Can you please describe a job in sales?

Hi!
First, let me give you a bit of background: I am a high school student, and I've been interested in finance for a little less than a year. Although I am better in the humanities subjects, I am working hard to get better math skills (not so hard to be a quant, though) and am reading a lot about finance and economics (I think I'll major in econ). After finding some adversities with trading and analysis, I think a job as a saleswoman would suit me.
So now let's go to questions:
-Is a job in sales a bit of a mix between law (esp. the persuasion skills) and finance?
-Are the hours long (I kind of want them to be, tbh)
-Does it require at least median levels of intellectual labor?
-Is it stressful?

Sorry if I still sound like a f--ktard. I am still learning the art of talking/writing like the people from Liar's Poker.
F--ktard was a good place to begin with.

Comments (44)

Jun 9, 2017 - 3:56pm
kidbrown, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You can find a lot of information regarding sales already talked about on WSO. This thread has a ton of good info you can check out https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/difference-bt-sales-and-sales-trading

Jun 9, 2017 - 4:01pm
itriedtobecreative, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you!

“I’m into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.”
Best Response
Jun 13, 2017 - 9:40am
lrbd, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just stumbled on this and thought i may be able to give you f--ktard some color on what I do in Sales. I work in Cash Equity Sales for a mid sized French bank in Frankfurt, Germany (~3+ years, have a B.Sc in BA & Finance).

  1. no in my case not: the whole glorified Wolf of Wallstreet/Boilerroom client persuasion is a thing of the past, at least in the institutional sales world (our clients are professional investors such as Hedge funds, Pension Funds or regular Long-only Asset Managers): it's all about facts and ideas. But of course you need to be good with words and a likeable person in general.

  2. compared to M&A analysts no; compared to my non-banking friends yes (10h average; has been 14h+ on some days especially when travelling is involved)

  3. yes absolutely- you need to absorb and process a lot of information on all kinds of industries, companies and trends. You have to be an expert on Real Estate, Biotech, Energy, Aviation, Politics, Technology and many more industries all at the same time. I read about 3 Newspapers + Equity Research every single day.

  4. my day can be highly stressful, can be quite relaxed - you never really know whats going to happen today

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Jun 13, 2017 - 5:29pm
itriedtobecreative, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks, f--ktard! I am beginning to like this whole sales thing. Might join Bud Fox anytime soon. Then I'll become his boss and fire him on the grounds he's an idiot.

“I’m into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.”
Jun 13, 2017 - 5:31pm
itriedtobecreative, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I hope no one here is inspired by Bud Fox and writes every he that refers to him with a capital H.

“I’m into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.”
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Jun 13, 2017 - 10:38am
differentialequations12, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Life in the day of a tech sales person (me)

8AM walk into office. 8:30 -- Browse Reddit for 30 minutes 9AM Get new salesforce data. 10AM Spend hour updating said salesforce data 10:30AM Start calling for 100-200 dials in the day. noon: Lunch @ desk 2PM: 30 minute break 4PM: Go home if at goal or better -- leave @ 2ish on fridays

-Is a job in sales a bit of a mix between law (esp. the persuasion skills) and finance?

no

-Are the hours long (I kind of want them to be, tbh)

only if you suck or want them to be. I don't think I work more than 40 hours. your job is to have deals in the pipeline.

if there are deals in the pipeline than no one cares what you do.

no one cares about face time. it is a meritocracy and there is a board of how well you are doing.

politics don't exist because the board tells all.

-Does it require at least median levels of intellectual labor?

No - -requires work ethic though

-Is it stressful?

Only if you're bad at sales and can't make quota (or your company sucks)

Work ethic, social skills, and ability to take rejection.

Array
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  • 1
Jun 13, 2017 - 5:33pm
itriedtobecreative, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you! (God Save The Reddit)

“I’m into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.”
Jun 14, 2017 - 6:14am
Arti, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Get some knee pads.

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.
  • 1
Jun 14, 2017 - 6:30pm
itriedtobecreative, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why? (This proves I am right under whale shit in terms of intelligence)

“I’m into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly.”
  • 1
Jun 15, 2017 - 2:46am
Arti, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For protection

You killed the Greece spread goes up, spread goes down, from Wall Street they all play like a freak, Goldman Sachs 'o beat.
Jun 15, 2017 - 11:18am
Mr.Cheese, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I had a brief stint on our marketing desk during an analyst rotation on a commodities desk at a BBIt was a combination of the following: -Be the first on the desk in, usually around 6:30-7am. -Updating Macro's in excel sheets to send out reports to client(which were never read). These morning reports had so many excel formulaic errors that every analyst just added their own patch -Get Coffee -Booking deals from the marketing desk to the respective trader -Calculating CVA(credit-valuation adjustments) and how many Pnl is allocated to the marketing/trading desks -Get lunch -In the afternoons perhaps read research reports, websites, wait for a deal to get done, ask other marketers what they are doing -get FaceTime(yes it still exists) until about 630-7pm

Things don't get interesting until you make associate, but then you are handed the clients that either are in-active, or that no one wants for various reasons(never execute, always asking for razor-thin margins, low volumes). It takes a good while and some decent luck to make it big your first 5-10 years in marketing

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:19am
Milhouse Van Houten, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Life of a rates derivatives sales person (much more numbers heavy than cash equities sales):

720am In the office 730am Morning Meeting 8am-4pm get trades printed and earn sales credits. Sales remembers client trades and where they are at. Sales ask the question of: 'would they (Client)be keen to get out of this at this price?'. 'Would they be keen to buy this product? Sales help the traders get out of positions also by picking up the phone and answering the questions above. 430pm-530pm Reply to emails, do admin and write a few market pieces. Pushing firm's trade ideas or even their own. Not everyday but most days a salesperson would be meeting clients, may be 3 meetings a day formal tie/blazer style or some days just a quick morning coffee. Taking traders to these meetings also adds value.

Is a job in sales a bit of a mix between law (esp. the persuasion skills) and finance?

I can only speak for derivatives, so sales is very much technical and social combined. Less pure persuasion skills but more getting people to like you, trust you, connect with you and hence trade with the firm e.g GS/MS/JP. However you are still fairly quanty and good with modelling exotics.

I wouldn't say law. Think a really popular kid in high school that also has good grades. Think school captain caliber.

Are the hours long (I kind of want them to be, tbh) Nah 10-11 hours a day Monday to Friday. Why do you want your day to be long?

Does it require at least median levels of intellectual labor? Medium to low High level. May not be PHDs in math but smart in many ways, extreme high EQ and charisma in rate sales.

Is it stressful? Less stressful as a trader for sure, still stressful when your client is pissed at you and trader also pissed at you.

“Everything's coming up Milhouse!”
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Jun 30, 2017 - 7:20am
mrdraper, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What's the best financial sales position? (Originally Posted: 04/04/2013)

Dear monkeys,

Graduated from UG last year in continental Europe with a low GPA. ATM working in Big4 audit but would like to move on to a more client-facing sales type of role in the financial sector in London, starting from this summer/fall. The ideal job would be fast paced, entrepreneurial (commission should be at least part of the fee structure) and one where I'm constantly trying to sell products/services. Also something with long-term potential. (and smth I could be able to get a position at realistically).

I've done quite a lot of research but I thought this would be the ideal place to ask some more input.

So far these have been the options that have crossed my mind: 1. PWM - at start, I would be doing couple of years of admin work and I'm not sure if there are enough smaller places I can actually get a position at. 2. Institutional Sales in a bank - similar to PWM in the admin thing. 3. IDB - I guess a place like ICAP??? Don't know what the limitations are there but this looked promising. 4. Financial adviser (in a normal brokerage I guess, though not too sure how it works as well). I guess this is smth like LPL finance in the US?

That's pretty much it. Don't know too much about the difference of products as well (have heard that vanilla equity is more of a sales type of role and derivatives (and other more "difficult" products) are more analytical jobs.

Any advice would be tremendously appreciated,

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:24am
kingoftheotherroad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The role of a salesman in a world run by algorithms (Originally Posted: 07/19/2013)

I couldn't find a clear answer and hopefully this will answer someone's question in the future.

With the rise of algorithm execution platforms eliminating the role of traders, where do the salesmen fall into place?

Hopefully someone can provide some insight and lets not turn this into a computer vs. human argument.

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:27am
UTDFinanceGuy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Although the traders may be worked out (I don't see that legitimately coming) the need for salesperson will always be prevalent.

Because you will need someone who will sell your services to the masses and be able to present a case for why the client chooses you and not someone else. Salespeople will also be there to simplify information and be able to give the answers that are needed to the clients in the process.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller. "Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL
  • 1
Jun 30, 2017 - 7:29am
huanleshalemei, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Bondarb:

...without a salesman whose credit card will i use to charge knicks tickets and steak dinners? I am seriously asking as i do not intend on paying for these things myself.

It's actually a win-win. They will use your name to charge their employer for their personal expenses too~

The Auto Show
Jun 30, 2017 - 7:41am
trade4size, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have been hearing the same sht now here for 6 years about how there is no need for traders/salesman... and in that time nothing has really changed. The buyside relies on the sell side to augment their internal research its that simple.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.
Jun 30, 2017 - 7:42am
she_monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:
trade4size:

I have been hearing the same sht now here for 6 years about how there is no need for traders/salesman... and in that time nothing has really changed. The buyside relies on the sell side to augment their internal research its that simple.

basically, what trade said

sure, some jobs in sell side trading and sales have disappeared because of technology.. but there are human aspects of the client-facing business that algos can never replace. cliche but, sales or trading will never go away because of this.

and for the kids that are worried about going into s/t now.. well, 1. reduction in headcount b/c IT has been priced in already.. i think it was about 5-10 years ago where the cash sales in equities (easiest to automate/move to electronic) reduced massively in headcount across the street. 2. if you are recruiting now, and interviewing with a 5-10 people desk.. chances are, sure, maybe it'll be a 5-8 people desk when you graduate, but chances are, they'll still need that 1 junior to do the grunt work... 3. and when it REALLY gets automated (whenever that is.. one may argue the OTC products, ie. 90% fixed income may never be fully electronic/traded with algo) .. then it'll be so many years from now that you should theoretically have gained enough knowledge to move forward with the changes

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:43am
kingoftheotherroad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am not saying the products have to be traded with algo's - I am asking about increased connectivity between firms.

i.e. why go through the sell-side when you can click the button and purchase i/r swaps from a central market

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:45am
Odysseus360, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Being in a small HFT firm, I can say sales people are still needed, because you'll need someone to wrangle folks into bringing in new clients so you have some AUM in the first place.

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:46am
PapaJohns, what's your opinion? Comment below:

difference between sales positions/roles??? (Originally Posted: 05/16/2010)

From my understanding there is sales, sales traders, and then there are sales people who work in e-research/Asset Management and meet with clients (not work on the trading floor), and then there is investor relation sales positions. Can someone who has knowledge on all these different sales roles explain the differences between them, salaries, pros/cons, barriers to entry, etc.

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:48am
boatman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

trying for sales position (Originally Posted: 11/06/2014)

Here is my background. I graduated a small liberal arts college, ranked about 20th in country. I played 2 varsity sports there, and was a history major 3.3 gpa. (was prelaw at first). I graduated 3 years ago, and got a job in wealth management. Got series 66, 7 licenses etc. Was the only job to get in finance with history major. Got my cfp last year at 24, have held 2 other jobs in advising. Doing very well but not sure I want to stay in wealth management/advising.

I am getting my MSF part time now (tier 2 school), my hope is with this background I can move into other areas of finance.

I am an excellent sales person, I have really good people skills. Very hard worker, I would seriously say that it is very hard to outwork me. I definitely don't want to be analyst

What do I need to do to get into sales in IB/PE etc? Try for internships during the summer? Wait until I graduate and then try?

Jun 30, 2017 - 7:49am
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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