Sales Development Programme – Your ticket to a glittering career in sales

Sure, experience helps, but we think raw talent and attitude trump experience every time.

And we also think that by investing a little more time in the right people right at the start of their careers, we’ll be able to unlock greater potential in the long run.

To back up our thinking, we recently reviewed the backgrounds of the top billing Sponsorship Managers in IQPC, both those that are new to the role and have made the fastest of starts, and those that have been with us for 8-12 years, breaking sales records each year and earning the kind of money uncapped commissions allow.

What stood out immediately was how many people on this list had joined IQPC as graduates and gone on to work their way up through the ranks.

Now we’ve consistently been told that our sales training and development is the best in the events industry, so perhaps this observation simply reinforces that fact.

But as proud as we are of this, we also fervently believe in being better, so over the last year have spent our time improving the structure and delivery of our training to make it even more effective and accessible for graduates.

If you are just getting started in your career and have a burning ambition to progress and ensure you become the best you can be, we should talk about the SDP and whether it could be the step forward you are looking for in your career. It could be the most influential conversation you ever have.

Because a truly successful career comes down to a few things you can control: hard work is one, skill is another.  We think getting into the right habits early in your career is the third vital part of this equation; but you need the right environment and support to be sure of getting this right.

We can help you get into these habits. The habits that will ensure that in 10 years time you’re paying the mortgage off on the kind of property you can only dream about today. The habits that you will carry with you for the rest of your career and that will under-pin any success you go on to have, even if you do decide to move on from IQPC one day.

Why are we so confident? Because people keep telling us:

“I can honestly say that the training and development I received at IQPC was by far the best in my career to date. I left 5 years ago to pursue a career in hospitality sponsorship but continue to rely on the skills, techniques and disciplines that were instilled in me in my time at IQPC” William Dineen – Business Development Manager, AEG

In fact, one recent leaver wrote to us unprompted and said:

 “I can truly say IQPC has been by far the most enjoyable environment to work in I’ve ever experienced, stuffed with memorable episodes and even more memorable people. It is without doubt my proudest professional achievement to have made it a success in what was an entirely new field and method of selling. I won’t forget it. In fact I’m pretty sure it will form the cornerstone of how I consider things should be done for the rest of my working days.”

In short, people who have passed through this process in the past have gone on to have lucrative and meteoric careers.

Either working their way up through the ranks into Sales director positions in one of our 9 global offices, growing into key account and high value Sales Managers, billing 1m + a year and reaping the rewards of our uncapped commission structure which rewards sales growth and elite performance generously.

Others still have transitioned into other roles within the group such as production or marketing or Managing Director roles; wherever they have found themselves, the grounding received in their formative years at IQPC has gone with them, and they look back on these formative experiences as being fundamental to their success.

So how does the SDP actually work?

From day one, you’ll be immersed in the sponsorship team, after an initial induction to the business, the first 3-6 months will be spent learning the ropes by sitting amongst the team, where you can learn from those around you, shadowing top performers and learning from the best.

You’ll attend all our sponsorship induction training sessions from the get-go as well. These intensive sessions are critical to your development of course, but we place as strong an emphasis on coaching, so you will be assigned a Divisional Sponsorship Director to coach you along the way, as well as helping you acclimatise to the business as whole.

The theory in our training sessions is one thing, but practice is another, so you’ll start applying these techniques immediately, honing your skills on a combination of Delegate Sales and New Business Sponsorship sales calls. Vitally, you will receive on-going coaching and real-time feedback to fine tune and bed-in these critical skills and habits.

As well as the training and coaching, you will also apply yourself to, and be assessed on specific tasks that will set you up for success in the role, helping you to ace the practical skills that you will rely on for years to come such as:

  • Writing and proofing proposals
  • Lead generation
  • Social media activity
  • Value proposition creation and testing
  • Writing and editing sponsorship marketing copy
  • Negotiation and objection handling
  • Time management
  • The list goes on…

At the same time you will get to know and understand the roles of other departments, improving your commercial understanding of the business and your role within it.

Then as soon as you are ready, you will be assessed on skill uptake, before graduating into the full blown Spex Manager role. The combination of training, tailored coaching and actually “doing” over this period of time gives you complete control over your development and gives us the time and ability to work through your specific challenges with you.

Still not entirely convinced by this approach? We’ve already tested it. Here’s the view of Alex on how the first 6 months have been for him:

“The quality and amount of training I have received has exceeded my expectations. I knew I would receive training on the job, but my manager has really gone above and beyond, spending a lot of time with me to ensure I am able to sell to the best of my ability. I am part of a very close knit team, who have welcomed me and took me under their wing. I have the opportunity to earn a very good wage, if I am prepared to put the hard work in. I like this because you know that if you produce good results you will be rewarded handsomely.”

So, to recap all this, we’re talking about:

  • The best sales training in the events industry
  • A coaching programme to tailor the training to your specific developmental needs
  • Time to learn through trial and error without the pressure of hitting sales targets from day one.
  • Assignments designed to develop key skills and bed in top performer habits
  • £22.5k salary, increasing to £25k on completion and a competitive commission scheme which enables a realistic OTE of £60k in year one in the Sponsorship Manager role

I need to be straight with you though because we are genuinely ONLY going to be taking on the people who we think have the DNA of a top performer, because in taking you on for this role, we are investing in you for the long term. We’re in no rush to fill seats here at all, it’s about quality not quantity.

But if you think you have the right attitude and have the staying power as well (and I have to be honest with you up front, it will not be easy, and there will be tough days, weeks and even months) then I urge you to apply.

Seeing as you’ve got this far, I am guessing some of the things I’ve said are striking a chord with you and think this could be a turning point for you.

If so, the next step is to have a 5 minute conversation with us to rule this in or out, so drop us an email or give us a call.  As I said, it could be the most influential call you ever make…

Joby Turner

UK MD

Life as an Online Content Manager – Part 2

Continued…

How would you describe your team at IQPC?

My team are excellent at what they do; they are also very friendly and they are always trying to bring something new and fun to the daily routine. We work hard, but the atmosphere is relaxed, and everyone understands that work is so much easier if you’re enthusiastic about your responsibilities. 

How would you describe the culture in the office you work in?

From the perspective of a new starter, most people at IQPC go out of their way to make sure you feel welcome. The office environment is great; everyone gets on well and enjoys socialising together. There’s a noticeable team spirit, and teamwork-focused mentality, which makes coming to work every day that little bit more enjoyable. Frequent communication is encouraged and each team is generally very productive; there aren’t many formal boundaries, which makes everyone more comfortable.

What excites you most about the Exchange business?

The Exchange business model is quite a unique entity within IQPC because of the large-scale format of each event as well as the exclusivity of those who attend. IQPC Exchange is an ambitious and innovative group, meaning that the workload is extremely demanding, but the success is consequently even more rewarding. 

What was the biggest surprise when you joined IQPC?

The biggest surprise for me at IQPC was probably that I was actually offered the job on the spot in my interview. Following an initial telephone interview, a writing task, and my first face-to-face interview, I was invited in for a final round interview all in quick succession. I had been struggling with my job hunt for about two months, so I made sure I was the most prepared I’d ever been for an interview. However, I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much, because I was still unsure of what sort of competition I faced or how good my chances were. The final interview went really well, then after about ten minutes of comically suspicious stalling from the team, the person who would turn out to be my manager came back in the room to offer me the role there and then. It was pretty surprising, but I was absolutely delighted. Obviously I accepted without hesitation, and here I am today.

Life as an Online Content Manager – Part 1

I recently interviewed an Online Content Manager in our London office, part 1 of this interview describes how it all began…

What was your background before you joined IQPC?

I grew up in London and went to Loughborough University, graduating with a degree in Publishing & English in 2012. My role at IQPC is what I would consider to be my first ‘real job’, in that most of my past experience has consisted of either part-time jobs, internships, or temporary positions and it took me quite a long time to find. I’ve only ever worked for small companies in small offices before, so joining IQPC required a bit of adjustment because the company is huge in comparison to my previous employers. I think I’m relatively  inexperienced compared to most of the marketing team, but one of the best things about IQPC is their willingness to invest in the talents of their employees. That’s actually what attracted me to the role in the first place.

What training have you received since you joined IQPC?

The training I’ve received has been exceptional. There are clear and well-structured plans in place to ensure that all new starters receive comprehensive training, not only concerning their own role, but in every aspect of the business as a whole. This provides all employees with an understanding of ‘the bigger picture’ so to speak, which is an important part of maintaining such high performance levels on a daily basis.

What does an Online Content Manager do?

My job is to look after an online network, which involves researching, sourcing, writing and editing interesting content to be published for members and readers. This also includes interviewing industry experts and managing a large pool of content contributors, promoting all the content via social media channels and attracting sponsored features such as whitepapers or webinars. The content is intended to inspire knowledge sharing within each community of professionals, as well as generating valuable interest in IQPC’s event portfolios. It’s a really varied and dynamic role, which is why it’s so enjoyable in my opinion!

What does your average day look like?

My day generally consists of researching relevant and interesting topics which are currently trending; creating, editing and re-purposing content for the website; engaging with our audience on social media; communicating with our sponsors and contributors; and finally any necessary website maintenance. We also tend to have a lot of weekly meetings to coordinate collaboration across teams and share ideas, so time-management and organisational skills are a key part of working for IQPC.

What is the favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of my job is writing every day. Creative writing is something I’ve always enjoyed and what I’ve always wanted to do, so to have achieved my goal of finding the right career path to match that, I feel really fortunate. In the current job market, where a great deal of people are being forced to take whatever role they can get their hands on, it makes an immeasurable difference to wake up for work every morning and look forward to the day ahead.

Find out about challenges in 2014 and our office culture in part 2! Feeling inspired? Visit our current vacancies - http://careers.iqpc.com/latest-jobs/

New Marketing Positions in Singapore

IQPC Singapore are looking to fill two new roles in their growing marketing team.  The first role is for a Senior Marketing Manager and the second role is for a Content Manager to help push our content marketing to the next level. Details are outlined below and interested candidates should email Marcus.Magee@iqpc.com.sg :

SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER

The role initially includes:

  • Creating and executing innovative marketing plans to promote the Singapore office’s events through combining email, social media, PR, the web and other mediums
  • Forging long-term strategic partnerships with key industry associations and publications
  • Making recommendations to management on the strategic direction of the events based on analysis
  • Forming close working relationships and creating personalized marketing plans for events sponsors and speakers
  • Completion of occasional research projects assigned by senior management

If successful the role would expand to include some management responsibilities in the next 6 – 12 months.

The ideal candidate would have:

  • Demonstrated success as a marketing manager for at least three years (some management experience would be beneficial)
  • Excellent communications skills and ability to effectively negotiate strategic partnerships
  • Demonstration of ability to make strategic decisions based on analysis
  • Extensive knowledge of email and internet marketing
  • Ability to write effective sales copy
  • Proficiency in Word & Excel with experience in CRM/Database tools

Interested candidates should email Marcus.Magee@iqpc.com.sg

CONTENT MANAGER

As the Content Manager you will spearhead the creation of compelling, dynamic content that inspires, drives thought-leadership, and ultimately generate leads for IQPC’s various events in Asia. This will include sourcing and/or writing new content (incorporating SEO copywriting principles), as well as enhancing existing content provided by other departments. The Content Manager will work across all events generated by IQPC’s Asia office, in conjunction with the specific event Marketing Managers.

Responsibilities

  • Manage the workflow of content generation from conception through implementation and serve as editor for externally-produced content before it is published and distributed
  • Research, find, or curate the most remarkable, meaningful and shareable content related to all of IQPC Singapore’s events, leading to the creation of a minimum of 3 value-added pieces per event. Content types might including articles, white papers, guides, infographics, interviews, videos, presentations, case studies, blog posts and more
  • Contribute ideas in terms of effective distribution channels for individual pieces of content, maximizing the reach across channels such as press and social
  • Management of IQPC’s local social media presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc
  • Assist in writing and editing branded IQPC content
  • Track metrics to analyse the success of content marketing efforts and optimise accordingly
  • Assistance with individual event-specific Communication/PR strategy’s as and when required
  • Keep a close watch on news and trends in order to generate themes/topics for content production

Required skills and competencies

  • Experienced. Minimum of 3 years of marcomms / writing experience preferably in a professional business environment
  • Educated. Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in communications, journalism, marketing, technical writing or related field
  • Excellent Communication. Exceptional writing skills with demonstrated proficiency in creating engaging demand generation content.  Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills are a must
  • Flexible. Outstanding organisational and prioritisation skills combined with the ability to juggle multiple tasks and work in a fast-paced office environment. In return we are open to flexible working arrangements for the right candidate
  • Independent. Ability to work independently under tight deadlines

Interested parties should email their resume, a portfolio of past work and an accompanying cover letter to:  Marcus.Magee@iqpc.com.sg noting availability and salary expectations.

New Year’s Resolution?

So the new year is here and it’s time for a fresh start. A time for change. A time to action what you’ve been thinking about. Now that 2014 has begun if you have decided to make a new year’s resolution the chances are it’s one of the following:

  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Learn something new

We are looking to hire individuals in to our business who are self motivated and who strive to develop themselves. Our current employees are always swapping tips and recommendations on the best books out there and so if you are looking to “learn something new” in 2014, our top 5 must read books will definitely help you kick start your resolution.

  • Spin Selling- Neil Rackham 
  • The Challenger Sale – Matthew Dixon and Brett Adamson
  • Mastering the Rockefeller Habits – Verne Harnish
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
  • The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker

blog 4 7 highlyblog2 effectiveexecblog5 masteringblog 1 spin sellingblog 3 challenger

Good Luck for all your New Year’s Resolutions, let’s make 2014 a good one!

Happy Holidays Everyone

It’s been a truly great year at IQPC and after our 40th anniversary it seems the perfect time to reflect on our core values as a business:

  • To consciously encourage an entrepreneurial spirit
  • To give talented people exceptional opportunities to develop themselves
  • To deliver outstanding events and experiences for our customers

From IQPC around the globe we would like to say thank you to all our customers and suppliers – we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year!

2014

Phone Interview Fault

Whether you are applying for a graduate level position in Berlin or a director level role in Sydney; you’ll find the first contact you have with IQPC is over the phone. A telephone interview is the first step in our recruitment process and it’s also the first impression we form about you!

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I recently spoke with the global recruiters at IQPC to find out what typically goes wrong at telephone interview stage, some of these are obvious and most of these are easily avoided. Below is the list of phone interview faults that you will definitely want to avoid…

  • We phone you and we get your voicemail – if we arrange to call at a set time make sure you are ready, it’s an interview after all
  • You have little/no reception on your mobile – if we can’t hear what you’re saying or it takes us several attempts to understand what you said then it makes it that bit harder to build rapport
  • You can’t talk easily – you need to be in a room where you can talk about your application openly, doing this whilst you are walking through the centre of town probably isn’t the best idea.  Doing this on the train home probably isn’t either…
  • You answer the call by saying “What?” If we have set a time to speak answer the call in a professional way, first impressions really count!
  • We arrange the call and you have no idea what we do as a business – shocking, but it happens. You need to prepare thoroughly otherwise you’re limiting the chances of your application moving forward
  • You give us generic answers like “I am looking for a new challenge”. We wouldn’t anticipate anyone telling us that they don’t want a challenge so try to give answers that tell us more about you – you only get a short time to convince the person on the other end of the phone.
  • You are too vague. It’s not a bad thing to keep your options open, but we need to put you in front of the right hiring manager

We’re all human and we understand despite our best efforts sometimes some of these situations happen! The bottom line is that we want to engage candidates over the phone and hopefully this is a useful checklist… We look forward to speaking with you soon! 


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