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Achievers + SalesCamp: A case study

In today's highly competitive job market, finding talent that not only possesses the necessary skills and experience but also aligns with the values and culture of a company is critical for long-term success. We spoke with Achievers' Eamonn Filinski to see how SalesCamp worked for them!
The takeaway

Finding great talent that aligns with your organization’s values is critical. Top flight employee engagement company Achievers teamed up with SalesCamp from Palette Skills to source exciting new talent, and build brand knowledge at the same time.

The Achievers story

Achievers is in the business of cultivating great workplace cultures in some of the world’s top performing companies. The company has created a dynamic software platform that helps build a culture of engagement and belonging in the workplace. The result is enhanced productivity, better employee engagement, and outstanding results when it comes to staff retention. 

When we sat down with Eamonn Filinski, head of Global Sales Development at Achievers in Toronto, he told us that the key question that Achievers set out to answer was how to help companies find a way to recognize workers for what they do, and for all the wonderful things that happen every day in the workplace.

“Because,” says Filinski, “it’s proven, and there is a lot of science behind our platform saying that when employees are recognized and rewarded, they feel more engaged, more connected to their company, and more connected to an organization’s values.”

In the wake of the pandemic, and with the rise of remote work, that kind of engagement and connection is more important than ever. But as Filinski tells us, it’s not simply about working in the office, or from home.

“One of our biggest use cases,” says Filinski “is not just remote employees but what we call off-line work. So think of employees who are in factories or manufacturing settings, but are not necessarily in front of a computer. So how do companies stay engaged with those kinds of employees, especially at a scalable level? It could mean getting access through smart phones, or through different devices that people use to scan products, and using different ways of connecting with people who aren’t always on computers.”

The challenge: talent acquisition

You would think a company with sophisticated HR chops like Achievers would face little difficulty when it comes to hiring talent. But just like every other growing organization in the tech sales space, finding great people can be a challenge. And it’s no different for Achievers. After all, Canada is facing a tech talent shortage that has many companies looking for innovative solutions. 

Filinski notes that one of the major pain points he’s encountered is that often, people applying for positions in sales development have little experience. 

“Typically we are hiring people with very little experience, or they are just starting out in a sales role that is an entry point into that sales career path. With that, you don’t have a lot of experience to judge people on, and so that’s always a huge challenge of course because how do we evaluate who is a good candidate or not?”

Filinski and his team at Achievers bring a lot of their own experience when it comes to hiring sales development representatives (SDRs), and as he told us, much of that comes down to paying attention to essential soft skills in terms of having an entrepreneurial spirit, showing drive, as well as demonstrating great organizational and communication skills. 

The solution: SalesCamp from Palette Skills

We wanted to know more about the solutions that Achievers is finding in its collaboration with SalesCamp, the flagship B2B tech sales program from Palette Skills. SalesCamp is a 6-week hands-on, live and online career transition and upskilling program designed to teach the practical skills needed to succeed in a B2B tech sales role. It is for professionals who have previous work experience in other industries, and who are looking to make a career change. The accelerated bootcamp experience helps turn participants into candidates ready to embark on professional careers. 

Like many of our other industry and employer partners who collaborate with Palette Skills, Eamonn Filinski and his management team at Achievers take an active role when it comes to participating with the SalesCamp program. 

Says Filinski: “Myself and some of the managers on my team have been part of the panel discussions, and in the role play that’s part of the bootcamp, as well as in the networking events. So that’s been really valuable to us, just to extend the brand awareness of our company.  We’ve had great feedback from people who are just loving to hear about our world and a tech company in our space. So that’s a huge benefit regardless of whether we hire somebody or not.”

But of course, Achievers has successfully hired from the SalesCamp program, and it is exactly this kind of success that drives the ongoing collaboration between Achievers and SalesCamp. With over 500 people graduating from the program already, 43% of job offers participants receive come from employer partners working alongside the Palette Skills team. 

Aligning values 

One of the most important things we learned when speaking with Achievers was how important aligning values is when it comes to hiring, and to building great teams. In some ways, this should come as no surprise because after all, one of the key outcomes that Achievers is building with its innovative platform are ways to help leading organizations create award-winning work cultures. 

Filinski told us that one of the most valuable aspects of participating in the SalesCamp program for Achievers is that it helps his team discover candidates who are motivated by the kinds of values that Achievers stands for. 

“They put effort into researching us and for me that goes a long way towards checking that box about whether they are actually interested in us. Are they just saying I want to be in tech somewhere, or are they saying I want to work in HR tech at Achievers.” 

“We reap the benefits,” continues Filinski, “knowing that our company speaks to people who, as potential employees, are saying I am looking for a company that has a strong culture, I am looking for a company that embraces enablement and not only do we do that in our platform, we also do that in our company.”

Why SalesCamp is different

So why SalesCamp in particular? Of course everyone on the Palette Skills team is proud of the program, and can tell you about the benefits of the intensive training boot camp both for participants and for employers. But we were curious to hear about what Achiever’s head of Global Sales Development had to say.

Says Filinski: “Working with Palette Skills from the point of view of an employer, we had abandoned other programs before because of a high cost on our side, where we were putting in a financial commitment and not getting a lot out. Here we weren’t putting in the financial commitment, so we were more willing to test it out for longer.”

And that ability to test out the program risk-free for a longer period of time paid dividends for Achievers, as well as for participants in the SalesCamp program. 

“Getting that opportunity to interact with candidates, and go through that role with them is great because we try to do similar things in our interview process, but this gives us a better firsthand look at how that candidate would actually perform in a given scenario.”

One of the reasons why SalesCamp works so well for both employers and candidates is because it’s geared to help participants redefine their mindsets, while giving them the chance to learn firsthand the practices required to be an effective member of a tech sales team. Role-playing, practical exercises, and industry-led coaching all help to build skills, and confidence. 

“People can say to themselves, yeah I want to go into sales, but what is that really like?” adds Eamonn. 

“Having something like SalesCamp from Palette Skills where people get introduced to what it’s like to be a sales professional before is a big step forward. It lets us get on the same plane and talk about this role and be realistic about what it is that people want, and at the same time it gives them some experience so that they know what they actually have to do in this role. It gets us one step forward in terms of determining whether a person is right for the role or not.”  

Want to find out more about how SalesCamp can work for your organization? Join our network of community and employer partners with Upskill Canada and Palette Skills here!

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Eligibility for SalesCamp

To be admitted and accepted into the program, you must be:
  • Be actively searching for work and ready to take on employment opportunities tech sales.
  • Be able to legally work in Canada. 
  • Not be a full-time student.
  • Be a highly motivated individual actively seeking out new opportunities.
  • Have least 3 years of formal work experience in Canada or abroad.
  • Have an English language rating of CLB Level 8, or IELTS of 6.5 overall.
  • Be available for Zoom sessions, many of which will be full-time.
  • Be able and committed to attending networking day events as part of regular programming.
  • Be comfortable using technology and learning online.
  • Live or intend to live in the province where the program is being offered.
  • Have a reliable internet connection, device, and a quiet environment for virtual learning.
  • Be committed and able to join the Canadian workforce full-time immediately following the program.
You may not be eligible if:
  • You do not pass our application and/or interview skills assessment. 
  • You are not actively searching or able to start a job in business-to-business tech sales.
  • You are not able to legally work in Canada.
  • You do not reside in the province where the program is operating.
  • You are going to school full-time.
  • You do not have three years of work experience outside of your studies.
  • You are interested in taking SalesCamp solely for learning purposes, but are building your own business and not intending to work in the field.

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