This is How I Started my Sales Career

A sales career in IBM will give you opportunity to network with industry experts and expand your creativity. In this edition of the IBM Early Professional Sellers blog series, Arseniy Ilin, an Early Professional Seller with IBM Russia shares how the above statement came to life for him.

You’ve been in the Early Professional Sellers (EPS) program for several months. What are the highlights of your new seller journey?

I started in IBM in December 2014 as an intern in the Sales and Distribution team. From that time till now, I have never done the same thing for a long time, and my skills and expertise has only grown wider with every month. As a Seller, you always meet new people, work on new projects and challenges, and you learn new tricks and strategies from everyone you meet.

At present, I’m a Sales Representative responsible for one of the Top-40 Central and Eastern Europe clients and participating in projects which, only a few years ago, studying in the university and working on a part-time intern position, I can’t even imagine.  One of the things I quickly noticed is how IBMers are always ready to share their knowledge and give you advice according to their experience, and it doesn’t matter if you are working with them closely or just meeting them during coffee break. There is an atmosphere of people always hungry for knowledge and ready for new challenges to stay motivated.

EPS Russia sept 2017 Blog
Photo Courtesy: Arseniy Ilin – IBM Early Professional Seller and Client Representative in Public Sector

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how were you able to overcome them?

The biggest challenge is to not be scared to ask questions. When you become a new IBMer you don’t know as much as your colleagues – some of whom have worked at IBM for 5, 10, or even over 20 years, but you must remember that the only really stupid thing you can do with your question is to ignore it.

In this new era of cognitive business and disruptive technology, how do you think you are making an impact in your role as an IBM sales professional?

Young sellers are extremely important in all companies. I think young sellers are more flexible and open to new really innovative solutions such as Cloud and Cognitive. The IT world is changing fast and if you want to be at the top of the industry, being a young seller is the best way to share the new vision and new strategic imperatives for your market.

What do you enjoy most as an IBMer?

As an IBMer I’m happy to feel that our solutions are making the world more innovative. Being an IBMer means having unlimited access to a huge storage of knowledge about different solutions and industries and network of the best professionals all over the world – all ready to help you with their expertise.

What are the qualities that graduates should have if they want to embark on a sales career?

If you want to build a sales career you must be ready to learn daily, especially in a company like IBM that has a huge portfolio of solutions. Learn to ask the right questions and listen to feedback, because it’s good to master your portfolio, but you need to know what exactly your client wants. And of course you must improve your negotiation skills – it will help you to reach your highest results. Last but not the least, be positive and cheerful and people will be happy to work with you!

If you are interested in building a sales career at IBM, please contact

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