Take a real challenge to launch your rewarding sales career

At ApplianSys, junior salespeople rapidly develop into the sophisticated consultants that are highly valued across the technology industry and beyond. With rigorous training, responsibility from day one, intellectually challenging work, exposure to international business and a whole lot of fun on offer, our salespeople agree that it's a great place to start your career.

Harminder Heer: From raw ambition to respected consultant

Why did you choose to join ApplianSys?

I wanted a role in which I could take ownership of my own success and genuinely make an impact, and not just in terms of winning sales. ApplianSys' faith in its people has given me the freedom to accomplish this. I can personally impact real decisions from Product Development to Marketing which is very rewarding.

What training have you received at ApplianSys?

I learned the basics through intense 1:1 training with experienced colleagues during my first weeks at ApplianSys. This individual coaching is continuous and we also have a weekly team training session every Wednesday evening. During these, I've learned everything from the psychology of the sales process, dealing with large, complex organisations and how to successfully influence buying decisions.

We also use our weekly sessions to review each-others' sales pipelines and suggest different tactics when an opportunity has stalled or hit an obstacle. So whilst the learning curve is extremely steep, we're effectively pulling each other up it.

Is sales as ruthlessly competitive as it appears?

Unlike my previous sales role, I don't compete with my sales colleagues. There's a recognition of the team effort required for the company to succeed. That said, I'm very driven to succeed, and the same can be said for the other recent grads so it's competitive, but in a healthy way.

Has ApplianSys lived up to your hopes?

It's absolutely the kind of rewarding challenge that I was looking for. Whilst it's hard work living up to the high expectations ApplianSys has, it's made a lot easier by the management culture: there's a genuine desire to help ambitious people achieve their goals. And because we recruit to a high standard everyone is pushing themselves at the same tempo, so it feels like I'm part of something bigger.

An added bonus is the social culture. We've been skiing, enjoyed some great restaurants and we regularly go to the pub after work. This is great for a young team like ours. The fact that such a large proportion of ApplianSys' workforce is young is one of the things I was attracted to. I wanted to join a company with lots of people that I can easily relate to.

Have you developed new skills at ApplianSys?

I'd worked in sales before joining ApplianSys and in my previous job, a 40k deal seemed huge! I'm now faced with opportunities that could run into the millions. Other sales organisations would hold these back for senior salespeople. At ApplianSys, I get the opportunity, backed up with support from experienced colleagues. In fact, my role is now focused specifically on major opportunities and I find these fascinating. They're really complex in terms of the customer requirement and a large part of my role is co-ordinating activity across ApplianSys, working particularly closely with technical colleagues.

There can be such a big time-lag between learning the theory at university and applying that knowledge in practice. Quickly applying theory, as I do at ApplianSys, is really refreshing and makes learning on-the-job rapid.

Where can you go from here?

I'd like to take ownership of a geographic region, manage a team and take responsibility for our partner programme. Long-term I want to be a respected industry expert, a go-to-guy for IT business development. I think this is ambitious, but achievable and my rapid progress at ApplianSys gives me reason to be confident. I recently had a new reseller in Norway approach me as they knew of me by name which felt great. There are people with 20 years experience that trust my advice and spend money based on my guidance.

Sophie Clark: From sales newbie to leading ApplianSys' US sales operation

Sophie joined ApplianSys' sales team in 2012 straight from university. Having worked in retail during her degree course, this was Sophie's first role in sales. Initially working on opportunities around the world, she has since specialised in US schools opportunities and, in October 2015, flew out to the US to lead ApplianSys' development of a local sales presence.

Did you always want to work in Sales?

Before joining ApplianSys, I had very little knowledge of what sales really was. One of the things that drew me to the role was that I'd get to talk to lots of different people from all around the world. I've always enjoyed this but my confidence has grown rapidly at ApplianSys. With a very consultative sales process, it's essential to enjoy communicating, building relationships and thinking on your feet to respond to customer needs.

Don't you need to be pushy to work in sales?

That's one of the most pleasing aspects of sales at ApplianSys: we're not looking to 'push product'. Ours is a very complex sales process and 'closing' a sale is built into a sophisticated consultation that takes place over many interactions. I spend most of my time educating customers, helping them to understand their requirement and solving complicated problems. It's a fascinating process that requires you to pay really close attention to detail, build genuine relationships with your prospects and truly understand buyer psychology. It's intellectually challenging and this makes it far more rewarding than playing the numbers game of trying to sell commodity items to hundreds of prospects a day.

So you need to be technically minded to sell ApplianSys products?

I was a little worried about this before joining ApplianSys. It would have been fair to describe me as 'technically challenged' on day one and I'm sure that the grads I joined with were in a similar position. But with training and guidance from technical colleagues, and by just putting my brain to it, it's been a lot easier than I thought to get a solid grasp of technology. It's definitely helpful learning together with other graduates, we've grown together. And it's not like we need to know all the technical detail, there are plenty of ApplianSys engineers to turn to for help when needed.

Where will this job take your career?

Well, this isn't really a 'Grad scheme' I've been working on real prospects from day one and I've been given increasing responsibility since then: from small opportunities to large, on to leading our Schools sector team and now establishing the US office. It's been rapid and I'm really motivated to develop our caching appliance into the de-facto market leading product for schools worldwide. Watch this space!

I'm also confident about life after ApplianSys. The training that I've received is explicitly geared to develop me into the kind of salesperson that tech vendors see as the only kind worth employing. Confident relationship builders that are comfortable dealing with complex solutions and customer psychology.

What type of character should apply for an ApplianSys Sales Job?

I'd recommend ApplianSys to seriously ambitious grads who enjoy an intellectual challenge. We decided years ago that "good isn't good enough" and you need the drive to live up to this mantra. Unusually, for sales teams, we're not really competing with each other in a cut-throat competition. We work collaboratively, building on each-other's growing expertise to smash our collective targets.

But it's not all work, work, work... across ApplianSys and especially amongst the graduates, we grow together in work and play. There's always a group heading out for drinks after a challenging week in the office!

David Zangouras: From multi-linguist to enlightened internationalist

How did you 'learn' sales?

At ApplianSys, you get responsibility very early on, which is something I was looking for. We have routine training sessions, but in sales, there's no substitute for experience. At ApplianSys you're trusted with real sales prospects early on, giving you the chance to develop that valuable experience.

We have an unusually collaborative sales process and team. I work with seasoned sales people who have both the time and inclination to guide me. Given this combination of freedom and guidance, I've really surprised myself with what I can do.

Did you know you wanted to work in sales?

If I'm honest, when I applied I didn't really know what to expect from the job. I certainly didn't expect it to be this challenging... or I suppose, as rewarding. In other sales jobs, it's 'who makes the most calls wins', ApplianSys is quality over quantity: I might only deal with a dozen prospects in a day, but I need to do a high quality job to find the 'win-win' that makes it an easy decision to buy our product. You have to build rapport, generate respect and deeply understand your customers... when you really get it right, it feels amazing.

So a sales job at ApplianSys is really hard?

Well, I know other people in sales jobs and they're really just taking orders for commodity products from customers who know the product well. They're not being stretched like I am. Whilst the products we sell clearly benefit our customers, we need to provide a highly consultative sales experience. We need to listen well and really understand what our customers want to accomplish and show them how our product will do that for them.

Does this mean you need to be a technical whizz?

On a sales call, you'll generally be talking to technical people, but if you're talking tech, you're probably doing something wrong. You need to really understand the customer's problems, the (often non-technical) impact these cause and the benefits they will get with our solution. And if they have a really technical question, you have great technical support colleagues to draw on. You can't 'blag' technical knowledge, you can work well with your technical colleagues and draw from their expertise.

How has working in sales developed your career?

Because of my degree course and travels, I had some exposure to Middle Eastern business before I joined, I've now gained first-hand experience of business practices all over the world. I've also gained better commercial awareness in general, influencing skills, negotiation. You don't need a degree in business to be a sales person. A strong work ethic, ability to learn from mistakes quickly and personability are key. My ability to speak languages has came in really handy though!

Who should apply?

Candidates with high attention to detail, strong listening skills, empathy and a team working ethic will find this to be a highly rewarding sales job. Adaptability is also key. The internet is always changing... our products and the needs of customers are constantly changing too. You need to think on your feet.

"We don't hard sell, we don't pester and we definitely don't push product. We build genuine relationships with people."

Ross Horn, ApplianSys Sales Executive

"When I started, I was promised the prospect of learning new things, which was exciting given my thirst for knowledge. And that's exactly what I've experienced"

Amra Ansari, ApplianSys Marketing Executive

"After graduating, I was looking for a career that would allow me to speak with different people, from different backgrounds - and that's what I found working for ApplianSys"

Sophie Clark, ApplianSys Sales Executive

"If you are an enthusiastic person and a fast learner you can rest assured that you will enjoy working here."

Justyna Gralinska, ApplianSys Marketing Executive

"Unlike some other 'Graduate Scheme' jobs, this isn't an extension of university with day-after-day of lessons and role-playing; I was very quickly trusted with support tickets - and not just the easy ones!"

Alex Garrood, ApplianSys Support Engineer


Here are just some of the reasons you should choose to start your career at ApplianSys


Q. I studied an unrelated degree, is there any point in me applying?

A. Sales roles are open to graduates of any discipline. We're looking for strong intellect, ability to deliver work to a high standard and great communication skills. Modern languages students find their studies put to good use at ApplianSys but we have some very successful salespeople who graduated in the Arts, Business Administration, even Fundamental Genomics... whatever that is!

Q. I'm predicted a 2:1, should I apply?

A. We're looking for the highest calibre of graduates, but we're not entirely focused on degree results. A 2:1 plus a demonstrably hard work-ethic, high drive and achievements outside university will certainly be considered favourably.

Q. Does the scheme include any training?

A. ApplianSys graduates benefit from a rigorous, highly structured training programme, with intense training from day one and an in-depth ongoing personal development programme. ApplianSys has been accredited by Investors In People since 2006 and have been commended as the most sophisticated small company that IIP has seen.

The development culture at ApplianSys is explicit that "good isn't good enough". Comprehensive quarterly appraisals ensure that training is tailored to your specific needs and mid-long-term goals. And weekly 1:1s with managers provides opportunities to tweak personal development activity and keep it on track.

Q. I want to complete a Masters, can I work for ApplianSys at the same time?

A. The opportunities on offer at ApplianSys require a high degree of commitment and drive to truly succeed. If you intend to complete a Masters, it may be more appropriate to do so before applying next year.

Q. Will I be stuck on a 'junior' salary for years whilst ApplianSys recoups its investment in me?

A. Our junior sales roles are offered with 2 staged pay-rises, one at 3 months and another at 6 months. These are dependent on excellent performance and, at these early stages, that's based predominantly on effort and commitment. After this, pay-rises can occur at any time and our most driven graduates have seen their salary rise considerably at ApplianSys.

Furthermore, graduates that have moved onto other organisations have been in a position where they can command salaries several times higher than they started on.


Ready to kickstart your career at ApplianSys? Check out the job spec and get in touch.

If you believe that you've got what it takes, send your CV to recruitment@appliansys.com

Please include a covering letter which explains:

  • Why are you interested in this job in particular?
  • What are your particular strengths which make you a stand-out candidate?

In the meantime, if you have any questions about working at ApplianSys, you can get in touch using the form below.

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