Tuesday, 11 June 2019

There was an era when, a successful salesman was defined as an individual who could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. But now the whole concept has evolved and a modern-day sales professional is an ambassador of a company who possesses a socially responsible and customer-friendly persona.

Sales personnel are an integral part of the organization and the demand for qualified and skilled sales personnel is ever growing. It is also up to the organisations to develop the skills of their sales force, which are rapidly changing and has to be on par with modern practices. Sales personal have to perform and be kept motivated because it impacts the profitability of the organisation.

The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) conducts an innovative one-year program called the National Diploma in Sales Management (NDSM) for passionate sales persons to enhance their knowledge and skills. One of the successful candidates from the Southern province expressed his opinion on NDSM course.

Padmakantha Priyadarshana is an NDSM graduate from the SLIM branch in Matara. A product of Horana Sripalee College, Priyadarshana has had a passion for sales ever since he was a senior college student. Starting a career in sales in 2001 he joined Shaw Wallace & Hedges PLC as a sales representative. He later gained exposure as a sales professional by working at Delmege Forsyth and Company, and Lanka Canneries LTD as an Area Sales Manager. Throughout his 19 years of experience in the sales profession, he won many accolades from his employers for his strategic thinking and profitability planning methods.

Priyadarshana currently serves Diamond Best Food (Pvt) Ltd in Peliyagoda as its National Sales Manager.

“While being employed as a sales professional I realized the importance of further enhancing my skills and knowledge on the subject. While searching for a validly acclaimed specialized Sales diploma, I came upon the SLIM NDSM, which is well recognized among the fraternity. Hence I opted to follow SLIM-NDSM to gain professional qualifications. The experience that I gained throughout my sales career helped me to understand and grasp new knowledge, and enhance my skills with NDSM. Further, SLIM is an ISO 9001:2015 certified institute, which made me confidence in its quality of education,” says Priyadarshana.

“Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand and are inseparable. Being the national body for Marketing SLIM has contributed immensely towards enhancing the status of marketing in Sri Lanka over the past decades. Since my career targets sales, I identified SLIM-NDSM as a key program that specializes in sales management. My associates in the corporate sector also recommended NDSM. The practical exposure received from NDSM is important even for experienced personnel aiming at a career in sales”, he further stated.

Elaborating on the subject Priyadarshana said, “I have gained immense practical and theoretical experience by following NDSM. The experienced lecturers who are from the corporate sector specifically, mentor students on how to be proactive amidst the challenging sales environment.”

“This program that is offered at an affordable price is specially designed to endow students with both practical and theoretical knowledge on sales management and motivation. Yes I would recommend NDSM for sales oriented individuals. Students can learn from the expert experiences of the lecturers and multiple support sessions conducted by them for students to grasp the essence of Sales Management.”

“The beauty of it is SLIM offering students the privilege of engaging in interactive sessions. The students’ committee offers SLIM members opportunities to take part in National events conducted by SLIM such as SLIM-NASCO, Marketers’ Nite, The EFFIES and SLIM Toastmasters. You focus and constantly share your knowledge with peers as it contributes towards sharpening your knowledge. My simple advice to students is to adhere to and respect the guidelines offered by the experienced lecturers”, he concluded.

SLIM has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing in the country since 1970. SLIM is stepping in to its  50th year anniversary in 2020 by servicing the nation for the economic development by producing corporate leaders.