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

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-...

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Jun 9, 2017

Thank you!

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

Best Response
Jun 13, 2017

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

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

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

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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Jun 13, 2017

Thank you!
(God Save The Reddit)

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

Jun 14, 2017

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

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

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

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Jun 15, 2017

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

I had a brief stint on our marketing desk during an analyst rotation on a commodities desk at a BB
It 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

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Jun 30, 2017

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

Realistically, broking (your option 3) is the easiest to get into. Attrition rate is high, however, as the mkt is overbroked, generally. If you happen to be the one who makes it, it's probably the best in terms of risk-adjusted pay. It normally ain't good for your health, though.

Jun 30, 2017

Thanks for the response.
Can I also ask what's the best route to try to brake in to IDB? (anything I should be careful with?) Any tips?

Jun 30, 2017

bump

Jun 30, 2017

If you don't need a trader to execute something, why on Earth would you need a salesperson? Not sure I understand the question...

Jun 30, 2017

To provide market color - I am asking a question and looking for answers. You're annoying

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Jun 30, 2017

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

Jun 30, 2017

...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.

Jun 30, 2017
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
kingoftheotherroad:

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

Your premise is wrong.

Jun 30, 2017

in what way?

Jun 30, 2017

There are still traders; they just use different tools now.

Most algo/ET desks have a significant number of salespeople.

Jun 30, 2017

Why do PM's even need salespeople? Don't funds have internal research analysts? Why do they even have to go through the sell-side?

Jun 30, 2017
kingoftheotherroad:

Why do PM's even need salespeople? Don't funds have internal research analysts? Why do they even have to go through the sell-side?

You claim to be VP PM at a quant fund... shouldn't you know this?

Jun 30, 2017

[removed]

Jun 30, 2017

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
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

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

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

do a search.

topic discussed many times

Jun 30, 2017
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Jun 30, 2017