From Sales Struggles To Marketing Mastery: An Inspiring Career Shift Of Sriharsha Nallamilli

At some point in their career, individuals should question whether they are pursuing their true passion or simply working for a paycheck. These feelings of unhappiness, stress, anxiety and fatigue often serve as warning signs that it may be time for a change. Sriharsha experienced these challenges early in his career and made a bold decision to pivot from sales to marketing.

With his extensive background in sales, Sriharsha was able to bring a unique perspective to the marketing field. He understood the entire customer journey, from target prospect to conversion, and used this knowledge to drive effective marketing campaigns. Despite facing struggles in building his career in sales, Sriharsha was able to use those experiences to better understand business goals from both sales and marketing perspectives.

Today, Sriharsha is a successful marketer, recognized as a thought leader in the industry. He is a classic example of a hybrid marketer, combining his expertise in both sales and marketing to drive business growth. His journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of pursuing one’s passions in their career.


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How it started:

After completing his master’s degree in Sales and Marketing, Sriharsha was eager to start his career in business development. He saw it as a convenient and secure option with the potential for a decent paycheck.

Initially, he enjoyed a smooth start to his new role, taking the time to understand the company, its work, people, and processes. However, as the honeymoon period ended, he had to face the expectations to deliver on his Key Performance Indicators (KRIs), he found himself making excuses for why they were not met, and this led to frequent job switches

This experience highlights the importance of choosing a career path that aligns with one’s passion and motivation, rather than just seeking stability or convenience. A fulfilling career requires not only hard work but also a deep sense of purpose and commitment to individual goals. By pursuing their true passion, individuals are more likely to find success and satisfaction in their careers.

The key struggles:

At first, Sriharsha thought that his struggles in sales were due to a lack of luck. However, upon reflecting on his experiences, he was able to identify the key challenges faced, which are common to many sales professionals. These struggles included:

  • Getting rejected by potential clients.
  • Competing with other salespeople.
  • Struggling with cold calling.
  • Meeting and exceeding sales quotas.
  • Managing time effectively.
  • Building strong relationships with clients.
  • Struggling to find enough leads.
  • Overcoming objections from potential clients.
  • Maintaining motivation through the ups and downs of the sales process.
  • Adapting to changing market conditions and customer needs.

By recognizing and addressing these struggles, he was able to gain a better understanding of the challenges that sales professionals face and find ways to overcome them. This is a valuable lesson for anyone looking to build a successful career in sales, or any other field. It is important to identify and address obstacles, to achieve success and reach one’s full potential.

The three big mistakes:

Many sales professionals turn to their more successful peers for guidance and insights, but this can be a mistake. Before seeking outside help, it is a must to reflect on one’s own work habits and motivations. One should ask themselves if they are putting in the right effort, staying focused, and feeling motivated. Additionally, they have to evaluate the organization and its approach to sales. Are they providing the right support, strategy, and opportunities for growth?

To be successful in sales, Sriharsha says it is important to avoid these mistakes:

  • Blaming the product for your underperformance.
  • Expecting other salespeople to train and mentor you.
  • Making excuses instead of taking responsibility and finding solutions.

By avoiding these mistakes, sales professionals can focus on continuous improvement and strive for success. Remember, success in sales requires a combination of self-reflection, determination, and support from the organization.

The self-made marketer:

Sriharsha overcame his sales struggles and excelled in the field, but he eventually realized that sales weren’t his true passion. This realization led him to reflect on his strengths, interests, and where he could bring the most value. He discovered a passion for marketing and utilized his creative side to excel in this field.

Making a career transition is never easy, but here are some tips he shares for anyone looking to make a change:

  • Seek out expert advice and knowledge online.
  • Put your learning into practice.
  • Continuously improve through practice.
  • Overcome the fear of failure.

Sriharsha stands out among marketers due to his hybrid background in both sales and marketing. In today’s business world, it’s often noted that sales and marketing don’t collaborate enough, and this can be a hindrance to organizations. However, he serves as a bridge between the two functions, having successfully transitioned from a sales background into marketing without losing touch with the sales and business development aspects. Organizations must understand the value of having both sales and marketing working together for the benefit of the company, and he embodies that ideal.

Tips for making a career transition:

Many salespeople get dragged into the profession despite a lack of interest as they are busy piling up experience in the field. This leads to a lack of job satisfaction, and it gets to an extent where the organization decides to take you off or you decide to make a switch. Both are right in their way.

He says, before making a switch further, ask yourself one question “Am I interested in making a career in sales?” go with your instinct, listen to what your heart says, and then take a step further. There is nothing wrong taking a pause in your career and think about the way forward. It makes you into a better person.

For sales professionals looking to transition into marketing, he suggests the following:

  • Deepen your understanding of the marketing domain.
  • Acquire hands-on experience with marketing techniques and tools.
  • Build relationships with marketing experts.
  • Expand your knowledge of digital marketing and data analytics.
  • Highlight your transferable skills, such as strong communication and problem-solving abilities.
  • Obtain a marketing certification to demonstrate your commitment and expertise.
  • Seek out a mentor in the marketing industry for guidance and support.

Sriharsha is a seasoned marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in inbound/outbound marketing, paid marketing, SEO, email marketing, product marketing, and account-based marketing. He possesses a passion for utilizing innovative marketing techniques and tools to drive growth for businesses across various industries, including IT, ITES, manufacturing, and EdTech. He holds a digital marketing certification from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and has completed an executive management program in strategic marketing and analytics from IIM Rohtak. With a proven track record of success, Sriharsha has also conducted digital marketing workshops and trained over 200 individuals in the core concepts of digital marketing.

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