Building the next generation of sales talent at Verkademy
Ryan BettencourtDec 15, 2022
Starting a career in sales can be intimidating. There's a whole world of opportunity and many factors to consider when starting out, from company size to industry to style of selling. Still, an often overlooked aspect is training and development opportunities. Sales development programs lay essential groundwork for careers in sales and teach the foundational skills that will help you grow into a high-performing sales professional.
At Verkada, we recognize the importance of teaching these skills early on and have seen firsthand how it can impact an individual's career trajectory. When we first started building out our sales development program, we wanted to make sure that we built a program that taught these skills from the beginning and provided our representatives with the opportunity to apply them. Our world-class sales training program, Verkademy, helps shape individuals early in their careers to become future sales leaders.
What is Verkademy?
Verkademy is an accelerated sales training program for early-career sales professionals who want to become world-class business leaders. Over the course of the six-month program, our associate account executives build foundational sales skills through structured lesson plans and professional coaching that set them up for success as account executives at Verkada and beyond.
Focusing on the Fundamentals
There's so much more to a career in sales than learning how to build pipeline. Every associate should nurture a broader set of skills that will set them up for long-term career success.
Building the foundation for a successful career in Sales starts from the very first day. We've designed Verkademy to give our associates experiential learning opportunities through the entire sales cycle and empower them to sell from the beginning. In the first two months of Verkademy, associates will expand their product knowledge, learn to build a comprehensive territory plan using our different sales tools and master how to handle common objections as they run their product demos. Once they've mastered how to articulate the value of our product suite, they'll move on to learning the next steps in the sales process. Associates will receive training on how to: lead a best practice call, uncover a prospect's needs by asking the right questions, and finally, begin mastering our own sales “playbook”. With each weekly module, associates master a new skill that they'll build on during the following week.
By the end of six months, our associates have learned how to effectively generate pipeline while becoming product experts confident in executing every step of the sales process.
“The Verkademy program gave me a head start as an AE. It was like I was starting on third base and only had a short run to home plate. I felt super confident from day one because I left Verkademy with a deep understanding of our products, the sales process and I had experience running product demos for prospects. It was a seamless transition, and I can't recommend the AAE program enough to anyone who wants to accelerate their career.” - Dylan Steele, Account Executive and Verkademy graduate
Coaching You 1:1
Beyond the dedicated team of Verkademy managers, we pair each associate with a mentor in the sales organization. These more tenured associates and account executives provide support throughout the program – from mastering demos and practicing new talk tracks to expanding product knowledge.
"The mentorship program was one of the best aspects of Verkademy. Having a mentor and a manager made it feel like I always had someone to go to with questions. I loved having a mentor to debrief with after calls that had gone really well or ones where I may have struggled a little bit; that way, we could work out where I may have gone wrong. They also were a great resource since they had been in the program themselves, and they could let you know what was coming up next and how to be prepared for it." - Chase Bixby, Account Executive and Verkademy graduate
Our mentors also love being able to support the next generation of sales talent. "Being a mentor is so fulfilling," says Monica, an Associate Account Executive and Verkademy mentor. "Providing guidance to someone who was once in your shoes is so gratifying, and it has also been so rewarding to see how teaching others has solidified my skills and benefitted my development."
Winning as a Team
We believe that we win together as a team. And while we trust our associates to hit their individual goals, we encourage them to support one another, lift each other up and celebrate wins together.
Our offices are where this team spirit and collaboration are in action. We've seen that so much learning happens when our team sits and works alongside each other – from listening to talk tracks in real-time and hearing about the latest customer success story in a new industry, to finding a solution for a customer in another associate's territory over lunch.
"I've loved working in person! Coming into the office and being surrounded by such a supportive team has been critical to my success here at Verkada. My manager and team keep me motivated and have taught me so much. I've also made a ton of friends at the office, which has made moving to a new city such an incredible experience." - Sarah Spaeth, Account Executive and Verkademy graduate
Setting You Up for Success
With all of the tools and skills they've built during Verkademy, our associates hit the ground running when they transition into their account executive roles. Verkademy graduates are now top-performing account executives at the mid-market and enterprise level, motivating regional sales managers and on their way to becoming the next generation of sales leaders at Verkada.
Interested in participating in Verkademy? Apply to join our sales team here.
Ryan Bettencourt is Verkada's VP of Global Sales. He is passionate about building high-performance sales teams from the ground up and delivering world-class solutions to customers.
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