentioned earlier, effective communication skills, analytical thinking, ability to create winning partnerships, and a great attitude; but the advanced qualification required is purely specific to the industry, an electrical engineer for selling electrical goods, a software engineer for software sales and an automobile engineer for selling cars and other vehicles. Having the required technical / advanced qualification alone will not help; it has to be combined with the basic traits mentioned at the beginning.