Xerox Q&A: Sales training and careers in sales

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We heard the sales training program over at Xerox was one of the best in Canada for recent grads, so we asked Courtney Hayward, a recruitment specialist over at Xerox, about the program and how recent grads can land one of the many entry-level roles for which Xerox is currently hiring across the country.

xeroxIf you haven’t already heard of them, Xerox Canada is a technology and services enterprise that helps businesses deploy smarter document management strategies and find better ways to work. It offers an array of innovative document solutions, services and systems – including colour and black-and-white printers, digital presses, multifunction devices and digital copiers – designed for offices and production-printing environments, and it also offers associated supplies, software and support.

So, if you’re passionate about copying, printing and sales, take Courtney’s advice – apply and become one of Xerox’s newest employees!

qSales can be a very intimidating path to follow if you don’t have any experience in the field. What can a student or recent grad do to prepare?

I think it’s very important for individuals considering a career path in sales, or even just starting their career in sales, to do their research. Look for companies that stand by their products, support their sales team with training and rewards and have a strong business model that will help you be successful.

If you are interested in sales but not sure if it’s the right role for you, use your personal network, contact them or even speak with the companies that you are interviewing with/applying to and ask them if you can job shadow a sales rep just to get some perspective on what it takes to do the job and be successful. This can be considered either a job shadow or an informational interview that will help you learn more about the role and the day-to-day activities of the individuals in the role.

What are your expectations of an entry-level salesperson from a personal and corporate perspective?

New grads or those that are new to Business-to-Business (B2B) sales can expect that there will be a learning curve in the role. It takes time to develop the confidence, time management skills and product knowledge to be successful. It’s important to remember you will get better and when you are in training, whether it’s in the field or in the classroom, you need to take advantage of these opportunities and develop your skills. Practice like you play.

Once a new account manager starts within our partner channels, Xerox’s expectations are that new sales reps bring their “A” game to the role. We expect someone who is excited about the opportunity, ready to learn and to be successful. Sales is the type of role where you only get out of it what you put in, so it’s important to have confidence and work hard to achieve you targets and goals.

qHow can sales training help people with their future career goals?

Strong sales training teaches you the skills you need to develop relationships, listen to individual and corporate needs, and find solutions that enable yourself and those you are working with to be successful. It teaches you how to read people, problem solve, negotiate and create lasting business relationships.

Sales is a great start to a career with Xerox because it teaches you our entire business. You’ll learn what drives revenue and how the corporation operates. Without sales most companies would not exist. Furthermore, the skills you learn with your customers and in building relationships will stay with you throughout the rest of your career and help you in any other role you pursue.

qWhat are some challenges you face when trying to find the right hire?

One of the biggest challenges we face when trying to find the right hire is finding someone who has a strong understanding of what a Business-to-Business sales role entails. Many job seekers are intimidated by sales but, when you break it down, they are looking for something professional that is customer and solution-focused.

Another hurdle we face is candidates have trouble relating their past experience to sales roles. My advice is to draw on experiences you have working with others, trying to meet objectives and targets, experiences when you’ve been competitive or worked towards a goal – these can all help you convey your strengths that you will take into a sales role.

q Finally, what are some qualities that can put a potential hire over the top?

  • Natural enthusiasm and sociability
  • Well-rounded resumé and schedule – work-life balance is very important
  • Show us that you are more than just your education
  • Include student conferences, volunteer, intramural sports, travel, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to show you’re human
  • In a sales interview, always close the interview: ask what the next steps are and when you should expect to hear back
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About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.