IT Technical Salesperson

Overview

IT Technical Salesperson Overview

Firebrand’s IT Technical Sales programme is tailored specifically for the IT marketplace. Apprentices develop into IT Technical Sales professionals, selling your company’s products and services whilst generating leads, appointments and sales to develop a pipeline of current and prospect customers with the aim of winning more business.

During the apprenticeship, employees become an integral part of internal sales teams, maintaining good relationships with existing clients and gaining repeat business wherever possible from customers both internal and external, UK or internationally. Apprentices will become experts in their technical field, providing a proactive sales function, offering advice and technical support on a range of products.

About the programme

Apprentices develop into an IT Technical Salesperson, selling a company’s technical products and services whilst generating leads, appointments and sales to develop a pipeline of current and prospect customers with the aim of winning business.

Apprentices become an integral part of a sales team, maintaining good relationships with existing clients and gaining repeat business wherever possible from customers both internal and external, UK or internationally. They will become experts in their technical field, providing a proactive sales function, offering advice and technical support on a range of products.

Successful IT Technical Salesperson apprentices go on into roles such as a Sales Associate, Sales Consultant, Sales Engineer, Entry Level Customer Support, Technical Retail Assistant and Junior Account Manager.

Technical Competencies

  • Communication: works both independently and as part of a team and following the organisation’s code of practice; demonstrates an ability to communicate effectively and present both in writing and orally at all levels, using a range of tools.
  • Customer Experience: demonstrates strong interpersonal skills and cultural awareness when dealing with colleagues, customers and clients during sales operations and whilst defining requirements with an emphasis on customer satisfaction and relationship management.
  • Data Security: operates securely in line with organisational guidance, legislation and organisational software packages and complies with security of data and can effectively record, analyse and communicate data at the appropriate level using the organisation’s standard tools and processes throughout all sales interactions.
  • Problem solving: applies structured techniques for troubleshooting, problem solving and analyses problems by selecting the appropriate tools and techniques in line with organisation guidance when dealing with sales as well as routine tasks
  • Assesses and qualifies sales leads by developing a clear understanding of clients’ business needs and advising how these might be met with appropriate products, tools and techniques.
  • Project management: works flexibly and demonstrates the ability to work under pressure independently and as part of a team to progress sales and manage their time, workflow, priorities and projects.
  • Interprets and follows:
    • health and safety legislation to securely and professional work productively in the work environment
    • Data Protection Act 1998
    • Sales of Goods Act 1979
  • Sales process: professionally operates all sales-related tasks to maintain integrity, brand and company image during negotiations, handling of objections and closing sales with an understanding of the markets and external competitors
  • Technical: ability to understand and explain the technical portfolio and technical systems sold within the organisation and can use the current hardware and operating systems available.
  • Database and Campaign Management: prioritises their contacts and keeps an up to date database knowing when and why to contact current consumers or prospects in line with organisational requirements.
  • Context / CPD: identifies and negotiates personal development in the context of the wider business and how their role relates to other roles in the business.

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of their IT Technical Salesperson apprenticeship, individuals will:

  • Understand the basic elements and architecture of computer systems
  • Have a working knowledge of Cloud and Cloud Services
  • Understands the principles of secure coding
  • Have a working knowledge of the role IT plays within the broader context of a business strategy
  • Understand the main methodologies used for unified communications
  • Understand the basics of how data storage works and the main technical options available
  • Understand how to communicate using the appropriate language and terminology for audience and cultural awareness
  • Understand the principles and ethics of sales, recognising the importance of delivering value to the customer
  • Understand the sales life cycle, techniques & processes
  • Understand how to negotiate, handle objections and close sales
  • Understand the business product(s) they are responsible for selling including the relevant vendor product(s) as selected by the employer.

Funding

£12,000

Level

This is a level 3 apprenticeship.

Professional Recognition

This apprenticeship is recognised for entry onto the register of IT technicians confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence and those completing the apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration.

Duration

The duration of this Firebrand apprenticeship is 16 months. Because this period involves both training and the final End Point Assessment (some of which must be carried out in the workplace), employers need to ensure the apprentice’s contract covers the full programme duration.

Registration to the Register of IT Technicians (RITTech)

Once apprentices have completed their apprenticeship they are officially recognised by the British Computer Society (BCS) for entry onto the Register of IT Technicians, confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence.

Overview

Curriculum

IT Technical Salesperson curriculum

Firebrand’s Core apprenticeship programme covers all mandatory knowledge and skills outlined in the apprenticeship standard. Every Firebrand apprentice attends a suite of market-leading training programmes, to cover knowledge required from the apprenticeship standard. This training is then fleshed out through a package of selected online learning, which also allows apprentices to explore any topics of particular interest/importance to them in greater depth.


Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of their training with Firebrand, IT Technical Salesperson apprentices will:

  • demonstrate the full range of skills, knowledge and behaviours required to fulfil their job role
  • demonstrate how they contribute to the wider business objectives and show an understanding of the wider business environments
  • demonstrate the ability to use both logical and creative thinking skills when undertaking work tasks, recognising and applying techniques from both.
  • show that they recognise problems inherent in, or emerging during, work tasks, and can tackle them effectively

Read through the full curriculum for Firebrand's classroom-based training and supporting online learning modules below.

Introductions, programme overview & ice breaker

Delegates will be asked to introduce themselves and share their learning styles. They will be given an overview of the programme, style and structure and will participate in an icebreaker activity.

Relationship Essentials

In this section, delegates are encouraged to debate how important being trusted and liked are to a sales relationship. They will be provided with techniques to build trust on a day to day basis.

The impact of technology on the sales environment

This session explores the changing nature of the sales environment, the impact of technology on buyer behaviour and how this affects the customer buying cycle

Introduction to the sales process

Delegates will be asked in pairs to name as many steps to the sales process. They will present their findings and then will be introduced to the 7 steps to selling. It will improve their understanding of the sales process and how important it is to understand where they are currently on it.

Introduction to social selling

This session will improve the awareness around marketing activities and expectations. It will improve the understanding of their role in social selling. They will develop their understanding and the importance of their online profile and provide some tools and skills for their own prospecting.

Planning Process for new business calls

Delegates will review their current planning activities around a new call and then will be introduced to the planning must do's.

Introduction to the call

Delegates will roleplay getting through a gatekeeper with their coach as a group. They will be introduced to techniques that encourage them to get through the gate keeper as fast and efficiently as possible.

Engage with the client

Delegates will roleplay their current techniques to engage with a new client. They will have a chance to write their hook, rehearse it before sharing with the group. They will then be provided with four components to an 'Interest Getter'. Finally they complete a new version individually and practice in pairs before sharing with the group.

Motivating Question

Delegates will discuss the importance of motivating the customer to answer questions in the next phase of the sales process. They will complete a question that feels comfortable and is in their own language.

Practical - bringing it all together

Delegates will have time to plan a roleplay individually before they are put into groups of three. Each delegate will perform the role of a sales person, a customer and an observer. This practical session is designed to run through the entire sequence of making a new business call. Delegates are asked to feedback constructively and will have the opportunity to run through a few times each.

Ice breaker - quiz

A fun quiz to recap the previous days content.

Handling the early objection

An introduction into objection handling, but mainly concentrating on the early objection. Delegates will be asked what are the reasons why a customer might not want to have a conversation with them. They will then be provided with four techniques to handle each type.

The importance of 'Discovery'

This session explores the importance of discovering the real, underlying needs that lead to customer interest, and the dangers of presenting solutions too early in the sales process before needs and benefits are fully understood

The investigation stage of the sales process

Delegates will be introduced to a framework designed to get the most out of the customer. In small groups they will be asked all of the things they would like to understand about a particular customer. Their responses are grouped and placed into the framework. It provides a structure for a call or meetings.

Questioning Techniques

Delegates will investigate the different types of questions that can be asked and how to use them appropriately. They will be encouraged to use assumptive questions, continuation techniques to lead the conversation to suit the salespersons products and services.

Building fear and desire around differentiators

Most people buy through the emotion of fear or desire. Delegates will explore the techniques to build either emotion to lead the client to their products and services.

Summarising customers needs and requirements

Once delegates have uncovered the information required, they will then be asked to summarise their findings back to the client to ensure that the key elements are replayed back to the customer to be ready for the presentation stage.

Conditional closing - securing a follow up

Delegates will be introduced to one of the best sales tools. Conditional closes are used to check the level of commitment. They will be provided with the methodology and asked to construct a conditional close question in line with the findings from the investigation stage.

Practical - bringing it all together

Delegates will have time to plan a roleplay individually before they are put into groups of three. Each delegate will perform the role of a sales person, a customer and an observer. Delegates are asked to feedback constructively and will have the opportunity to run through a few times each.

Ice breaker - quiz

A fun quiz to recap the previous days content.

Managing Meetings

Delegates are introduced to some new concepts around planning for the meeting, how to conduct themselves in a meeting and what outcomes they should be looking for.

Features and benefits, and how to align them to customers needs

Delegates will be provided with a presentation framework that is essentially used for the different ways to present the solution. They will be asked to write down a pitch about a product or service that they are familiar with. There is a group exercise around features and aligning benefits. The 'Which means that' game is played as a group to highlight the power of three benefits to one feature.

Presenting the solution

In this session, delegates will consider the different ways to present the solution. How to structure a strong presentation using the different methods of communication available. Ensuring that the components of a strong presentation are there for all.

Workshop summary and introduction to remote work

Summary of the workshop and providing the group with the scenarios that they will work on in groups and what is expected to happen over the next few weeks. Finally they will be asked to complete remote modules of learning.

Planning Process (2 hours per group)

  • Activity - Delegates will work in groups to research Sutec Solutions and prepare a strong Interest Getter
  • Activity - Test Interest Getter with colleagues - and obtain feedback
  • Output - documented Interest Getter for Sutec Solutions

Engage with the customer (4 hours per group)

  • Activity - Prepare for a phone call role-play with the instructor using the process.
  • Activity - Delegates will be expected to follow the framework of a new call including the motivation statement.
  • Activity - Adapt and tweak interest getter following instructor feedback
  • Output - Make phone call to instructor (Recorded Evidence)

Early Objections (4 hours per group)

  • Activity - Prepare a list of early objections that you encounter in your organisation.
  • Activity - Create a 'best of class' response to each early objection and practice in pairs
  • Output - Produce an early objection bank for your organisation

Investigating the client (6 hours per group)

  • Activity - Create a list of topics to cover with the customer around the three funnel headings
  • Activity - Practice questioning techniques over the phone with other delegates
  • Activity - Investigation phone call with the instructor.
  • Output - Recording of investigation call with instructor.

Proposing the solution (4 hours)

  • Activity - Create a proposal to talk through with the customer
  • Activity - Rehearse presenting the proposal with other delegates
  • Activity - Feedback by completing an evaluation form
  • Output - Proposal and evaluation form

Presenting with Impact (4 hours)

  • Activity - Create a presentation of the proposed solution in groups
  • Activity - Practice presentation via webinar to colleagues/manager
  • Activity - Prepare to present solution to the group at the next Sales Workshop session
  • Output - Recording of Webinar, presentation ready for delivery at next Sales Workshop

Total remote working - 24 hours

Recap and overview

Introduction, recap of progress to date, review of remote work, overview of workshop 2.

Group Presentations

Presentations of outputs from remote project work.

Objection Handling

Delegates will be asked to jot down the different types of objections. The most common objections will be discussed and they will be provided with the most common techniques to handle them. They will be asked to provide one example of the best possible answer for each type.

Delivering the price

Sandwiching the price and delivering it effectively with impact will minimise the price objection. Delegates are introduced to the methodology following their own current examples of delivering the price.

Sales Language

This module looks into the language to avoid when handling objections and words that are more favourable. It also serves well for the rest of the workshops in terms of positive language.

Negotiation Essentials

A negotiation tactic that is used in the price objection sessions on day two.

Conditional Close

A closing tactic to help with handling the price objection.

Video example and review

A video of a sales person trying to handle an objection and closing the deal. Delegates are encouraged to debate the advantages and disadvantages of the film to draw out particular techniques to assist with the price objection.

Ice breaker - quiz

A fun quiz to recap the previous days content.

Forecasting and Qualification

Delegates are introduced to the essentials when it comes to forecasting and qualification. In groups they will list the information that is required to forecast with their manager. A framework is introduced to ensure that the relevant information is gathered. Finally a discussion around when the salesperson should ask for the information.

Handling the price objection

A ten step process to handle the key five different price objections. At the start of the session, delegates are asked to prepare a short roleplay following a phrase "That sounds expensive?" Each delegate will feed back to the group before starting at step one. Around halfway through, delegates will be asked to practice the first few steps before returning to the methodology.

Handling the price objection Practical

Delegates will have time to plan a roleplay individually before they are put into groups of three. Each delegate will perform the role of a sales person, a customer and an observer. Delegates are asked to feedback constructively and will have the opportunity to run through a few times each.

Ice breaker - quiz

A fun quiz to recap the previous days content.

Closing and managing the sale

Delegates are asked to consider when they have been closed well, and when they haven't. Delegates use real life situations to demonstrate the different techniques that are available. A debate is encouraged by the sales coach to discuss which closing techniques are suitable in their industry. Each delegate with then practice them in pairs. In addition the group are introduced to the process managing the sale to order. This is often a overlooked stage of the sales process, and the best sales people do it regularly.

Advanced negotiation skills

This session is based on a scenario that the salesperson knows they are about to enter a negotiation. Teams are formed and following advanced negotiation theory, teams plan their negotiation, and then roleplay a meeting. Teams have to work collaboratively to get to a resolution. This is a competition between groups and there is an overall winner.

Workshop summary and introduction to remote work

Summary of the workshop and providing the group with the scenarios that they will work on in groups, what is expected to happen over the next few weeks. Finally they will be asked to complete remote modules of learning.

Objection handling (4 hours)

  • Activity - Prepare a list of objections that you encounter in your organisation
  • Activity - Create a 'best of class' response to each objection and practice in pairs
  • Output - Produce an objection bank for your organisation

Preparing for the close (4 hours)

  • Activity - Prepare a closing strategy for the Sutec Solutions deal in groups
  • Activity - Practice the closing strategy for the Sutec Solutions deal in groups
  • Output - Documented closing strategy with reasons for the strategy selection

Handling the price objection (4 hours)

  • Activity - Prepare for the ten step process
  • Activity - Practice with colleague
  • Activity - Role play a closing call, including objection and price handling, with the instructor
  • Output - Role play with instructor

Conditional Closing (2 hours)

  • Activity - Create a series of conditional close statements for each of the discussed scenarios in the classroom
  • Output - Complete Conditional Close document

Negotiation meeting (6 hours)

  • Activity - Prepare the negotiation for the Sutec Solutions deal in groups, document the plan
  • Activity - Role play the negotiation call with the instructor
  • Output - Negotiation planning document, role play with the instructor

Sales campaign review (4 hours)

  • Activity - Review the success of the overall Sutec Solutions sales campaign, prepare to present conclusions to the group at the next Sales Workshop session
  • Output - Presentation, reviewing the overall sales campaign, ready for delivery at next Sales Workshop

Total remote working - 24 hours

Recap and overview

Introduction, recap of progress to date, review of remote work, overview of workshop 3.

Group Presentations

Presentations of outputs from remote project work.

Planning and personal effectiveness

Delegates are asked to consider the importance of planning and its contribution to sales success. From there, they explore the obstacles that prevent sales people from preparing and executing effective plans, and develop techniques to overcome them.

Territory planning

This session explores the purpose and value of territory planning, introducing a structure for the process and defining the elements of an effective territory plan. Delegates will learn how to profile their customers and prospects, develop relevant action plans and prioritise activities within the territory plan.

Ice breaker - quiz

A fun quiz to recap the previous days content.

Account development

Delegates will consider the key values displayed by top sales performers, and how they differentiate themselves from the rest. The importance of understanding customers’ business context is explored, along with methods of navigating organisational structures and identifying sources of influence. Delegates will learn how to develop an effective contact network, motivate new contacts to engage, and identify potential sales opportunities. They will then pull everything together into an account development plan to help drive growth in target accounts.

Opportunity planning

Whilst a clearly defined sales process is clearly important, a customer centric mindset is the essential ingredient when progressing sales opportunities. This session develops the delegates understanding of customer buying cycles and matches appropriate sales activity to each stage. Delegates learn how to use progression criteria to identify stages of the buying cycle, and compile a bank of resources to help progress opportunities from one stage to the next. A framework is introduced that allows delegates to analyse and qualify opportunities, along with a template that pulls everything together into a winning opportunity plan.

Deal planning workshop

Working in groups, delegates will develop a winning opportunity plan for a live sales opportunity and present their plan back to the wider group for feedback and critique.

Ice breaker - quiz


A fun quiz to recap the previous days content.

Customer service in a sales context

This session explores the nature and importance of customer service, and the impact it has on business performance. Delegates will calculate the lifetime value to the business of typical customer accounts, and assess the potential cost to the business of poor service. Using real life examples, delegates will develop an understanding of the root causes of customer disatisfaction and assess the personal and organisational impact that poor service has on customers. Finally, delegates will practice a proven technique for resolving customer conflict and achieving positive outcomes.

Conflict resolution workshop

Using role play scenarios, delegates will put their new conflict resolution skills into practice to demonstrate how positive outcomes can be achieved from situations of customer disatisdaction.

Workshop summary and introduction to remote work

Summary of the workshop and providing the group with the scenarios that they will work on in groups, what is expected to happen over the next few weeks. Finally they will be asked to complete remote modules of learning.

CRM Usage (4 hours)

  • Activity - Delegates will be asked to write a report on their CRM and how it impacts the sales force. What are the benefits and what are the key inputs they have to complete
  • Output - Report documenting their findings and conclusions

Company Mission, Purpose and Values (4 hours)

  • Activity - Delegates will be asked to write a report on the company mission, purpose and values; and how they relate to their role within the organisation
  • Output - Report documenting their findings and conclusions

Territory plan preparation and presentation (6 hours)

  • Activity - Delegates will prepare a territory plan for their territory, or for a territory in which they are actively involved
  • Activity - In groups, delegates will present their territory plan to the instructor for feedback and critique
  • Output - Territory plan document, and associated presentation to the instructor

Account plan preparation (4 hours)

  • Activity - Delegates will prepare an account plan for one of their key accounts, or for an account in which they are actively involved
  • Output - Account plan document

Opportunity plan preparation (4 hours)

  • Activity - Delegates will prepare an opportunity plan for one of their key opportunities, or for an opportunity in which they are actively involved
  • Output - Opportunity plan document

Presentation of account and opportunity plans (2 hours)

  • Activity - In groups, delegates will present their account and opportunity plans to the instructor
  • Output - Presentation of account and opportunity plans to the instructor

Total remote working - 24 hours

Module 1: Using Computers

  • Common Computing Devices
  • Using a Workstation
  • Using an OS
  • Managing an OS
  • Troubleshooting and Support

Module 2: Using Apps and Databases

  • Using Data Types and Units
  • Using Apps
  • Programming and App Development
  • Using Databases

Module 3: Using Computer Hardware

  • Using Device Interfaces
  • Using Peripheral Devices
  • Using Storage Devices
  • Using File Systems

Module 4: Using Networks

  • Networking Concepts
  • Connecting to a Network
  • Secure Web Browsing
  • Using Shared Storage
  • Using Mobile Devices

Module 5: Security Concepts

  • Security Concerns
  • Using Best Practices
  • Using Access Controls
  • Behavioral Security Concepts

Module 6: Infrastructure

  • Cloud Fundamentals
  • Waterfall vs. Agile
  • DevOps

Prerequisites

Who can enroll on an IT Technical Salesperson apprenticeship?

Firebrand apprenticeships are open to a wide rage of learners, giving employers the opportunity to hire the very best individuals for the job. There’s no upper age limit to who can enroll on this apprenticeship, and candidates can even hold a non-IT related degree.

End Point Assessment

How are IT Technical Salesperson apprentices assessed?

End Point Assessment

All Apprenticeships end with the End Point Assessment (EPA). This is completed by a third party, the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). The EPA encompasses the evaluation of all of the work completed throughout the duration of the Apprenticeship.

For the Level 4 DevOps Engineer Apprenticeship, the EPA consists of a Final Project/Scenario and a Professional Discussion with the independent assessor. 

The apprentice will only enter the EPA ‘Gateway’ once the Employer is content that the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard. In making this decision, the in-work mentor may take advice from Firebrand, but the decision must ultimately be made by them.

The EPAO determines when all other Gateway requirements have been met, and the EPA period will only commence once the EPAO has confirmed this.

The EPA assessment period in Gateway can be anything from 4 weeks to 6 months.

Check out the EPA Fact sheet for more information on the DevOps Engineer EPA Plan.

Progression Plan

How do IT Technical Salesperson apprentices progress?

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