Ivan Curtis has been an Account Executive in the UK and Irish sales team since September 2020. He started his career at Indeed after a three-month summer internship in 2019, while he was a student of Business Management & Entrepreneurship at IADT.
The area of sales sparked my interest during college so I decided to do an internship to gain a further understanding of what it’s really like to work in a B2B sales environment.
When I found out about Indeed’s internship programme, it immediately appealed to me as I had the basic knowledge of the sales process but wanted to grow in experience. I knew that a well established technology company like Indeed was known for having great resources to help and nurture their employees with career progression.
After a successful phone and face-to-face interview, I was delighted to hear that I had been offered an Account Executive internship for summer 2019. My experience as an intern made it an easy decision for me when I was offered a full time role with Indeed in September 2020.
The virtual onboarding process lasted two weeks and after this I spent the following two weeks shadowing my colleagues calls/demos to get a handle of what different approaches to take when contacting clients. As part of my job, I look after a book of business filled with small to medium size companies.
In order to provide the best support, it is key that I understand their business and identify pain points in their recruitment process. Thereafter, I can present a product solution from Indeed based on their needs and urgency to fill vacancies in their business.
Some of the duties and responsibilities that are involved with my job on a daily basis include communicating with clients and managing admin work on our CRM system as well as creating new opportunities to work on and logging notes on each account after I speak to them to ensure I always stay on top of everything.
From being an undergraduate last year to starting my first official sales job, I think the most surprising aspect of starting this role was how autonomous it was.
At Indeed, you are not micromanaged by directors to meet all of your objectives and KPIs; rather each account manager is given the autonomy to freely manage their day-to-day business in whatever way suits them, with all reps having the same mission of helping people get jobs.
At the same time, I have always had full support from my team leaders, directors and senior directors as well as my fellow colleagues who have never shied away from helping me during my ramping period.
Some of the most important skills that I use on a day-to-day basis for my job include; communication, discovering, active listening, empathy and objection handling.
All of these skills are key to a sales role as it allows you to build a rapport with your client, discover more about their challenges and show the client that you care about solving these issues by helping them with a solution with our products.
So far, the most rewarding part of my job is when you find out that a client of yours has gone on to successfully hire a jobseeker after taking on your advice and strategy to go about making this hire… and the bonuses are pretty appealing also!
But if I were to pick one of the most challenging parts of my job, it would be churn. Churn happens when one of your spending clients ceases using our products.
When this happens, our job is to reach out to them to understand what happened and to identify whether or not a campaign performed badly. Our job is then to rectify this by recommending changes to the setup with the main goal of acquiring them back on as a spender and ensuring they make their hires.
My advice to any students looking to start a career in sales is to take the opportunity to complete an internship in this area whilst you are in college.
This will give you the chance to build as much knowledge as possible over a short period of time and will also give you a chance to find out if this is what you would like to continue doing.
When preparing for interviews for a sales role, my advice for students would be to research the company you are interviewing for and learn about their work culture and products. As well as this, I would also recommend studying the sales cycle to show the interviewer that you have basic knowledge of how the sales process works in a B2B sales environment.
After this, asking your interviewer questions about the role will show them that you are truly interested in the job.