In sales, both talent and a high level of commitment are essential. People who want to succeed in times of economic difficulty need to acquire a broad theoretical knowledge which then provides a solid foundation for correct decision making. The Professional MBA in Marketing & Sales meets this requirement.
Especially in times of crisis, the widening difference between successful companies and less successful companies lies in the professional acumen of their sales personnel in the market-place. Indeed, through their success, or lack thereof, they may very well decide the future of a company.
No other department has such close contact with clients, and can therefore better identify and exploit possibilities. For all that, sales personnel find themselves in a tricky position, between the expectations of their company regarding creative solutions to dips in turnover and an increasingly demanding and complex consumer marketplace.
Talent alone is not enough
„To cope with these challenges, sales people still need the oft cited social and soft skills when it comes to interpersonal contact. Nobody would argue with the assertion that, in sales, you need to be able ‚to get on with people’.
However, to rely purely on a natural talent for sales would be fatal“, asserts Prof. Barbara Stöttinger, course leader of the Professional MBA in Marketing & Sales at the WU Executive Academy.
In recession, gut feeling and experience are not sufficient for a company to achieve a sustainable position in the market-place. What is needed is a capacity to think outside the box, to develop innovative strategies and to constantly evaluate the potential financial consequences of one’s decisions.
Hard Skills in Sales
„Often ignored is the fact that, in sales too, one still needs those specific, indispensable hard skills - such as tool boxes and sets of methods in key account management, strategic sales management and other areas. It is this knowledge of methods which allows sales managers to present appropriately the use and value of their range of products or services, and to bring about win-win situations both for the company and clients, even in challenging times. Natural talent is not sufficient,” elaborates Prof. Stöttinger.
„In times like these, marketing and sales activities are vital for a company to distinguish itself from the competition and position itself properly on the market. It is not primarily about communications activities or advertising, but much more about understanding the clients’ evolving needs, so that goods and services may be directly tailored to those needs. Firms possessing this flexibility are also able to profit during economic downturns,” says Matthias Schmid, Vice President, Network Passenger Sales Development at Emirates Airlines and current participant in the Professional MBA in Marketing & Sales.