Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at www.thevertexfighter.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Companies aim to sell students on sales"/ "Your relationship with headquarters should be a priority"

Nov. 1, 2016 "Companies aim to sell students on sales": Today I found this article by Virginia Galt in the Globe and Mail:

Ideally, e-commerce company Shopify Inc. would like to hire hundreds of new graduates as sales people over the next five years to support and expand its rapidly growing client base.

“The challenge is … kids in college and university aren’t thinking of sales as a career,” says Loren Padelford, general manager of the Shopify Plus platform for emerging brands and high-volume businesses.

“Every company I know is desperate for sales people and they just can’t find [enough of] them.”
So Shopify – along with such companies as Google Canada, IBM Corp., and Dell Canada – is working with Vancouver-based recruitment firm Sales Talent Agency to sell students on the concept of sales as a desirable and sustainable career choice.

Through their sponsorship of the recruitment agency’s Great Canadian Sales Competition, now in its third year, the employers hope to raise campus awareness of the enormous need, opportunities and interesting work in business-to-business sales. (For instance, Shopify’s e-commerce clients range from startups to big names such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Tesla Motors Inc., Playboy Enterprises Inc., Proctor & Gamble Co. and General Electric Co.)

Jamie Scarborough, founding partner at Sales Talent Agency, said in an interview that the Great Canadian Sales Competition attracted 215 contestants from 36 universities and colleges in its first year. It expects to attract 3,000 from 80 campuses this year. The contest is open to any interested college or university students, who have until Jan. 8 to submit a 30 to 90 second video pitch “on something they are passionate about.”

A team of judges from the 20 sponsoring companies will view the videos and select 25 competitors for the final round.
It’s a great source of emerging talent for the employers, Mr. Padelford said in an interview, and a terrific professional opportunity for students who might not have been previously aware of the career prospects.

The Conference Board of Canada said in a recent report that sales and marketing have been among the top five specializations in highest demand for the past decade.

“If you are good at sales, you will have a career for life,” Mr. Padelford said. However, it is a specialization that seems to fly under the radar and is not widely taught at colleges and universities.

“From our perspective, we hire for the things we can’t teach and we teach everything else. I can’t teach you to work hard, to be smart, to be creative. I can’t teach you to be competitive, you either are or you aren’t,” he said. “But if you have those things, it doesn’t really matter what degree you have. I can teach you how to make a call, how to do a presentation, how to do research …”

IBM Canada has taken a grow-your-own approach through an intensive in-house professional development program for “new sellers.” The initiative, called the Summit Program, involves several months of classroom work, product knowledge, practice sales sessions and coaching from more seasoned colleagues. Participants are taught the importance of gaining an understanding of what the client is trying to accomplish and working collaboratively with the client to find “the right solution … as opposed to just trying to go in and sell a product,” said Nancy Briglio, IBM’s director of commercial business.
Ali Abassi, a marketing graduate from Capilano University in North Vancouver, landed a job at IBM after making it to the final round in last year’s sales competition.

“We got to network with executives with some of the largest companies in Canada that are doing some of the coolest things. That’s where I met the team from IBM [and] they told me about the summit program.
“I was intrigued by the amount of resources they put towards training and hiring new graduates … so like any other sales
individual, I was extremely persistent and followed up multiple times to get myself an interview,” said the 26-year-old Mr. Abassi, who works out of IBM’s Vancouver office.
While Mr. Abassi has found his calling, Mr. Scarborough said most young people don’t come out of university and college saying “I want to be a sales person.”

If their only experience with sales has been precarious part-time retail work or “ShamWow commercials,” students are going to have a negative perception, Mr. Scarborough said.

“They don’t recognize that business-to-business sales are just so different.
“We are going to try to improve the public relations of sales … I want them to differentiate, I want them to appreciate the fact that sales is a very wide spectrum.”



Ontheotherside 4 hours ago
What they on sale...nevern mine, ill take two dozen...!
What they on sale...nevern mine, ill take two dozen...!

Ontheotherside 4 hours ago
I did not know you can sell students hahahaha.. ...ill take a dozen with pony tail, the other with a funny face, and yea a few of those, and that one with pimples, and yea that cute one pulling the other one pony tail, and that one that...yea the cute one imported japan model, and oh, the made in russia and of course the made in the US model looks strong and great. Yup, these days they come in different model.....sell students...they must be kiddng me.

I did not know you can sell students hahahaha.. ...ill take a dozen with pony tail, the other with a funny face, and yea a few of those, and that one with pimples, and yea that cute one pulling the other one pony tail, and that one that...yea the cute one imported japan model, and oh, the made in russia and of course the made in the US model looks strong and great. Yup, these days they come in different model.....sell students...they must be kiddng me.


"Your relationship with global headquarters should be a priority": Today I found this article by Andrea Stairs in the Globe and Mail:

After 30 years as a sales professional, my advice to students considering a career in sales is to think about the quality of the customer network you'll build. Because when the loft offices and Knoll desks fade, your value is your Rolodex. So compare the quality of your customer network with Shopify (low barrier retailers) to the one you can build say with SAP (high barrier enterprise).
After 30 years as a sales professional, my advice to students considering a career in sales is to think about the quality of the customer network you'll build. Because when the loft offices and Knoll desks fade, your value is your Rolodex. So compare the quality of your customer network with Shopify (low barrier retailers) to the one you can build say with SAP (high barrier enterprise).
After 30 years as a sales professional, my advice to students considering a career in sales is to think about the quality of the customer network you'll build. Because when the loft offices and Knoll desks fade, your value is your Rolodex. So compare the quality of your customer network with Shopify (low barrier retailers) to the one you can build say with SAP (high barrier enterprise).
After 30 years as a sales professional, my advice to students considering a career in sales is to think about the quality of the customer network you'll build. Because when the loft offices and Knoll desks fade, your value is your Rolodex. So compare the quality of your customer network with Shopify (low barrier retailers) to the one you can build say with SAP (high barrier enterprise).
As managing director of eBay Canada, I oversee the Canadian business of the global ecommerce leader headquartered in San Jose, Calif. While Canada is a top 10 market for eBay – Canadians spend more than $1-billion on eBay every year – our office is small in comparison to the United States … a familiar story for CEOs or senior executives running Canadian subsidiaries. Despite our relative size, the eBay Canada team is well-respected by our California peers; we’ve established a high degree of trust and we’re seen as being easy to work with. But, this hasn’t happened by chance; rather, it’s the result of a concerted and ongoing effort, with many lessons learned along the way.

Make connections, don’t make work

Working in a subsidiary market can be isolating; critical information flows often skip smaller markets, leaving teams scrambling or ill-prepared. It’s essential to find ways of staying informed without increasing the burden on peers at HQ. At eBay, that may mean participating in meetings that may not be immediately relevant: my team often sits in on calls (while multi-tasking) to listen for nuggets of pertinent information. We look for the easiest or lowest-touch way of being looped in. In the end, the onus is on us to find ways to stay connected without using up the goodwill of our colleagues at headquarters.

Invest in building internal advocates

It takes time and ongoing effort, but robust and diverse relationships with peers at headquarters make all the difference. I travel to San Jose once a month, and I make sure my team goes as often as possible, too. We use these trips as opportunities to build positive rapport, educate peers and leaders on the Canadian business perspective, and keep our market top of mind. We work proactively to create Canadian champions who understand the scale of our victories or context of our challenges, and who advocate for us in both formal meetings and hallway conversations. We also work to diversify our advocates; when organizational changes, promotions or departures occur, we don’t want to be left without any Canadian champions at HQ.

Swag diplomacy

It may sound crazy, but a branded maple leaf shirt or water bottle can be a highly effective way of cementing a relationship or saying thank you. In fact, we spend a ridiculous amount of time coming up with the next great swag idea to appeal to our U.S. colleagues.

Highlight Canadian talent

A key benefit of working in a smaller market is that roles are frequently broader with greater spans of control. As a result, we find that eBay Canada team members often have a more comprehensive understanding of the business overall and are able to see synergies or potential conflicts more easily than peers in larger, more specialized organizations. This Canadian “edge” is something I work to showcase by involving Canadian talent in global planning sessions and projects. Not only does this give my team additional opportunities, it also helps to reinforce Canadian capabilities and build long-term trust in the Canadian team, which leads to greater autonomy. And, when top Canadian talent is inevitably recruited by global teams, we gain new Canadian champions.

Find the right balance of engagement

As a Canadian leader working for a global company, I’m challenged with striking the right balance between managing our Canadian operations and managing our engagement with headquarters. While reducing engagement with HQ can free up resources for local initiatives, it also increases the risk of not providing enough context for resource asks, or worse, creating surprises that erode trust if something goes wrong. On the other hand, over-engaging with HQ risks inviting micro-management or creating the impression of being dependent. Getting the equilibrium right is critical to creating the autonomy necessary to manage the local market while ensuring that you have established trust and goodwill at headquarters.

These lessons are by no means exhaustive; finding the right balance of engagement and effort is an ongoing challenge for me. Effectively managing our relationship with headquarters is not only one of my key responsibilities, it’s a critical enabler of my success as a leader and the success of my Canadian team.

Andrea Stairs is managing director of eBay Canada.





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