An experienced Account Director to help us 10x the Cognician Universe.
History and purpose
Cognician is a multi-award-winning online learning company with offices in Cape Town, London and San Francisco. Our founding belief is that people are capable of great things when their behaviour is driven by powerful ideas and deeply felt emotions. Driven by this belief we bring together a unique approach to learning and a world-class tech platform to activate behaviour change in large, global organisations. What does that mean? It means we deliver significant, measurable behaviour change to our clients in 30 days or less.
Cognician was founded in 2010 by Barry and Patrick Kayton, who grew the company and platform out of their previous instructional design agency, Bright Sparks, founded in 1999. After being joined by Robert Stuttaford, CTO, and Michael Leeman, CFO, the core founding team went on to grow Cognician into a team of 60 strong, and the world’s best-kept secret in corporate learning. And now we’ve had the good fortune of expanding our Leadership Team to include Colin Sloman, as our inaugural Chief Strategy Officer.
Our primary global partner and client is Accenture. Via Accenture and other partners we have acquired an enviable list of Fortune 500 clients. Our aim now is to accelerate our growth through content marketing, driving the sale of our packaged products and maintaining a compelling dialogue with clients and prospects.
Online corporate learning, operating at the intersection of learning and change management.
We’re looking for an experienced Account Director (aka solutions sales pro and consultant), to help us 10x the Cognician Universe.
Over the last eleven years Cognician has built a reputation for delivering world class custom-built behavior change programs to Fortune 1000 clients. And now we have a complimentary arm of our business having developed ready-to-go behavior change programs, which our clients can roll out at speed, at scale, and at lower cost, but without compromising on the impact we’re known for: measurable change in 30 days or less. And you, as our primary evangelist and top-notch expansionist, can see how both of these offerings can continuously deliver value in client environments.
You’re an active empathetic listener by default. You’re naturally tuned in to your clients’ business, treating their industry as your own. This enables you to effortlessly manage key buyer and senior management level relationships, establishing yourself as a trusted advisor.
Yours is the long term perspective so deepening partnerships and expanding Cognician’s supportive reach is always in focus.
Co-creation is a core to your approach and you’re skilled at coming alongside clients to not only understand their needs but anticipate them. Whether it be business priorities, challenges or leadership and change agendas, you’re confidently able to map every instance back to the Cognician offering and translate them into Cognician opportunities.
You're a builder of networks and can mobilise just the right Cognician internal connections to bring the best offerings to the client. Every behavior activation project is testament to your team influencing skills.
You enjoy contributing to financial success and so being responsible for commercial metrics is a passionate undertaking. You thrive on accountability.
You’re passionate about unlocking value in your client environments and you’re keen to show them how Cognician is best suited to do exactly that.
You will report directly to the Chief Strategy Officer.
What experience do you have?
We’re looking for someone who has a proven track record in meeting and exceeding in:
- Creating opportunities that align with client goals, challenges and initiatives
- Contributing to the financial success of an organization through commercial metrics
- Developing and nurturing strategic relationships
- Encouraging client partners to share their challenges, budgets and timelines
- Articulating the impact our solutions can have within a client’s organization
- Responding quickly and comprehensively to prospects after your calls with proposals
- Building rapport just as quickly with clients via Zoom or Teams as in person
You’ve worked for a minimum of four years in an Account Director role doing exactly the above.
What will you do?
Your three word mantra: Land. Expand. Renew!
You’ll pioneer this role within the Cognician universe supported by a small team of Account Managers and their CSAs who, as ROI champions, focus on successful onboarding and adoption.
Our burgeoning marketing and research teams, who are telling our story to the world, will lend their expertise and enthusiasm to generate the collateral magic you need. They’re looking forward to sharing their automated Hubspot based lead generation system with you.
You’ll feed back what you learn from your work, growing and embedding Cognician to help improve our lead generation system so it delivers more and better quality leads. And, where necessary, you’ll work with tools and services we have licensed to mine your own leads.
Why do you want this job over another?
We’re looking for someone who finds the work we do at Cognician to be personally meaningful. Our purpose is to create a world in which current ways of working pose no barrier to rapid transformation, and all employees feel empowered to activate new, productive behaviors for themselves, their team and their organization. Our purpose-built platform facilitates active and generative learning. It enables the kind of meaningful experiences you get in high-touch, one-to-one learning experiences. Experiences that make it possible for learners to think differently, feel inspired, and do new things in record time.
To put it simply, you won’t be selling snake oil. Cogncian does what it says on the box: it activates behavior change. And that makes it extraordinarily valuable to organizations that are struggling with the pace of change.
Why is this a big opportunity? Consider these words from Accenture’s CEO, Julie Sweet:
“Today’s CEOs have two clear imperatives. One is to transform every aspect of the enterprise using digital and technology to realize value. The other is to move at unprecedented speed and scale, especially for large organizations, while bringing their people along the journey.”
That’s what we do at Cognician. We’re the platform that brings everyone along for the ride. And we do it better than anyone.
The successful candidate will be driven by a passion to help our customers navigate the seas of change with Cognician.
What makes this a great commercial opportunity?
Consider that by 2025 companies will be investing $325bn in learning and change. However:
- 75% of managers are dissatisfied with their company’s L&D function
- 70% of employees report that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs
- Only 12% of employees apply new skills learned in L&D programs to their jobs
- Only 25% of respondents to a McKinsey survey believe that training measurably improved performance
But Cognician’s stats are practically inverted. We have a platform and an approach that works, and most others simply don’t. This gives us a compelling advantage.
How do you know this job is for you?
Here are some things that folks might have said about you, or that you might believe are true about yourself.
You’re a fantastic listener. You ask great questions.
Relationship building, networking makes your heart go faster. In a good way!
You’re a results driver and completely comfortable at CSuite level.
You love stories and storytelling, especially when they help generate the Aha moments!.
You believe that large organisations can be a force for change in the world. When working with large companies you can have an impact on 10,000, 20,000… 500,000 people, and the millions of people they serve.
Also, think about the extent to which these statements apply to you:
- You get stuff done. Always. On time or before.
- You’re succinct. You’re good at finding simple ways to express yourself.
- You’re hyper responsive. If there’s a phone ringing in the room, you answer it. If you see someone who looks lost in your office, you’re the first one who asks if they need help. When you see an email land in your inbox, you respond almost immediately.
- You’re a connector. When you’re at parties, you’re the one getting to know everyone.
- When you’re inspired by something, your energy is infectious. Rallying others to support you is natural and easy.
- You seek out the opinions and support of others, knowing that there is an enormous amount of knowledge and experience in the business, and you firmly believe that, as a team, we’re capable of far more than we are as a group of individuals.
- You love communicating with people, both in the business, and with our customers. You’re energised by making strong connections with other people.
- You take curveballs, setbacks, disappointment and stress in your stride. These are all part of the terrain of the working world, and you’ve developed a fitness for long distance journeys across this landscape.
A typical day
[Before you kick off, we hope you’ve had a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast, and perhaps a walk, a cycle, or a run, with lots of fresh air. We value wellbeing, and it starts with how you organise your day.]
- You dive into your meeting full calendar to take the first client conversation over Zoom. This particular HR Director worked with you before and has now moved over to another large organisation. She wanted a 30 minute reconnect call. What a high yield 30 minutes it turns out to be. The call ends with an invite to meet the new Head of Innovation. Wow! Things are off to a great start!
- Next up, coffee with the change makers at an up-and-coming consultancy. It’s going to be a triple shot grandé for sure!
- Coffee turned into an hour long strat session and the promise of the first Cognician sale. All that prep and research has paid off - no wonder they’re letting you in! It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
- A quick breather and you’re back at your Mac. You’ve had to rejig your schedule a little but it won’t be long before you’re back on track. And Boom! Out goes that quote. Woot-Woot!
- You have a gap in your calendar, so you listen to a podcast recorded by Barry and Patrick (CEOs) with a client. You make a note of several terms and a couple of anecdotes, which you can use to enrich your conversations with clients.
- A dip into LinkedIn to check what’s trending and you notice a new connection that’s commented on a Cognician post. You respond and make a note to reach out 1:1. It’s a good day for connecting and closing so far!
- You take a walk before lunch, because as much as you LOVE creating new opportunities to unlock value closing deals, you value your wellbeing and a walk refreshes mind and body!
- You focus on updating your portfolio and account plans. You press ‘share’ so that the AM team can have a read through and align.
- You read through their status updates and notice a theme that keeps coming up. You realise this could be quite a powerful insight to use in client conversations. You make a note to chat this through with the team first thing in the morning.
- A quick 15 minute Marketing Team check-in for awards collateral review. You’re blown away by the potential this holds. You know just the right enterprise decision maker to share it with. Double wins!
- Call with Barry, Patrick and Colin to chat highlevel account growth, and your elegant defense of the Cogncian stronghold in a major partner.
- Prep for the next day:)
You will work closely with our CEOs and Chief Strategy Officer to adapt and execute the sales strategy, and you will be responsible for its execution. You’ll be steeped in client acquisition, account growth, profit generation and client satisfaction.
You’ll manage marketing qualified leads received and convert them into deep and sustained relationships not just sales.
In general, you will be responsible for:
- The client life-cycle
- Showcasing Cognician capability
- Translating client needs into Cognician solutions
- Keeping up to date with product knowledge and answering customer questions
- Growing relationships and closing deals
- Representing our brand and company.
- Account Management Experience with a strong emphasis on consulting
- Client-focused solutions selling expertise
- Project management skills
- Ability to clearly communicate client needs with Cognician teams
- Talent for influencing client teams
- Ability to manage multiple projects and relationships simultaneously
- Negotiation, listening, communication and impeccable presentation Skills
- Time management skills
- Expected Bachelor's Degree minimum
- Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
- Experience with solution sales in the corporate learning and change space.
- We’re a “Top Culture Company”. We have an award to prove it:)
- We value Questioning, Integrity, Excellence, Action, Teamwork, Empathy, People, and Wellbeing. We don’t expect you to recite the definitions, or even remember the list. We hire people who share our values, though.
- There are a lot of parents among us. We do school drop-offs and pick-ups, and we know what it means to balance family and work life.
- We have quarterly internal awards, which we call Mind, Heart and Hands. This is one of the ways in which we recognise and appreciate our people for living up to our values, as well as exhibiting great thinking, emotional investment, and strong action orientation.
- Weekly team meetings end in appreciation sessions, which can often run over time. We genuinely care for each other, and for the ways in which we work together.
- Everything we do is about meaningful work. Our work improves the lives of the people who take our programs. And it improves the organisations who run them.
- We cover your home wifi costs in full.
- You’ll have access to the very best digital coaching programs we offer, and numerous opportunities for learning and development.
- Our Employee Assistance Program enables access to a range of services.
- Every five years you get an extra month of paid leave as a sabbatical.
- We use Macs, so you can breathe a sigh of relief. If you’re not breathing a sigh of relief, we will get you through this.