Chamber member’s sales workshop is university recognised
Experienced sales professionals without degrees now have a new asset they can gain to bolster their sales effectiveness and as recognition of prior learning thanks to Chamber member.
The two-day practice-based sales workshop has been developed by Peter Waggott, an experienced sales coach and executive who’s worked in B2B sales for blue chip companies in the UK, Europe and North America.
It gives candidates a competitive advantage in the job market by enabling them to make a better connection with customers, profit more from their interactions with them and learn from experienced people who can help them put theory into practice.
It teaches sales strategy, the need to collaborate with internal colleagues to make a smoother and better experience for the customer, how you need to understand better who customers are, what their business is and why they buy from you. It also enables students to understand internal customers, themselves and their job description. It’s followed by 1-1 coaching to embed the learning.
The workshop is based on Peter’s experiences and has been designed, developed and tested over 18 months, with both clients and university students. Indeed, it’s been delivered to a number of organisations and to more than 270 postgraduate and undergraduate students at the University of Aberdeen to date.
It came about because Peter believes there’s a lack of understanding about the sales process in businesses and organisations. “They think it’s about selling a product, but it’s not - they need to understand their customer’s business,” he says.
“In the current climate there’s a fundamental difference between how an organisation thinks their customers do business and how they’re customers really operate, so traditional B2B sales processes are ineffective. Investor groups see a lack of sales knowledge when engaging with start-ups and scale-ups- organisations with aspirations to grow don’t have the necessary sales knowledge to deliver the growth required.
“Organisations have forgotten or lost the concept of asking at a base level ‘Why do they buy from us?’
“Sales is about communication - a sales person is the conduit between their company and their customer. Taking time to understand an organisation’s processes and structure will be more successful.
“Organisations now want to learn and be challenged, so this workshop focuses on this. It also helps develop the creative people they need to grow and flourish.”
The workshop also seeks to address the negative perception of sales as a career. “Sales is not seen as a career because there’s no global quality benchmark for it, so no perceived value in it by organisations,” says Peter.
“Sales is a great career - delivered correctly it can support companies to grow, both in revenue and with their customers. So sales needs to be taken seriously.
“This workshop allows me an opportunity to give candidates an understanding of what a sales role really is.”
The workshop has been continuously assessed by the university for academic rigour and has now achieved the standard required to demonstrate Recognised Prior Learning (RPL). This means non-graduate sales professionals can use successful completion of it to gain access to a 5 day Sales and Marketing workshop delivered by the University of Aberdeen Business School, as well as use it as part of a portfolio of training and achievement for consideration for entry to the University’s part-time, blended-learning MBA programme.
It’s believed to be the first post-experience sales training in the UK to be quality-‘recognised’ by a university.
Peter Waggott is making the workshop available to other universities who see the benefits to their students and non-graduates seeking to take up postgraduate study with them.
It will also be the first course of a forthcoming training academy to be set up in Dundee by his company Vertical Motives Consultancy Ltd, which will also offer high-quality training in interim and new management, coaching, mentoring and customer experience, all of which he hopes to gain university accreditation for. Towards that goal, Peter is working closely with academics to embed and share industry experience and practice with other universities.
For Peter, a key element of the development process has come from his role as an Executive Fellow at the University of Aberdeen Business School: “As an Executive Fellow I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside talented students and showcase sales and sales process training. Most importantly, I’ve been able to develop, test and refine the materials.”
Russell Williams, Director of the Business School’s postgraduate programmes, said: “We’re delighted to have Peter share his expertise and insight with our postgraduates through his workshops. This part of their studies helps the students make the connection between theory and practice and, importantly, gives them practical employability skills.”
“Having worked with Peter and seen the sales workshop firsthand, we are happy to recognise those completing the workshop include it as a part of their record of achievement when applying to our MBA.”