Rackham becomes visiting professor

Napier boosts sales degree courses

Neil RackhamEdinburgh Napier University has strengthened its sales degree courses with a series of new initiatives and an academic star signing.

Scotland’s first university sales division now offers two degree programmes. These include an MSc Business Management with Sales and MSc Marketing with Sales Management as well as two postgraduate degree courses.

The Business School has also joined forces with universities in Finland, Austria and Germany to research the coaching of sales professionals, and will host the 3rd European Sales Competition – aimed at filling the gap in sales education among students – in June 2017.

In addition, an academic alliance has been forged with Norwich Business School in collaboration with the Retail Analytics Council to study UK retail sales.

The university has added world-renowned sales expert Neil Rackham to its academic staff as a visiting professor in strategic selling for a three-year term.

The appointment of Professor Rackham – who pioneered ‘consultative selling’ and has been a consultant to executives at more than 40 of the US Fortune 500 companies – will be marked by two events at Edinburgh Napier’s Business School on September 15 in which he shares the secrets of sales success.

He will first of all lead a masterclass on difficult sales issues before speaking to an evening audience on the concept of SPIN selling.

Professor Tony Douglas, director of the sales division at the University’s Edinburgh Institute, said: “The sales function is massively important to any business, and Professor Rackham will bring gravitas to the sales agenda and activities we have put in place here at Edinburgh Napier Business School.

“Neil is highly respected across the sales and marketing disciplines, and speaks with authority on trends affecting the sales profession. We are delighted to have him.”

Professor Rackham, who is now based in the USA and has worked with bosses at companies including IBM, Xerox, Microsoft and KPMG, said: “Edinburgh Napier works closely with the Scottish business community and my ancestry is Scottish, so this invitation sounded like a wonderful opportunity to do something that could have a positive economic impact for Scotland. I am looking forward to getting started.”

Edinburgh Napier’s sales division was launched in 2011, with wide backing from the business community, to plug the “sales skills gap” and boost the economy.

Forty-two undergraduates began a new ‘Professional Selling and Sales Process’ course in January.

As part of its programme of outreach activities, the Business School has also delivered commercial sales workshops to a number of clients including IDP and Norbord.

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