SAP Academy for Sales opens its doors to early talent from around the world

Six UK participants join global initiative

SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced that it has launched the SAP Academy for Sales, a global training programme for young people hoping to begin a career in sales. The programme, which started this month, was initially designed to intake 100 participants, but high demand has led SAP to extend the programme to 300 for 2014, with a second and third intake in June and August this year.

The SAP Academy for Sales is a fast-paced nine month rotational programme designed to empower participants with effective selling and negotiation techniques, as well as other must-have business skills, to build the foundation for a successful sales career. In addition to local hands-on training in the field, networking opportunities and mentoring from top SAP executives and sales leaders, participants will head to SAP‘s state-of-the-art learning facility in Dublin, California for innovative classroom training.

Six young people from the UK have been selected to participate in the programme. They were chosen from the initial 10,000+ global applicants using a specifically designed online end-to-end recruitment tool to select against SAP’s ‘What great looks like’ criteria. The shortlist of candidates then undertook an intensive assessment day where they were assessed against various competencies by SAP leadership before the final candidates were selected. These new Academy Sales Executives have recently completed their first few weeks of training in California.

Ben Hefford, Academy Sales Executive from the UK commented; “With peers from over 29 different countries, the learning culture is focused on diversity. This is already helping with our networking skills and will ultimately enable us to work effectively in a global business environment.”

The importance of diversity was reinforced by another UK Academy Sales Executive on the programme, Elfina Valerio. “We are constantly working in teams with people from different countries, backgrounds and knowledge bases. This is helping to educate us on how to use each other's talents and skills. We are also being urged to bring our personal experiences into our learning and this is encouraging us to be more creative and compelling presenters.”

“Major trends that are occurring in the workplace, for example social, bring your own device (BYOD), and consumeriation of IT, are centered on the younger generation,” said Nadine Elsham, EMEA Sales Academy Director, SAP. “Across Europe, businesses that fail to bring young talent into the workforce will fall behind their competitors. Here at SAP, we want to nurture the skills and unique talents of this generation in order to future-proof our business.”

In addition to building SAP’s next-generation sales force, the Academy programme is a major contributor to SAP’s overall workforce diversification strategy, and serves as a primary vehicle to help SAP achieve diversity goals in a variety of areas including – but not limited to – talent and gender.

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