e2i FAQ

All you need to know to get you started.

Here you’ll further information for the Inside Sales Foundation and the Digital Sales Foundation Programmes, supported by e2i, Employment and Employability institute of Singapore.

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, please let us know and we’ll make sure your questions are added to the page.

What is APAC SMA?

APAC SMA, Asia Pacific Sales & Marketing Academy is the Authorized Delivery Partner and Assessment Centre for AA-ISP, Global Inside Sales Association, with HQ in Singapore. We are the preferred trusted subject matter expert for various associations, government institutions, private organisations and educational institutions throughout the region.

Under the leadership of Zeenath Kuraisha, an award winner and an acknowledged professional, we aspire to be the One-Stop Sales Enablement Service Provider for everything sales: be it Digital, Partner led, Field or Inside.

APAC SMA teaches ethical salesmanship, customer focused inbound and outbound demand generation through various approaches.

What is e2i?

e2i, or Employment and Employability Institute of Singapore, is a network for individuals and companies seeking skills and solutions for growth empowering individuals since 2008.

So far, e2i has assisted more than 500,000 individuals through targeted career guidance, professional development programmes, and job matching services. With an extensive network of partners, e2i offers hiring, training and productivity solutions to businesses.

See more at: https://e2i.com.sg/about-e2i/corporate-information/ | Employment and Employability Institute, e2i

Why are these two programmes funded by the Singapore government?

Technology is changing workforce demand by globalizing business. Every day, increasing number of companies choose to digitalize some or all their sales and marketing efforts, eliminating surplus operating cost.

For Singapore, the shortage of digitally literate sales professionals and the inability to fill Inside Sales and Digital Sales positions caused companies to outsource to surrounding countries. The fact that there are no professional standards or expertise in managing these resources has also added to the challenge for many companies. This naturally weighs heavily on Singapore’s economy and the effects are continuing to grow.

Therefore, APAC SMA and e2i partnered to encourage hiring of local talent, through positive reinforcement, complete professional training and coaching, topped with government financial support.

How are the programmes structured?

Both programmes have similar structure:

After the company or an individual register for the programmes, they will be matched to the perfect candidate, or in case of individuals, to the right company.

After the administrative elements are finalised, the candidate will go through a series of trainings and coaching, to make sure they are fully enabled for their roles. This full support will last for the first three months after signing the initial contract between the individual and the hiring company. The contract needs to be set at a minimum of a full year.

Companies can also benefit from extended salary funding on case-by-case basis, outside of these programmes, via e2i directly or through APAC SMA. *

*Further information on enquiry.

Expected timeline

Month 1Month 2Month 3
Company Orientation and Trainingx  
APAC SMA Trainingxx 
Online Training & Examxxx
WBL and OJTxxx
Why do contracts between the hiring company and the matched talent need to be signed for a full year?

Ensuring the success of our program can only be done through implementation of certain guidelines that protect both the company and the individual hired into the position. A full year’s contract is one of our pillar rules that allow both the company and the individual to achieve and utilise the full potential of the programmes.

With this rule, we ensure that a participating company offers employment on fair terms to the candidate, while they benefit from defraying operational costs by employing skilled professionals and providing them access to professional and global trainings.

Without complying to this rule, the company will forfeit the possibility to claim the funds, unless a valid reason is provided for early contract termination.

What if the contract is terminated early under valid reasons?

In case the contract between the hiring company and the hired individual terminates under a valid reason, like individual choosing to leave, or some unperceived events – the claim will still be made available to the companies for the time the individual served in the role.

Common valid reasons for early termination are:

  • Loss of contract
  • Company downsizing due to financial circumstances
  • Company has changed strategy to meet competitive climate
What are the key takeaways from these programmes?

Both Inside Sales and Digital Sales Associates will have robust knowledge of the subject matter, allowing them to work and think independently, with little or no guidance, with a global certificate / diploma to serve as proof of their competence.


Inside Sales Associate:

After the completion of the three months training, the person will be fully able (but not limited) to prospect, position, follow up and close a lead / an opportunity.

Digital Sales Associate:

After the completed training, the individual will be able to create comprehensive social research on prospects, lobby, engage and close the deals over a call or through digital media.

Who are these programmes for?

These programmes were created with both companies and individuals in mind. It’s an effort to bridge the gap between the growing need for trained Inside Sales and Digital Sales talent, and the professionals losing their jobs due to lack of opportunities and even the disappearance of traditional sales roles.

Any company registered in Singapore, looking to hire Certified Inside Sales or Digital Sales Professional, as well as Individuals, who are permanent residents in Singapore, looking for a career change or a transition from traditional sales roles to virtual sales role are encouraged to apply.

What is Inside Sales?

To put it simply, Inside Sales consists of identifying, nurturing and turning leads into customers, all done remotely. As one of the most popular sales models of the recent years, the field is still evolving, following the evolution of technology.

This shift was made possible by the buyers growing comfort in collaborating and purchasing remotely. The new trend is allowing the sales teams to move away from face-to-face meetings and focus their efforts on remote customers engagement, usually done by phone.

The model is not only time efficient but also cost effective, as the absence of travel and similar cost traditionally associated with sales start to disappear. Singapore Inside Sales branch is still in it’s infancy, when compared to some of the leaders in the field. However, there is no dispute: Inside Sales is becoming the leading way to generate, nurture and close leads, for companies of any size and in any growth phase.

What are Digital and Social Sales?

Digital Selling is sales done by leveraging the digital assets.

Social Selling is an important component of Digital Selling, however, digital selling includes far more than just the social asset. It includes activities like sales automation, online presentations, digital documents, CRM and more.

Digital Selling is also traditionally connected to Digital Marketing, and works best when the entire organization communicates on content creation, distribution and consumption. Considering the amount of time an average person spends online, this type of selling is not only a clever way to reach your audience, but is becoming an essential element of any modern organization.

What makes a company eligible for either of the two programmes?

The company needs to be:

  • Registered and Incorporated in Singapore
  • Seek to employ trained individuals from APAC SMA, or train directly hired resources
  • Deploy the resources into Inside Sales and Digital Sales Scope of Work within the organization
  • Offer a monthly gross salary of at least $2,500 (basic salary including fixed allowances attracting CPF contribution), with a $100 increment at the end of the 3rd month
  • Offer permanent employment or a contract lasting at least 12 months*
  • Provide On-The-Job and Workplace Based training within first 3 months of employment period


*Funding will cease, minus what’s been paid, in case of an unforeseen situation, e.g. resignation, project end, etc. For more information, check with Program Administrator e2i@apacsma.com.

What is the ‘Sales and Digital Scope of Work’?

Any function or role that requires the basic knowledge of either performing or supporting the Inside Sales or Digital Sales Roles. E.g. Inside Sales Administrator, Digital Sales Trainer, Digital Sales Marketing Support Rep, Digital Sales Rep, Inside Sales executive, etc.

How can I determine the final cost of the programmes, after government subsidy?

The final cost of the programmes for the participating companies will be determined on a few determining factors, as described below:

First 3 months Salary Funding + Global Certification

1. All Singapore citizens or Permanent Resident new hires who go through APAC SMA Inside Sales or Digital Sales Global Certification are eligible for minimum 70% (capped at $2k/mth) x 3 months.
2. 90% Salary funding (capped at $4k/mth) x 3 months applied to new hires aged 40 and above &/or unemployment for more than 6 months.
3. Hiring can be via Service Source selection or candidates referred by APAC SMA.
4. Service Source to pay APAC SMA 70% Subsidized Course fee or $4.5k for Inside Sales Foundation or $5.5k for Digital Sales Foundation which includes all claims paperwork, 3 months new hire support, OJT, coverage of other blended training and many more.

$1k discount is available for companies looking to train 2 pax and more.


Additional funding may become available:

Salary Funding for 4th month onward for 18 months.
This applies case by case basis according to the below table subjected to approval.

How do I know which programme is better for my company?

This will depend on your internal situation and plans. If you’re interested in the programmes but are unsure about the right match for your need, feel free to schedule a call with us, or reach out to e2i@apacsma.com to explore the opportunities, or to consult in private for guidance.

What are the benefits for the company?

By participating in these programmes, companies will obtain:

  • Globally certified, fully enabled Inside Sales or Digital Sales professional
  • Up to 70% subsidy for the training (covered by the e2i)
  • From 70% to 90% of claim on the first three months’ salary
  • Eligibility to apply for further funding (this will be determined per individual cases)
  • Training, on-the-job and workplace-based training support by APAC SMA for three months
Can a company train more than one individuals?

Yes! In fact, depending on the size of the projects planned, training individuals in couples can prove to be a good strategy.

There is no limit to the number of candidates you can hire and train, however, the programme has a limited capacity, so if you’re planning to train more individuals at once, make sure you apply to the programmes with all the details as soon as possible.

Can a company participate in both programmes at the same time?

Absolutely. These two roles, even though they are similar, are not the same. There are some overlaps in the skills gained, but having both and Inside Sales and Digital Sales professional on your team works great for more complex and granular approach to sales.

Should companies handle the hiring process prior to the programme?

If the company wishes, it can hire the right candidate and furnish APAC SMA with the proper paperwork, like NRIC, JD, CV and some filled forms to support the processing.

Even though companies are welcomed to suggest a candidate, candidates can also apply through APAC SMA, and we will match them to the right companies, based on their background, availability, etc.

As APAC SMA holds the biggest stakes in the candidates’ success, we need to make sure that the right candidates are chosen for the programmes.

How are the right candidates chosen for the position?

The candidates are screened, interviewed and then finally chosen based on a variety of criteria: field experience, industry knowledge, availability, etc.

Should the candidate be hired through APAC SMA recommendation, only successful candidates will be moved forward to interview with the prospect hiring companies, after which the company will have the full power to choose the candidate of their liking.

What if the matched individual isn’t a good fit for the company?

If the company doesn’t feel strongly about any of the suggested candidates, APAC SMA will provide additional candidates, based on feedback.

If the inability to fit into the company culture emerges over time, APAC SMA will handle this on the case basis.

Is it true that some candidates won’t have prior experience in the field?

Yes, some candidate might not have the right experience coming into the programmes, but this is exactly why the programmes were created: to enable career growth and transitions into Inside and Digital Sales.

By the end of the training period, all individuals participating will be fully trained and enabled to work independently regardless of the previous lack of experience.

What certification / diplomas will be granted to the trained talent?

For the Inside Sales Foundation Training Programme, the candidate will go through, and upon successful completion be awarded CISP – Global Inside Sales Certification and Accreditation.

For the Digital Sales Foundation Training Programme, successful candidates will be certified as CDSSP  – Certified Digital And Social Sales Professional, [diploma level termed as Professional Diploma in Digital Selling) – in partnership with Digital Marketing Institute in Ireland Global Certification and Accreditation. For this particular certificate, a conversion to diploma is possible, but the decision needs to be made upfront.

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