prof. Michael Ahearne, PhD. – University of Houston

Lecture date: June 7-8, 2017


Tentative lecture topic

Challenging Sales Dogmas for Structured Value-Creation


Curriculum Vitae:

Michael Ahearne is Professor of Marketing and C.T. Bauer Chair in Marketing at the University of Houston. He is also Executive Director of the Sales Excellence Institute, which is the worldwide leader in sales education and research. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the world’s premiere sales journal: Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management.

Prof. Ahearne’s research has primarily focused on improving the performance of salespeople and sales organizations. He has published over 40 articles in leading journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. In 2013, prof. Ahearne was recognized by AMA as one of the 10 most research productive scholars and world’s academic authority on sales management. His research has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Business 2.0, Business Investors Daily, Fox News, INC Magazine and many other news outlets.

Prof. Ahearne’s textbook Selling Today: Partnering to Create Customer Value is the highest grossing professional selling textbook in the world, with copies being distributed in over forty countries. He has been awarded many teaching awards at the MBA and undergraduate levels in Sales, Sales Management, and Key Account Management. Prof. Ahearne was recently honored as the inaugural winner of the Neil Rackham Research Dissemination Award for the impact of his research on business practice.

Before entering academia, prof. Ahearne played professional baseball for the Montreal Expos and worked in marketing research and sales operations for Eli Lilly and PCS Healthcare. He actively consults in many industries including insurance, health care, consumer packaged goods, technology and transportation.



Lecture focuses on understanding sales from two strategic perspectives. First, it analyzes strategic decisions that company needs to make regarding executional functioning of sales department and optimization of its results. In that respect, the focus will be on: (a) structuring sales in the organization; (b) structuring sales principles and processes; and (c) managing sales over the long-run and short-run. Secondly, besides strategic perspective on ensuring sales effectiveness, the lecture discusses sales as an important strategic tool for value creation: (a) from customer perspective, where sales can be used for creating short-term and long-term value growth for customers, and (b) from firm perspective, where sales can be used as an important touchpoint stimulating both incremental and radical innovations. Prof. Ahearne will discuss how to structure sales organization to ensure both executional efficiencies and strategic impact of sales on the company, minimizing possible myopia as short-term results tend to be overvalued at individual and sales-department levels.