Rackspace Sales Training: Beyond ‘Always Be Closing’

As Rackspace continues to build the premier IT-as-a-service tech company, offering expert support across all major public cloud platforms, plus unique private clouds, managed hosting and every hybrid in between, we need a sales force that can keep up.

That’s why we’ve built a unique and thorough sales onboarding program, from an intensive boot camp to shadowing opportunities throughout the organization.

Krystal Bonillas, who had eight years of sales experience before coming to Rackspace, appreciated that the training focused specifically on sales at Rackspace.

“Rackspace is a completely different organization from anywhere I’ve worked,” Bonillas said. “Without the training, I wouldn’t have been able to build a network so quickly here. Having those resources really helped me understand how I can and will support my team, the teams I rely on and most importantly, support my customers.”

This look at our sales training program is part three of our Limitless Learning series. In part one, we described overall career development here at the Rack, and in part two delved into our leadership development ecosystem. Future posts will cover ongoing technical training and international development opportunities.

Developed by Rackers Daphne Varela and Kathleen Hartman, the two-month sales training program teaches new sales Rackers what they need to be successful.

“When I started at Rackspace we didn’t have this kind of a program, so I found myself building modules and doing a lot of coaching to help new sales people,” Varela explained. “It turns out Kat was doing a lot of the same in our Austin office, so we combined our notes and created what is now the mandatory sales training for all new sales Rackers.”

In the first month, classes focus on orienting new sellers to Rackspace, their team and the tools we use here at the Rack.

“The program isn’t about ‘How to Sell,’ said Bonilla. “Coming in, you need a fundamental knowledge and understanding of sales. So, this isn’t the ‘Always Be Closing’ class you may be thinking of. The training is so hands-on and really shows you how to find, access and leverage resources in your time at Rackspace.”

The training teaches sellers different skills at different times, Varella noted.

“In the first month, there is a two week intensive boot camp where students have a workbook and learn the basics about selling at Rack,” she said. “Participants also hear from different business units they will work with at some point in their time here. This helps build brands and networks for the sellers.”

In the second month, sellers are set loose to shadow various teams, from sales to support and everything in between. This introduces new sellers to the entire business; it helped Bonillas figure out who she could lean on when in need of a little help.

“After shadowing and having one-on-one meetings, I knew exactly who to reach out to when I had a question. It was so important to have that relationship the training helped me to build,” she said.

At Rackspace, we take support seriously — both for our customers and our employees. Our sales on-boarding is just one way we fanatically support our Rackers every day.

Next up in our Limitless Learning series, you’ll learn about our unique, annual in-house Rax.io conference and ongoing technical training opportunities.

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Grace Frye is an intern at Rackspace where she works on the talent acquisition team focusing on talent branding. She is a senior at Trinity University studying communication, economics and entrepreneurship. She is an avid traveler and prefers to spend her time hiking across the world.


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