iconoClass, the start-up revolutionising business development training and recruitment is launching in the UK. Founded by Marie Taquet, a 27 year old Forbes 30 Under 30 entrepreneur, iconoClass aims to bridge the divide between higher education and employment by teaching essential sales skills that fully prepare candidates for a career in business development. Its innovative fee structure means students pay only the registration cost upfront and defer the course payment until they are hired in a permanent role. iconoClass has a 98% success rate of candidates securing a position within three months of completing the course, with 100% of iconoClass graduates finding employment within a year, compared to less than 50% of students coming out of university. What’s more, any students who don’t find employment within the first year will be refunded their registration fee.
The first UK bootcamp will commence in September 2022, with applications now open for 30 potential candidates with a second cohort of 60 to follow in February 2023. The course is hybrid with the option for students to join online or from iconoClass’s central London hub; making it accessible to students based anywhere in the UK. Unlike other training and university courses which require students to have certain qualifications, iconoClass is open to students of all ages and academic backgrounds. To date, 50% of its students were unemployed upon taking the course and just 25% were educated to degree level. Yet the majority of its alumni are now employed in permanent roles at leading tech companies and brands including Revolut, Contentsquare, SumUp and PayFit. The average starting salary of students employed post an iconoClass course is £41k per annum, compared to £30.5k for students leaving university.
iconoClass’s approach to training is unique in that it places the emphasis on practice rather than theory. For 80% of the course, students will be taught practice-based business development and sales skills by professionals in senior positions at iconoClass’s partner companies, which include HubSpot, SumUp, Contentsquare, Welcome to the Jungle and Sunday. Unlike universities, where the average course takes three years to complete, within just four months, iconoClass students will possess all the necessary experience to hit the ground running in a B2B sales role. With the average student loan debt calculated to be £45,000, iconoClass’s £6,000 course offers students a speedier and far more economically viable route into the UK jobs market.
And iconoClass doesn’t just benefit students but the business tech industry as a whole. A recent MP-led inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Professional Sales found there is a major shortage of skilled B2B sales representatives in the UK, with almost 200,000 jobs postings for sellers in a profession that numbers just under 550,000. iconoClass’s bespoke approach to training provides candidates with experience across the entire sales cycle, so they’re prepared for a wide range of business development and sales operations roles. The UK launch is therefore set to fuel the growth of the sales economy, while making significant savings for partner firms on hiring and training costs.
Marie Taquet, Founder and CEO of iconoClass, said: “We are delighted to bring our highly successful bootcamp to the next generation of sales superstars in the UK. iconoClass is the business school of the future. In just four months, our senior sales professionals provide students with all the practical experience and tools they need to be fully operational in every aspect of the sales cycle, making iconoClass graduates highly desirable to leading tech businesses and global brands. It’s why major companies such as Contentsquare, HubSpot, and SumUp have chosen to partner with us since our launch in 2019, and we expect many more big names to come onboard as we move into the UK market.
“Unlike other higher education facilities, we don’t discriminate, our courses are open to everyone regardless of age, education or professional qualifications. All we ask is that students are passionate about a career in B2B tech sales, and it’s this enthusiasm for the field that sets our graduates apart.
“At a time when many are struggling to find meaningful employment, yet the sales industry has a serious deficit of skilled SDRs, iconoClass offers a solution that places proficient candidates in relevant roles, boosting employment and the economy.”
Edouard Bacquelin, Sales Manager at HubSpot, said: “Presenting at iconoClass has proved an invaluable opportunity. We’ve been able to share more information about HubSpot and the way we work with individuals who are really motivated to learn and ultimately excel in a career in business development. The course structure enables students to develop and hone all the necessary sales skills, and from every class, we’ve seen great potential hires.”
Kimberley McIntyre, former iconoClass student and Corporate Sales Representative at Revolut, said: “Taking the iconoClass course was a great experience. Previously I worked as a teacher but I was looking to switch fields and take on a new challenge. I knew that changing careers could take time but before I even finished iconoClass’s four month training programme, I was offered a job at Revolut, one of the most valuable fintech companies in the world. It felt like a huge accomplishment and I’m grateful to iconoClass for providing me with all the tools I needed to hit the ground running in my new role.”