Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Of selling and barking

There are many divisions and departments in a typical company such as marketing, sales, planning, finance, human resource, etc. But no matter what they call it, they can be segregated into 2 distinct parties… the profit centre and the cost centre.

Profit centre (“PS”) simply means those fellas that actually make money for the company. They are the salesmen, the marketing guys, product development geeks, just to name a few. And yeah, in any company, someone somewhere will have to make a sale all the time. If not, how’s the company gonna survive?

Oh, if you’re thinking there’re no salesmen in those glamorous professional firms… you’re damn wrong. Those promoted to managers are expected to do sales and marketing. You’ll be surprise how many times their ass-es get screwed by the partners for not bringing in enough sales. So if you’re one of those who are dreaming of the stage where you will do nothing but just sign on the dotted lines… please wake up.

As its name speaks for itself, cost centre (“CS”) refers to those fellas whose existence only lower down the company’s profit. These are the financial controllers, the internal legal advisors, the risk managers, quality control, basically people who make life difficult for PS in the name of compliance and reporting. They are there to ensure that the company complies with all the rules and regulations.

One thing for sure, CS people are very proud of themselves and they tend to look down on PS. I mean, it’s natural right? You graduated with a business, finance or law degree… you spent 5 years or so in a glamorous firm and now that you’re in a big corporation with title such as manager this and controller that… you certainly feel you’re a damn big shot. In their eyes, those salesmen are nothing but people who didn’t make it in college and uni.

With such pride and a huge sense of self-worth, CS people think they run the company, which of course, is partly true. A CS fella once said to me that they are the people looking after the interest of the shareholders (i.e. the owner of the company) and that they are the “watchdog” of the big bosses. Oh believe me… when that fella said that to me… I can feel the sense of pride and power. You can practically hear I-AM-IN-CONTROL hidden within the words uttered.

Of course, that is very true. CS is the “watchdog”… because they all work like dogs and only know how to bark. Also, they fail to know that their barking often means nothing. Don’t believe me? Picture this scenario…

A sales fella brings in 1million worth of revenue… the legal dogs bark about whether there is a proper contract, the finance dogs will bark about whether it has been properly recorded, the risk dogs will bark about whether the sales will pose any kinda threat to the company, the regulatory dogs will bark about whether the gomen will allow such sales, etc.

A meeting will then be held to facilitate the barking. Oh trust me, such meetings can be really interesting. To those dogs, everything is a problem. This cannot, that cannot, this must follow that, that must follow this. But somehow, a conclusion will be reached. Why? Cos those dogs are smart people… they are employed to solve problems, not knowing that they are the problems most of the time.

A contract will then be needed by tomorrow. It’s always tomorrow or the day after. Why? Because the client says so. So the sales fella will say… “Ok, you dogs lawyers, accountants, risk managers, etc, please get the contract ready for tomorrow. I am going home, ciao”. And this is where stop-barking-and-work-like-a-real-dog begins.

The next day, the contract will be presented to the client a.k.a. “waterfish” and he will then say he is not happy because too many conditions inside the contract. So he won't sign and the sales fella will panic! “Fuck, I’m gonna lose 1million worth of sales!” Thus he pleads to the dogs to relax some rules. But of course, all dogs will be united in one word and say… CANNOT… must follow law!
The sales fella will be thinking…”KNNCCB a.k.a. fucking hell, I bring in money to pay all your fucking salary and you fucking make things so damn difficult. Ok, I will go and talk to the big boss!”

As the sales fella talks to the bis boss, those dogs will continue their barking… this cannot, that cannot, high risk, woo woo wuu wuu. Then the boss will think…”Oh yeah, very risky, bad for the company”. Then the sales fella will say…”But boss… 1million worth of sales”.

$$$$ kaching kaching $$$$$

The dogs will continue to bark but this is the part where the big boss will screw all their dogs doggie style for making life difficult for the sales fella. And thus begin stop-barking-and-work-like-a-real-dogs part 2 begins. Why? Because the contract needs to be amended, and amended quick a.k.a. don’t-need-to-go-home-until-work-is-done.
Yup, that’s a typical scenario is any given company. Those who are in the corporate world long enough will know what I am trying to say.

In a nutshell, PS are the people who do the selling, who brings in the money. They are the people who are often looked down at by society, particular by the affluent bunch. But they are the reason why a company grows.

The CS fellas are those who only know how to bark of their ability, their knowledge. They think that because they are smart, they are in control. But most of the time, that’s not the case. Power lies in the hands of those who bring in the dough.

The best part? At the end of the year, the bonus payment for those salesmen will be much much much higher compared to those who are smart. And I mean, much much much higher. And of course, those smart ones will continue to bark boast about their knowledge while those salesmen are just… lowly salesmen.

54 comments:

angel said...

Hahaha!
*clapclapclap*

So, are you a dog?
:D

angel said...

Oh, and I work in a "Profit Centre", but we are not lowly salespeople wor... *grins*

kyliemc said...

PS and CS...hmm..PS will hv d ultimate say in most cases as they bring in the bread 4 every1 within the organisation. as for CS,bosses expect them 2 fully utilise their knowledge and skills 2 amend d probs.CS has 2 find the solutions coz they r d so-called genius.most of them r the best of the best...they r recruited thru tight screenings.thus they'll hv 2 sit 2gether to work things out be it legally or in substance.they'll need 2 at least work around the laws and regulations and make things rite within the stipulated standards.it's tough but it's wat they r paid 4..

vegemaster said...

hahaha...i haven start working yet..but from the way i see it..
Its gonna be a wild.. XD

Seok Thong said...

I totally agree with the bonus payment for the salesman! I feel jealous!

T.c said...

Ok I am going to be a salesman! which is highly unprobable. Hehe!

Tunku Halim said...

Hey Zewt, you seem to have a new corporate "Animal Farm" goin' on here. Good post. Accurate too! (I wuz the one who drafted them legal contracts and stopped the deal!)

jaezrel said...

ey zewt....i think u come from CS team rite muahahaha ops....dat means u r the woof woof too? hahahah futher more u r the manager....meaning more woof woof...but i believe u wont do that kinda stuffs rite......hahahahaha ohya i think as a result of the meetings u had with the other woof woofs team....then came the idea of ur entry eh.....bravo bravo

Jessica said...

Are you sure all CS are paid well with bonuses? Where I work, they get paid peanuts, some more aren't confirmed staff. Where got bonus? But the part about the power lies with them, that's true. They'll try to worm their way around to get the sales approve. Amazing. Really salute them.

me said...

haha. still ranting about work ah? with your people skill, maybe you should consider going into sales....the pay's good..the hours flexible...you meet people...maybe can tell them you'll advertise their companies in your sidebar if they sign up with you....hahahaha. food for thought?

Cirnelle said...

Some dogs get better care from their masters, but most become strays. They then develop rabies and are shot down for being infectiously mad.

This, by the way, is a highly infectious blog.... I mean disease to mammals.

ah nel said...

CS = chiaw soot

btw i do sales oso but how kam i got no bonus wan n sometimes will kena fark by them coz they think they so high class...

Oz said...

and who's gonna play golf with CEO at 4 pm today ? yep, you are right.. the sales manager; he organised the game..tough competition outside, must socialise with clients for further business so it seems..

in fact, the accountant today wasted the whole morning looking up and down for the CEO ..you see, he needs the CEO to sign the o/s lawyers fee .. without that, our accountant friend cannot get the lawyer to certify OK for the next loan drawdown..

and the poor CEO was in fact avoiding meeting the accountant today..

Huei said...

dun say bark larr

so insulting

to the dogs!! =P hehehehhe

jorji said...

its so fucking true and i fucking love this one!

In civil and construction world..u are a dog that will bark to the contractor and then sumtime,the consultant bark at you

..and then the big boss will bark at you then u have to bark louder again to the contractor so the work can be done fast..

...and then the contractor tension,they will take you to the spa..then at the spa...doggy style!

its so dog eat dog werld.

wof! wof!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

end of the day..money talks..who makes the money..who talks..its a very sad fact of life.."sam jiu" la.. thats y what is the moral of the story? must know how to sell..be it snow to eskimoos or sand to egyptians..

Winn said...

some marketing departments are CS instead of profit center ..

it depends..coz some sales department are marketing driven , some are sales driven, some are individual departments..

cibol said...

so, will I be in PS or PC? Still dunno .. ha ha ha. but nice post dude. enjoy reading it. keep on rocking!

conan_cat said...

lol... i like the pictures, the dogs and the lions XD and nice story there to read for an undergraduate like me! thanks for the sneak peak at the real world... again :P

Jun-E said...

Hahaha very insightful.

Anonymous said...

To a certain extent, CS is still essential. A PS can be bringing miliions and millions of sales, but how about the collections? A company won't have the cash flow (ie not even paying the PS his salary or commissions not to mention bonus) if the collections sucks. Take this for instance, in the income statement, you are seeing millions of sales, then cost of sales, yeah you get your gross profit (damn a lot). Next is the admin expenses, and that's where the provisions for doubtful debts and bad debts written off are parked. Millions of gross profit + millions of bad debts written off = very fuck up profit.
That's when you need the CS people (financial controller, credit controller, etc). PS is essential to the company's growth, CS is essential to keep the business running.

Cheers, Sugar

anne said...

Sugar, u have a point there!

zewt said...

angel - unfortunately, i am. but i have learnt not to bark so much. becos in the end, i know it's all about the money.

kyliemc - well said. CS ppl are usually recruited through tight screeening while PS are usually those who cant do other things so they sell. generally speaking that is... well, it's all about the money. and those who brings in the money tend to have louder voice.

vegemaster - definitely... a lot of barking and shouting and screaming and of cos... doggy style screwing.

seok thong - not to mention they never really work late. even if they do... it's entertainment...

T.c - totally understandable.... nobody wants to be a salesman ler..

Tunku Halim - well, you've been there and arent you glad you're out? haha... thanks, but i think i should stop ranting about modern slavery for a while. getting too boring it seems.

jaezrel - yeah ler... i woof woof woof... no one will listen. they will say yes yes yes... then at the end of the day, things done their way. sigh... but like i said... we are the smart ppl ok! :P

zewt said...

jessica - they may get pay peanuts, but that's basic. if they hit the incentive level, it can be huge. and bonus... u and i know how much you got compared to us CS ppl. as for power... that's exactly what i am talking about.

me - yeah la yeah la... getting bored eh? oh... maybe i should. but i dunno what to sell and i dont think my blog is that great enough to attract big time advertisers ler...

cirnelle - i am trying very hard to decipher that... to which i failed.

ah nel - you fark them back la... say... if i dont bring in sales, you dogs wont get salary... haha... see what they say...

Oz - hahaha... i mean, who wants to talk to accountant. accountants are square and rigid ppl and has no business sense. only know how to count but dunno how to make figures grow... you speak as though you've been there before.

Huei - when they kena doggy style... sure wont bark anymore... kakaka...

jorji - i was trying to be general. yours very industry specific already. but i an feel your passion and anger hahahahaha.... indeed, dog eat dog world.

zewt said...

constant craver joe - precisely... those who can sells rules... and they are also the one who's gonna drive the bigger cars and live in a bigger house. those who are smart? they just have bigger brains... perhaps.

winn - true also.. so at the end of the day... it's still PS vs CS... marketing or otherwise.

cibol - PS or CS la... not PC hahahaha.... thanks, i will keep rocking and blogging.

conan-cat - well, you all needs to know what you all are getting yourself in.

Jun-E - and it's just the tip of the ice berg.

anonymous aka sugar - you have a point but that's also a point i wanna make. CS is essential in making sure all figures are in order. but in the eyes of the bosses and shareholders, if collections are bad... who do u think they will screw? the credit control guys... not really the sales ppl... i am not exactly talking about who is more important, but rather... whose position is better, metaphorically speaking. thanks for visiting and hope to hear from ya again...

anne - and i have made my point to sugar too.

aSstHa said...

LOL... How true. Sales people do bring in money. I personally hv been requested somewer last year to come out from the CS and join the PS instead. Wasting my talent in CS apparently.

But thinking of the headache and the pressure to close sales and hit targets in order to reach KPIs is enough to make me wanna run and hide and stay behind the confinement of CS.

As I told the GM, PS may be bringing in the ka-chings but the CS are the backbone of a company. I'd rather be part of that backbone.

Having said that, I might be moving on to newer pastures in the nxt few mths or so. Will keep u posted as nothing is finalised as yet.

;)

P.S. Thanks for your kind wishes on my site. She was a great friend and the main person I need to thank for this new opportunity to do something new in my life so her loss was a blow to me but thankfuly I managed to thank her for it. Will post up that entry once it's confirmed. Cheerios

k u k u j i o a m a n said...

Hahhaa!!! It is dog eats dog world now!!! CS or PS all are dogs for work, no matter how... So cheers.

Anonymous said...

haha... good one...

which is why i am leaving CS and joining PS...

really erred going to CS as people in CS can really be very petty....

Cirnelle said...

Apologies. I commented before my caffeine fix.

rinnah said...

I am so CS! *grin* Am not cut out for PS so I'd rather stay in this line and bark a bit.

But it's so true that he who brings in the $$$ gets the last say and the biggest bonus.

CRIZ LAI said...

It so simple and yet it still happen in the working environment of some MNC. Can't the PS and CS ever compromise and come out with the ideal contract rather than biting each other's butt? Well, I think that this is a Win-Win situation for both sides. Moreover, it's for the benefit of the company to get more revenues. More revenue means more profit sharing means more bonuses.

kelvin hon said...

i hate cs.

They just like to make our life hard.

TingTitLei said...

you must be a ps... hahaha being smarter doesnt mean ull 100% earn more money. theres a chinese saying "hong hong choot jong yuen"

zewt said...

aSstHa - well, i am not really saying who is more important, i think borh are. i am just saying the mentality of the lifestyle of both. i will certainly blog more on this. as for your friend... no worries. really sorry to hear about your loss.

kukujiaoman - your nick is so the very powerful la hahahaha... and yes, you have a damn good point... both are just dogs. but i would rather be the dog that work less and earn more. dont u think so?

anonymous - hmmm... good on ya. yeah, CS have to be petty because that's all they know. that's all they do.

rinnah - any barking today :P ...

criz lai - i come from an accounting background and there's this thing called double entry. once there's a debit, there's a credit... win win situation is just a disillusion... when there's a win win situation... someone somewhere will have to be in a lose lose situation.

kelvin hon - hey! you refering to me la..!! hahaha...

TTL - aiks, tukar nick again? i reckon you wanna be a professional gamer eh? hahaha!

kayatan said...

Ha ha ha, I was in the 'Animal Farm' for over 20yrs , pretty familiar with those animal features/characters u mentioned, LOL :)-.
When I barked to get a high end disk to handle predicted high end volume, instead I get a small end disk and the sales guy got a high end leather sofa set from Italy. A high end toy for our high net worth client. I was young then, get mad , barked even more but guess what, they put me in asylum center, ha ha ha ha.

Samantha said...

does it relate to work stress? those pictures... i can't quite see dogs how i used to again.

ah nel said...

the matter is the person i wana get sales from fark me bek when i wana be nice...

*farking kuai lou owes look down on asian*

nyonyapenang said...

well, $$$$ and more $$$$ sure shouts loud and clear.

mh said...

that is why i have moved from cs to try my luck in ps. and it is no longer always true that ps employees do not have high qualifications as cs employees - depending on industry, the converse may be true!

bongkersz said...

woof.. woofff! awww aww awww!

bubbly soda said...

how true! but again we need both the CS and PS to run. Either one fall there goes the business.

but those CS should try to be more understanding and don't be so up themselves with their knowledge. Knowledge is not all about degrees and masters. It is more on decision making, money generating, and logic in business world. Of course there are much more to knowledge.

narrowband said...

So basically the CS is the brain, and PS is the mouth lar? Thanks for sharing, haha. You're saying at the end of the day, it's the 'mouth' who gets to eat rite? (can cari makan more la).

zewt said...

kayatan - hahaha... asylum center... i know what you mean. well, money talks... bullshit walks. it's more apparent here in malaysia than the US.

Samantha - haha... those dogs only behave as such here... dont worry :)

ah nel - you know why? becos we fucking asians always look up to farking kwai los. partially... it's our fault. i will blog about it.

nyonyapenang - exactly... it's all about the money... there's even a song for it.

mh - well, it's easier to be in PS i am sure... that is if you're willing to be a salesman... or in your case... saleswoman.

bongkersz - i didnt bark today and i am so proud of myself.

bubbly soda - ahh... interesting... much more to knowledge, yeah... true... it's all about wisdom. but somehow... money get things going... somehow...

narrowband - hahahaha... another good analogy. the CS think they are the brain... but their brain is often not much required most of the time.

Daily Nibbler said...

PS vs CS? You need both both for company's survival and long term prosperity.

A good boss is one that intervenes at the crucial stage.

The moment you know and could control both, you are a good candidate to be boss.

Aim for that lah. Otherwise, there will be constant bickering and infighting cuz both are just doing their job.

Remuneration? PS will always get more than CS? Why? As their names suggest. But nowadays, CS can also be coverted to PS. Outsourcing is an example.

cibol said...

oh ya hor .. what am I thinking .. malu dy. ha ha ha ..

sc said...

I used to be the PS and now am in CS, but never in my life thought that PS are 'lower grade' people. In fact, they're very powerful indeed..there's nothing embarassing in doing sales; all of us are selling ourselves one way or another anyways

mich said...

oh, zewt, this piece smelled very right-leaning to me :P

zewt said...

daily nibbler - agreed... a good boss is a very important element. on your point regarding outsourcing... well, that's a whole different point. the nature of your work will be different. you certainly wont be barking.

cibol - haha... no worries.

sc - very good point. i hear some ppl say they never do sales not knowing that we are all doing sales... we are all selling out time to the company, no?

mich - haha... and i wonder why...

Daily Nibbler said...

BTw, the doggie pic from berro.com has human eyes. Spooky, isn't it?

Daily Nibbler said...

Outsourcing? The scope will be the same. If previously you are doing account, you will still do account. The same goes for check clearance, warehousing, legal, security, human resource, admin...and many other CS functions in a company. Now, not only you do it for your company but also for other companies which don't find doing that function their core competencies and hence outsource it.

Whether you bark or not, it all depends on whether you are profitable. Its a trend nowadays.

Hey, you are expert in this. Sorry a...terlebih cakap.

zewt said...

Daily Nibbler - that berro.com pic is obviously a touched up pic ler... hah!

when you're in PS outsourcing, it's totally different. every minute counts and of cos, whatever you produce is being looked at from a different perspective. quite hard to tell now... perhaps i should blog about it too :)

Daily Nibbler said...

Cool!

mar said...

Zewt,ok,now I'm confused...are we (accounts/audit/tax) PS ppl or CS ppl?

zewt said...

mar - accounts in a company sect firm serving external customers are PS... auditors and tax professionals in a practise firm serving external clients are PS... accounts / audit / tax in a commercial firm serving the commercial company itself is CS... get the flow?