Technical Sales Management means customer oriented marketing of technologies: Recognising and understanding complex objectives and offering solutions
Content Positioning: Sales Management AND Technology
As interface between industrial customers and manufacturing companies, a successful technical sales manager disposes of the most important interdisciplinary skills of being able to explain technical correlations in development in an understandable manner. To be able to keep pace with international competition, enterprises increasingly need sales managers who are equally well trained in technical as well as business matters, who are able to understand both products requiring substantial explanatory support as well as economic correlations. As an all-rounder, a technical sales manager holds the balance between objective solution finding, customer communication, in-house coordination, and continuous market development.
Methodical Positioning: Business AND Application
Sales mean taking action. The practical application of academic contents, is therefore self evident for the study programme of Technical Sales Management.
Students will be trained in the practically oriented learning areas in the sales laboratory, where behaviour oriented trainings can be carried out, and, together with fellow students, evaluated and analysed. The laboratory is equipped with video cameras, a thermo camera, a skin resistance measuring instrument and one way mirror. Behind this mirror is an evaluation room in which all data such as heartbeat, body temperature and skin resistance are collected. Students profit from intense self reflection and regular feedback rounds. In this way individual sales behaviour can be constantly optimised.
The investigation of productivity in the Sales Management of Technical Products and Services is an important field of research. Since 2000, the “Marktkommunikation and Vertrieb” department of the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt (FHWN), has been offering an important contribution to the investigation of success determination in sales. In the past, answers to pressing questions from business practice were investigated, therefore systematically raising the quality of sales management training
Within the framework of the research series „Produktivität im Vertrieb (Productivity in Sales) a sales manager panel of over 150 marketing experts has been established. Every year empirical surveys with regard to inter-industry comparisons and productivity ratings etc. are carried out and published.
Examples are surveys with regard to success factors of top sales persons, image analysis with regard to social prestige in sales or the leadership of inefficient sales persons. This study programme is based upon newest international research results. Together with students, specific lecture formats, such as „Angewandte Vertriebsforschung im technischen Vertrieb” (Applied Sales Research in Technical Sales) have been developed in order to generate new research knowledge. A multidisciplinary survey with regard to leadership in sales with inter-disciplinary cooperation partners gives insight into leadership in sales management.
In the area of research, this study programme cooperates closely with an international network of scholars from leading universities; e.g. The Turku University of Applied Sciences in Finland, the Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, USA, the DIT Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland or the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Technik Aalen in Germany.
Research results are regularly presented and explained to business representatives at conferences such as the GSSI (Global Sales Science Institute). One of the focal points is the measuring of productivity in sales-meaning the development of key performance indicators in Technical Sales Management. In 2012 the focus was the leadership of inefficient sales persons with special attention to the financial services and the deliverance of adequate support. Further research emphasis lies in the investigation of leadership styles and their effect upon sales success.
This study programme goes further than just pure communication of knowledge. Problem based learning formats according to the principles of research and practice will be taught. Alumni of this new master study programme will have completed numerous practical application courses in which real life sales situations have been set up and run through.
Graduates attain practical experience in Solution Selling, SPIN Selling*, Project Selling, Key Account Management, Business Model-Development, Product Sales and Service Sales etc., which have been trained and strengthened. Students work in teams and are coached by highly motivated academics as well as experts from the practical business world. As future Sales Managers for Technical Products and Services, students learn to sell correctly, safely and with self confidence.
The practical courses in this study programme will be carried out as sales projects with project partners. In this manner purely theoretical exercises are avoided and the learning effect is emphasised with the help of the consolidation of acquired knowledge in real terms as well as partner interaction.
“Especially convincing in this new FHWN master study programme is the systematic application of sales relevant contents for technical products and services. In this study programme students are ideally prepared for a technical sales career in the areas of account, product- or area management. The demand for graduates with expertise in Technical Sales Management in industrial enterprises is very high –with rising tendency”
Dr. Manfred Gutternigg, General Manager, Hilti Austria Gesellschaft m.b.H.
* SPIN-selling is an established sales form for the development of customer needs and the development of solutions, it stands for a technique using Situational, Problem, based, Implicational and Benefit (Nutzen) based questioning