November 24, 2014
Sales or Marketing? That is the question
At a sales breakfast held at our Sydney campus in October, attended by sales managers from over Australia, Dr Lee Styger, Executive MBA Director, announced that for the first time sales education would be introduced as one of a triumvirate of business elements given equal time in five of the course’s themes.
“Since the 1950s, there has been a total disconnect in business education between sales and marketing,” Dr Styger explained to attendees. “The mantra has been ‘marketing is everything, sales is nothing’. This goes against all logic.”
This disconnect is reflected in research statistics, Dr Styger pointed out. “Over the past decade there have been over 1 million papers written involving marketing," he explained. "In the same period there have been less than a dozen articles published on 'sales education', of which many don’t actually relate to sales in any shape or form. We have had no formal sales education. Any kind of legitimacy for sales is simply not there within the establishment and we continue to graduate MBA candidate after candidate all believing that sales are not important within the organisation.
"Marketing triggers demand. Sales triggers supply. Every last thing we do in the organisation is triggered by sales. Yet the only time you will see sales being taken seriously within the academic literature, as they say, is within supply chain literature – the operational side of things. This has effectively put suppliers in control of sales, not the company itself.”
The Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong EMBA will take a somewhat different approach from what has been the standard for so long.
"I am proud to announce,” Dr Styger said, “that in a few months’ time we are formally going to roll out sales education in our new Executive Masters of Business Administration. Sales, marketing and business development will be given equal time across the course’s themes, not siloed but interacting with each other.”
“For me,” he added, “it’s about time we did something serious about sales. We won’t be delivering the myth of marketing. Through the new EMBA, it will become clear at a high level why an organisation needs to take sales seriously and how a firm grasp of its importance will contribute to the company’s success.”