Sales Educators' Academy image

16-18 June 2020, Aston Business School

Sales education is becoming increasingly important for today’s business school graduates. Recent research sjhows that 82% of all marketing majors and 66% of ALL college of business students are headed for a sales-related job. While a host of conferences provide resources for sales faculty to conduct and present sales research, no other such programme exists for the purpose of exchanging best practices in teaching sales.

As a result of the highly successful partnership between Florida State University and Rollins College, who have offered this programme several times in the United States, the decision has been taken to expand the growth of the programme globally. 

The goal of the Sales Educators' Academy (SEA) is to help sales educators of ALL experience levels  improve their ability to teach sales students the skills and knowledge that these students will need when they graduate from a business school.

Wednesday 17 June 2020 (Day 2)

Day two of the conference, will be hosted by Mondelez Europe at their UK Head Office, 'Cadbury World' in Bournville, Birmingham. This will include an afternoon sales strategy talk and a tour of Cadbury World.

Birmingham bull ringIn the evening you will have the option to attend a Peaky Blinders Tour at 7pm. This tour brings to life the real gangs that terrorised the racecourses of England in the 1920s. The tour which will last around two and half hours (including 45 minutes to one hour of walking) will be conducted by one of the most reputable historians of his generation, Prof. Carl Chinn MBE.  After taking you on a tour back to the 1890s and early 1900s, you will be lead back to The Old Crown, Birmingham's oldest Inn, dating back to 1368.  Here, you will be handed your choice of house wine, ale or non-alcoholic drink. The tour will be concluded with the Real Peaky Blinders story by telling you about the violent and bloody gang war that erupted on the racecourses of southern England in 1921. 

If you would like to find out more about Birmingham and what the city has to offer visit Birmingham.

birm-Selfridges and church


An outline of themes of the conference will include: 

  • Business Analytics
  • Psychometrics and Social Styles- Empathy and adaptability 
  • Management of CRM systems 
  • Understanding Strategy 
  • Implementing key account management 
  • Financial Analysis 
  • Case Study Analysis 
  • Identifying the Value Proposition 
  • Team Selling 
  • Ethics 
  • Business Buyer Behaviour 
  • Complex Selling 
  • Internal Selling
  • Recruiting Students 
  • Grabbing attention  

Conference registration fee is £695.00 (early bird rate of £450.00 until 17 April 2020) grants one full-access pass to the conference including one place at the conference dinner. Scholarship offer rate to all previous SEA attendees is £395.00.


Registration is open, please register here

Information for Conference Presenters

Call for Papers – Now Closed

Benefits of being a presenter

  • Free registration
  • Free accommodation for up to three nights.
  • Free welcome dinner

Accommodation at Conference Aston

We have an allocation of bedrooms reserved from 15 to 18 June for an executive city twin/double room.  Please use the promotional code SEA 2020 when booking.  Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. The executive city twin/double rooms are the hotel’s most premium rooms and offer style and comfort, whether travelling solo or with a friend or partner. Standard double/twin beds, LED televisions with Freeview HD digital service, tea and coffee making facilities, large wardrobe space, iron and board, laptop safe, hair dryer, relax in the ensuite bathroom with bath and overhead shower, spacious work desk, where you can stay connected to the web and access your emails with complimentary WiFi. Rooms look out across the quiet campus or central courtyard. Rooms look out across the quiet campus or central courtyard.

To book a room with Conference Aston, please click here and use the promotional code: SEA2020. 

This promotional code will expire on Monday 23 March so please book early to avoid disappointment.  The hotel's executive city twin/double rooms are the hotel’s most premium rooms, which offer style and comfort, whether travelling solo or with a friend or partner. Standard double/twin beds, have LED televisions with Freeview HD digital service, tea and coffee making facilities, large wardrobe space, iron and board, laptop safe, hair dryer, relax in the ensuite bathroom with bath and overhead shower, spacious work desk, where you can stay connected to the web and access your emails with complimentary WiFi. Rooms look out across the quiet campus or central courtyard. 

Off campus accommodation

If you would like to book accommodation off-campus, here are a few links to some nearby hotels:

Holiday Inn Express Snowhill

Premier Inn Waterloo Street


Staybridge Suites

Travelodge  Birmingham Central Moor Street

To book a room with Conference Aston, please click here and use the promotional code: SEA2020

If you are looking for transport from Birmingham Airport to Aston Business School you can either travel by train to Birmingham New Street or pre-book a taxi. To book a taxi from the United States, either call 0044 121 382 1111 or email They will confirm what information they require from you.

If you are looking for transport from Birmingham New Street to Aston Business School (approximately 15 minute walk), it may be ideal to get a taxi from a taxi rank if you are carrying heavy luggage. 

We would like to thank our sponsors for this year’s SEA2020 conference:

  • Welcome event kindly sponsored by the International Journal of Sales Transformation.
  • We are delighted to announce that this year there will be a £300 prize for the best paper presented at SEA2020, sponsored by the International Journal of Sales Transformation.


*Please note this is still subject to change

Pre-conference Monday 15th June 2020

16.30 – 18.00 - Registration and pre - conference reception 

Day 1: Tuesday 16th June 2020

9.00 - 9.30 – Registration, Aston Business School (refreshments will be available upon arrival)

9.30 – 10.15 – Sales Technology Innovation in the Modern Sales Curriculum

Howard Dover, UT Dallas

What is the current status of technology Innovation in our field? What past tech trends are now common practice, what is currently being debated (conversation intelligence and A.I), and what is coming next?  The intent of this session is to inform you of the current trends and common practices in sales technology including how Artificial Intelligence is now becoming commonly used in sales organization to automate and augment industry sales motions.  Furthermore, it is our intent to lead a discussion around how sales professors, programs, and Universities can strategically position their curriculum, degree plans, and executive offerings to prepare students and organizations to compete in a technology infused sales environment.

10.15 – 10.30 – Coffee break

10.30 – 11.15
Daniel Andrews, Aston Business School
This presentation introduces a method for engaging customers using storytelling that has been taught in workshops run from Aston Business School in the UK to around one hundred regional businesses and several multinationals. The context of this application is manufacturers changing their business model from selling products to delivering services. An issue these companies have is engaging customers with this model and selling the service propositions. The method we use to help them do this bridges the academic-practitioner gap by adapting the research on storytelling to an approach to generate engaging narrative content. This content takes existing or future customers through a positive process of change and encourages the storyteller to consider any concerns about the process the customer may have. By empathising with their customers, participants create meaningful and positive change processes for their customers in the form of a story, which they can use to sell their services.

11.15 – 12.00 - Enhancing the Advanced Selling Student Experience
Andrew Loring, Texas A&M University, USA
Advanced Selling is a common senior level course for many universities that teach professional selling; however, unlike the typical structured nature of the introductory selling course where several textbooks and course outlines are available to guide instructors, there are far fewer resources to aid instructors in preparation for the advanced selling course. Therefore, this presentation will provide a successfully proven advanced selling course outline and details of the specific high impact learning experiences necessary for faculty to adhere to accreditation and university standards. By enhancing the advanced selling course, instructors may see reduced student anxiety and higher engagement, confidence, and success.

12.00 - 1.30 – Lunch

1.30 – 2.15 - Adaptive Selling Techniques
Jessica Gardner, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Training students how to adapt to different customer's social style

• Importance of recognizing social style differences for effective communication
• Recognizing visual and non-verbal cues to identify prospects' social style and adjust accordingly
• Activity:  student teams compete to correctly identify prospects social style based on office photos and videos of introductions from industry professionals.  Explain and demonstrate this activity to conference attendees.
• How to recruit your business partners to assist in a similar project.

Sales techniques used to adapt to key customer segments:

• Define and understanding important characteristics of each key customer segment.
• Distinguish what key benefits each segment would perceive as the most valuable, so you can tailor sales message for each customer type.
• Example class project: purpose, time frame, results for organization and learning outcomes for students.
• How to implement a similar project and why it is so beneficial to teach adaptive selling techniques.

2.15 – 3.00 -
Stephanie Mangus, Baylor University

This presentation covers the design and implementation of Baylor’s Center for Professional Selling weekend-intensive format for teaching professional selling. Discussion of this intensive format will highlight integrating executive partners in the classroom, along with recommended topics and activities. Participants will also learn how to maximize role play opportunities, incorporate creative feedback models working with senior students and executive partners, and utilize interactive modules on a variety of sales topics. The presentation will address using an iterative learning model with multiple role plays and strategies for protecting faculty time (and avoiding role play burnout). The session also addresses using Salesforce’s Trailhead training modules as part of course and curriculum design. The session will include discussion of student outcomes and impact on recruitment season for junior students seeking internships

3.00- 3.30  -  Mid Afternoon refreshments

3.30 - 4.15 - Presenting Unethical Behaviour and White Collar Crime to Sales Students
Linda Mullen, Georgia Southern University
Presenting Unethical Behaviour and White Collar Crime to Sales Students
Most of the time, materials on ethics present what a person in sales should do.  This presentation discussing what should not be done and the consequences.    Advanced/Professional Sales classes are appropriate for this exercise.  Normally, this will take 2 classes.  
The class begins with a reading from “Stolen without a Gun”.  After a short discussion on Pavlo’s (author) experience, surveys of convicted white collar criminals (WCC) are passed out to the class.  Students are asked to pick one of the surveys and becomes that WCC, writing an autobiography as this convicted WCC.  The surveys can be read to the class.  Results show that most of these convicted felons consider themselves to be highly or totally involved in sales. 

4.15 - 5.00 - Haaga-Helia Sales Programme covering especially cooperation with companies and sales organizations and the educational pilot with immigrants
Pirjo Pitkäpaasi and Tuula Jäppinen, HAAGA-HELIA UAS, Finland
Haaga-Helia UAS was the first HEI in Finland which started a sales degree programme 12 years ago and we have already over 500 graduates from our sales programme.  We are very proud of our pedagogical approach and tight cooperation between sales programme and a big number of companies. Our students have no difficulties in finding interesting sales related jobs.
Secondly, Finnish National Agency for Education has been funding an interesting project (2018-2020) the target of which is to give highly educated immigrants sales education to help them to find job in Finland in sales organization. The education has been in Finnish and I together with my colleague, Finnish language teacher Tuula Jäppinen have been in charge of planning and implementing the educational path. This has been a very interesting pilot. We believe that the challenge for highly educated immigrants to find job meeting their educational level might be similar globally.

5.00 – Drinks Reception

6.00 – Conference Dinner


Day 2: Wednesday 17th June 2020

8.40   - Departure from Aston Business School via coach to Cadbury World

9.30 – 10.15 – The Use of Literature in a Business Context
Christine Eastman, Middlesex University Business School
I have been developing ways of supporting students to use literature in a business context, in particular, how students can use fiction writers’ techniques to develop persuasive, powerful and unique voices as leaders. I will present a summary of students’ work ranging from how to use myth (in particular Grimm’s fairy tales and Greek myth) to communicate organisational messages better and to work in a more collaborative sense in teams to how Herman Melville’s story Redburn helps leaders to see better the bullying, backstabbing and groupthink going on in front of them and how an engagement with Gothic themes (such as from Edgar Allan Poe) can be used to interrogate personal morality and leadership in today’s hyper-connected workplace.

10.15 – 10.30 – Coffee break

10.30 - 11.15 - Practical Experiential Learning and the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Key/Global Account Management Education
Christian Stadlmann, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
The presentation highlights the integration of experiential learning practices in KAM/GAM education to narrow the knowing-doing gap in the age of AI. In a first KAM-course at Master’s level, AI is integrated thematically in the course outline, where its impact on the elements of the KAM program and the KA-Manager’s tasks are discussed. Further, the students gain practical experience of an AI-software solution through a guest lecture (“”). In a follow-up course on GAM, the students elaborate the critical elements of GAM and apply them in a case study (Siemens). Then they have to solve real life challenges of a GA Manager of an Austrian MNC for its strategic automotive customer. To achieve this aim, the students also use the AI-software “salesbeat”. Their solutions are then presented and discussed with the GA Manager.

11.15 – 12.00 - Enablers and Barriers for College Students in Sales Careers
Andrew Artis, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
Despite the career opportunities available and all the efforts made by business colleges, millennial-age students continue to resist sales careers (Karakaya, Quigley, and Bingham 2011; Manning, Ahearne, and Reece 2010; Peltier et al. 2014). Leaders within business and academia are calling for more research to better understand the resistance by millennial-age college students to pursue careers in sales, and to provide better solutions to instructors, recruiters and business leaders (Bristow, Gulati and Amyx 2006; Deter-Schmelz and Kennedy 2011; Peltier et al. 2014). This presentation will provide the most current findings, and propose methods on how sales instructors and sales center leaders can recruit and launch students in successful sales careers.

12.00 – 1.00 – Lunch

1.00 – 1.45  - Business Buyer Behavior (BBB), B2B Decision Making, B2B e-Commerce and advantages for our students to Join these organizations, or “Everything You Wanted To Know about B2B Marketing & Sales.”
Irving Corrales, Morehouse College
For years higher education institutions have taught Consumer Behavior and have left behind BBB or B2B as a side note in these courses. This is a $2 trillion market we are ignoring. The Presenter has been working in a new type of Buyer Behavior class that concentrates in “Everything B2B Marketing & Sales.” In the past this used to be called “Industrial Marketing.” For the 9th SEA @ Aston University I am planning to use my 30 plus years of experience working in B2B sales and marketing companies AND my academic experience of putting together 15+ B2B Sales Competitions for real examples. Attendees will receive slides of the subject matter, a winning sales methodology for B2B salespersons easy-to-use by our students and a framework to teach this class separately or as an add-on to the typical Buyer Behavior class.

1.45 – 2.45 – Sales in Cadbury World

2.45 – 3.00  - Mid Afternoon refreshment break

3.00 – 4.30 – Cadbury World Tour

4.30 – 5.15 – Departure from Cadbury World to Aston Business School

7.00 – Optional Peaky Blinders Tour ( departure from Aston Business school at 6.15pm)


Day 3: Thursday 18th June 2020

9.30 – 10.15 –
Beth Rogers, Cranfield University
Sales students are always keen to engage with businesses. Involving business stakeholders in assessments can have a win-win-win effect for all stakeholders, but it also introduces risk and time commitments for all involved. This workshop-style session will start with some details about how we do a “Sales Diagnostic” assessment for MSc students at Cranfield, and open up discussion about other types of engagement used by attendees, and their feelings about their effect on student learning, business perceptions and academic job satisfaction. An output from the session for attendees should be a summary of points about: Strengths and weaknesses of “live case” assessments “Do”s and “Don’t”s Risks and rewards

10.15 – 10.30 – Coffee break

10.30 - 11.15 -
Christine Lai-Bennejean and Iain Hall, EMLYON Business School
Generation Z is here. How are you going to help them develop? A generation driven by high expectations of both academic and business leaders, adapting training for this young sales force becomes necessary.  Digital self-paced learning may be the solution to their short attention spans which require quick answers and tangible results. However, is digital learning an ideal approach to teach them how to provide better service to customers and to better integrate the existing work force? Drawing from Work-Based Learning principles, we designed a self-paced online CRM course for 250 undergraduate business school students who are currently on internships. Through observation and tracking analysis, this project aims to explore how students bridge the gap between the customer portfolio analysis concept and their real-life workplace experience. This is a work in progress. We will be delighted to present the course design and preliminary results in the conference.

11.15 – 12.00 –
Charles Keene University of Missouri
An interactive presentation of best practices for flipped classroom design and implementation in a personal selling course.  Lessons learned from a decade of course reinvention culminating in the seamless interplay of theory and practice.  Practical tips for maximizing course time to deliver content to students and classroom interactions with corporate partners.
Additionally, a discussion on the design and launch of a fully functional Inside Sales Laboratory that extends the classroom experience.

12.00 – 12.45 
Wayne Slough, Virginia Commonwealth University
To successfully recruit students to a university-based sales program, 1) provide outstanding sales curriculum, 2) leverage an enthused business community, and 3) inspire students to own the program.
In this session, participants will learn how the VCU Academy of Selling has in a short period tripled its undergraduate course offerings, its base of corporate sponsors, membership in its student sales organization, and participation in collegiate sales competitions. As a result, the Academy is well positioned to move from a concentration to a minor in sales for 2020-2021.
Participants will leave the session with practical ideas for implementing these broad strategies in their own collegiate sales programs. Time will be included for sharing of best practices among presentation participants.

12.45 – 13.00 – Conference Closing speech

13.00 - Closing Lunch