Work in Publishing Week: Sales

Posted 23.11.19 by Ellie Harlow

Curious about publishing, but want to find out what it’s really like? Who better to share with you what a career is like at Penguin Random House than the people doing these jobs?

During Work in Publishing Week, our colleagues from Marketing, Design, Technology, Production, Publicity, Editorial, Sales and Distribution will share their insights. We’ll also be giving tips from our Resourcing team about how to make your application stand out.

Yesterday we spoke to Tehreem about Editorial, and today we’re talking to Maddy Bennett about Sales. Maddy is a Sales Operations Coordinator:


Hi Maddy, could you tell us one thing that would surprise people about your job?


I think the amount of behind-the-scenes work in Sales would surprise people, as well as how early in a book’s conception the Sales Team and Sales Operations get involved.


What skills do you need to work in Sales?


People skills and, increasingly, decent computer skills. You need to convince customers to choose to use their platforms and space for the books you represent instead of other publishers’, and you also need to be able to talk to and work with all the teams that are involved in getting books from a manuscript to a bookshop. This involves working across many different programs and systems, keeping on top of things through reporting and/or just pestering the right people by email.



Top tips for applying for a job in Sales from our Resourcing team:


Have you ever done any campaigning or fundraising that demonstrates your abilities as a salesperson? For our Sales roles, we’re looking for an engaging cover letter where you’ve flexed your selling skills.

If you have any retail experience, that’s also something that would stand out to us. In the role, you’d need to chat to our customers and deliver great service to strengthen and maintain relationships, so if you have transferrable skills in this area, be sure to let us know.

You’d also work with people in a variety of other teams, so if you’re good at adapting your communication style, for example working with a variety of people from different backgrounds, make sure you show that off in your application.

If you’re looking to get into sales, the ability to learn and use new systems is something you could highlight, as well as an eye for detail. We use specialised publishing systems, which feed information into our sales platforms, so the data has to be accurate. You could demonstrate this in your application with a course you’ve attended, or fantastic Excel skills. Perhaps you’ve had to learn something new to pull off a project or use a specific database.


Hear more about what the day to day involves from Cat Dowlet, Key Account Manager in the Sales team at Ebury:




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