The challenge of sales competitions

31st October 2015 |   Dr Tony Douglas

Tony Douglas investigates the role and relevance of university sales competitions to sales education from the perspective of business school students.

The challenge of sales competitions

Professional or personal selling has not been regarded by academics in general – nor indeed practitioners – as a profession that can be (or should be) taught at university (Douglas, 2011; Rutterford, 2011; McCourt, 2011). Though this may well have changed in the United States as suggested by Leisen et al, (2004); Weilbaker and Williams, (2005); Luthy, (2007); Fogel et al, (2012); Deeter-Schmelz and Kennedy, (2011), it is not the case for the moment in UK higher-education establishments. Beth Rogers (2013, p18) suggests that “other countries are going to overtake the UK on sales skills” and that the United Kingdom will be left behind in the race to develop talented sales graduates. There are currently limited opportunities for students to study sales in UK university business schools.
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Dr Tony Douglas is a lecturer, coach and mentor in sales and marketing, international strategy and business development. As Director Edinburgh Institute (SALES) and Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, he delivers workshops to business executives and international business students on selling, enterprise and strategy in the UK, Holland, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore. He is Chair, Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (Scotland). He is a Fellow of the ISSM, a Senior Teaching Fellow of the HEA, and UK representative at the Global Sales Science Institute. He has held a number of senior sales and marketing and buying positions within Kinnerton Confectionery, Gerber Foods, Tesco, and Boots.