19th April 2024

Meet the team: The magic behind the new _VOIS Digital Sales Academy

_VOIS (Vodafone Intelligent Solutions) has created a world class Digital Sales Academy to support all the change and development that drives our world at Vodafone. Learn more about the new Academy and the team that gave it life below.

Ahmed Adel-AbdelMomen
Learning & Development Senior Lead

Learning and development is the lifeblood of a business where technology is key and change is perpetual. How you deliver that development, and what you deliver, determines its success. I believe we should be transcending traditional and generic content libraries to focus on job-specific learner-focussed progress. For this, specialised academies are pivotal. They provide inspiration, foster collaboration, and cultivate sustainable skills. This is why I’m so excited to be part of the team that has delivered our new Digital Sales Academy.

Since 2006, Vodafone Intelligent Solutions (VOIS) has become a global organisation within Vodafone and has had a huge impact on our business. Its mission is the development of talent, with continual and positive transformation, alongside engagement with emerging technologies and trends.

I have spent over 16 years in the field of learning and development, creating bespoke learning solutions, cultivating leadership skills, and promoting a customer-centric mindset. Now, with VOIS, and as Manager of the Digital Sales Learning and Development (L&D) programme, I have the privilege of leading the team that was challenged to design and implement the Vodafone Digital Sales Academy, and now leads its continuous improvement and expansion.

With a focus on tailored learning, we’re busy creating innovative training plans to empower our sales teams with the latest skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a dynamic market. We’re using a blend of traditional and digital learning tools to ensure our training is accessible, engaging, and effective. It’s an exciting time to be part of this kind of change - revolutionising learning to support the transformation of a global tech business. As a team, we are focussed on a grand prize…

Christopher Rees
Learning and Development Specialist

Tell us about yourself, and your role.

My main remit is to provide learning consultancy to the Digital Sales Ireland operation and maximising the return on investment from L&D activities. From my last sales role I took on a Training Facilitator role, and from there I moved into L&D full time. Learning and development is my passion, and I get great satisfaction from training people and seeing them develop their careers.

What is the best thing about the Digital Sales Academy?

The best thing is having so much strategically created knowledge in one place. It’s created for individuals, so as you progress and you build your relationships with your customers, you have all the learning tools you need to transform those conversations and to get the most value out of them.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to move into a sales career?

Sales is about being organised, logical and having immense drive. Are you a great listener? A great communicator? The best salespeople demonstrate these traits. How do you respond when you are faced with failure? Do you give up and move on or do you push through the pain and not accept it? If you push through, then you have the potential to succeed. A career in sales is challenging, but if you have the drive and right character it can be a very fulfilling and rewarding job.

Arpad Szocs
Channel Learning & Development Lead

Tell us about yourself, and your role.

I joined the team in 2022 and my responsibilities can be divided into three main threads. I’m responsible for the development of the Digital Sales team in Budapest, I’m involved in the improvement of the Digital Sales Academy, and I also manage the administration of the team's tasks. As part of this, I am taking responsibility for creating initiatives across the Digital Sales team that can help the community to be more cohesive. Our new Learning Espresso sessions will be a big part of that.

What’s the best thing about the Digital Sales Academy?

I think it offers our sales teams a platform for learning and development that’s fit for the 21st century. It makes it easier to establish learning as a habit. I also love the fact that it offers many more opportunities for future development.

What was the most rewarding part of creating the academy from scratch, and what’s next for the team?

The development process was quite challenging, so the moment when the first version was ready - when we saw it in front of us, in its true form, was a super feeling. It was the result of a lot of development work and a fantastic team effort.

Next, I think we would like to create more bespoke tracks. We have just finished the Consultant Track and we are already planning a Leadership Track. Also, I think we would like to unlock the whole commercial potential of the Academy. The methodology we have put together could be useful for the whole group.

Nuria Marcet
Learning & Development Specialist

Tell us about yourself, and your role.

I embarked on my journey with the Digital Sales L&D team back in July 2019, nearly five years ago. During that time, I’ve collaborated closely with all the teams across Spain and contributed to learning initiatives for all of our Digital Sales teams around the world.

What is the best thing about the Digital Sales Academy?

The Digital Sales Academy is comprehensive, and tailored to Digital Sales representatives. It covers all of the essential topics, such as sales skills, technology trends, and solutions knowledge, delivered in engaging, bite-sized modules that you can take at your own pace.

What were the challenges and highlights of creating the Digital Sales Academy?

We had to really delve into the intricacies of Vodafone’s learning management systems and design a structure that met our unique requirements. We had to identify all of the required digital sales skills and develop distinct programmes and evaluations for all of them. Global access and compliance reporting were big challenges, but we had invaluable support from Vodafone’s Learning Administration Team and collaboration with managers across business lines. The result was a resounding success that benefits everyone!

Maria Del Pilar Raigon
Sales Trainer

Could you tell us about yourself, and your role?

I joined the team in April 2022 and my primary role is to support a new cybersecurity sales team for the Italian, German, UK, and Spanish markets. It’s exciting to support these international teams, and it's great to know we’re having a positive impact on cybersecurity for our customers. I love this journey!

What’s the best thing about the Digital Sales Academy?

It’s that our sales team members can upskill themselves with relevant content that will actually help them succeed in their day to day job - and all at their own pace.

How do you think the Digital Sales Academy will help Sales colleagues grow their careers?

I was a sales rep, and I know how important it is to have a growth mindset - to overcome obstacles and continue to progress. With the Digital Sales Academy, our salespeople can assess their own strengths and weaknesses and broaden their knowledge and skill around our customer-centric sales strategies. There is always a useful tip or a new concept in the Academy that they can use in the next sales call or interaction with a customer. I wish I could have had a Sales Academy when I started out in 1989!

James Mannering
Learning and Development Specialist

Could you tell us about yourself, and your role?

My Role is to support the UK Digital Sales team’s learning and development. I ensure skill gaps are covered, training is credible and engaging, and I support the team where possible - I’m always looking at new ways to encourage autonomy and efficiency within the process.

What’s the best thing about the DS Academy?

For me, it’s aligning all of Vodafone’s standards under the badges scheme and allowing the team to reach these standards and showcase the badges when they’re complete. It means that the team can reach the next level together.

How would you say a sales employee can make the most out of the academy?

The best way to make the most out of the academy is to embrace it, and to remember the content is not to be rushed or completed as a tick box exercise. We have some amazing talent in Digital Sales who already have knowledge - my advice to anyone completing this is to complete it like a marathon, pace yourself, learn at the rate that works for you. The Academy is growing - grow with it.

Flavia Cesare
Learning and Development Specialist

Could you tell us about yourself, and your role?

I joined the team as a Learning and Development Specialist two years ago having previously worked as a Key Account Manager. I was mostly inspired by a desire to contribute to an international, diverse team - to collaborate closely with colleagues and continue progressing in the Learning and Development field.

What’s the best thing about the Digital Sales Academy?

The Academy offers something special: a wealth of interesting content and the flexibility to schedule learning during the workweek. This breaks routines and boosts knowledge and motivation.

How does the Digital Sales Academy link to the current Vodafone priorities?

As the telecommunications industry continues to transform, we’re equipping ourselves with fresh, updated content related to new and cutting edge products and services. Our Consultative Track will soon offer a diverse array of certified badges that reinforce our partnership with Microsoft, and the upcoming integration of the new IoT business underscores our commitment to empowering every trainee as part of that transformation.

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