MIT Sloan School of Management to host first ever sales conference

Friday, May 4, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Hyatt Regency, Cambridge, Mass.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 19, 2007 — Sales training goes Ivy League on Friday, May 4, 2007 when MIT Sloan School of Management will host its first ever Sales Conference at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Tim Armstrong, president of Advertising and Commerce at Google, Jim Tobin, president and CEO of Boston Scientific, and best-selling author Richard Whiteley are slated to serve as keynote speakers. Executives and venture capitalists from some of the nation's leading companies will take part in panels covering such timely topics as:

  • New trends in global sales
  • Selling in the biopharmaceutical industry
  • Challenges of high tech sales
  • Challenges and rewards for women in sales
  • Sales force building & management
  • Effectively integrating sales into marketing

The force behind the conference is the MIT Sloan Sales Club, which, since its launch in 2006, has quickly become one of the largest clubs at the School. Members cite their interest in entrepreneurship, pitching business plans to investors, raising seed money, launching start-up businesses, and conducting fund raising campaigns as reasons for pursuing sales training.

For Traci Ho, MIT Sloan MBA 2008, the concept of sales initially conjured up visions of used car salesmen. After joining the Sales Club, however, she admits to being sold on the subject. “Sales training turned out to be one of the most practical applications I've acquired this semester,” says Ho. “It's a learning opportunity I would not have otherwise been exposed to. I realize that no matter what career path I forge with my MBA, I am going to need to sell.”

Nathan Williams, MIT Sloan MBA 2008, who hopes to one day launch his own business, says, “I want to balance out my engineering background with soft skills like sales. How else will I persuade a group of top-ranked MBA students to visit my company when I'm recruiting?”

Jeff Hoffman, founder and CEO of Basho Strategies, Inc., a corporate sales training company, volunteered his services to create a sales training syllabus and teach the program for the sales club over the past two semesters. Hoffman, who will also present at the conference, says that academia has largely overlooked the field of sales because it has been viewed as an art rather than a science. “There hasn't been a suitable technique that can be taught and measured in an academic setting and there is currently no funded research in sales. But with entrepreneurs spending a majority of their time on sales, I believe this will ultimately change.”

MIT Sloan Dean Richard Schmalansee agrees. “The Sales Club is right on a very important target,” he says.

For a full agenda and to register for the sales conference, please visit conference Web site. For more information, please contact the MIT Sloan Sales Club President and Founder David Spector at dspec@mit.edu.

For more on the MIT Sloan Sales Club, please visit the Club Web site.

For over 50 years, the MIT Sloan School of Management, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been one of the world's leading academic sources of innovation in management theory and practice. With students from more than 60 countries, it develops effective, innovative, and principled leaders who advance the global economy.

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