Participate in our survey on Sales Force Effectiveness!!

Vlerick Business school and CPI Consulting are setting-up a long term initiative to identify best practices in sales force effectiveness.

Our mutual goal is to create a community of sales professionals in different functions (from CEO to sales representatives) to track their attitude towards key concepts of sales force effectiveness over a longer period of time.

Survey community members will be invited on a regular basis to participate to short surveys and will share in the findings of these surveys.

Click here if you feel like participating!

More information on our joint-project can be found on



Vlerick and Deloitte , the start of a unique partnership in the sales domain

On the 27th of February 2013, Vlerick and Deloitte hosted their first Sales Forum on the Vlerick Campus in Ghent. This Sales Forum is a unique joint initiative between the Vlerick Business School and Deloitte to invest in building out a strong sales network through Europe, starting with Belgium.

More specifically, the Sales Forum is an event that brings together industry sales leaders, sales researchers and other sales aficionados to share their knowledge, meet old partners, make new connections and to share the latest management thinking and best-practice cases in sales management today.

During the last quarter of 2012 Vlerick and Deloitte decided to launch the first ever “Sales & Procurement Survey” in Belgium. The purpose of the survey was to gain a deeper insight on the buyer-seller relationship. As the outcome of the survey served as a starting point for our first Sales Forum it was aptly titled: ‘Where sales and procurement meet’.

Two top key-note speakers (Gino Hendrickx, Head of procurement, KPN Belgium and Chris Van Elslander, Regional Director Benelux and Nordics, Barco) shared their experiences and thoughts on the very latest trends and developments in the procurement and sales area. Afterwards the outcome of the survey results were presented and also debated by a first class panel of experienced sales and procurement leaders from different companies like 3M, bpost, AB-Inbev, Amcor- and KPN. The event concluded with a networking reception where all participants had the chance to interact and network with their fellow sales or procurement counterparts.

The main results of our study indicated clear gaps that exists between sales and procurement, but interestingly enough it also identified some common areas where sales and procurement saw eye to eye.  Some of the suggestions that came out of the research and the subsequent panel discussion was (1) it makes good business sense for sales and procurement to start engaging with each other before, during and after business transactions as this will increase value for both parties, (2) sales and procurement should step in each-other’s shoes once in a while– this in order to understand each-other’s objectives and have relevant conversations (3), it become clear that concepts like value selling and TCO are emerging, but in order to succeed companies first need to get the basics right and (4) most importantly in order to create  a strong buyer-seller relationship: do what you say and say what you do!

With close to 90 sales and procurement professionals from different  organizations, the event was a big success and is another step forward in how Vlerick Business School and Deloitte are working together to professionalize the domain of sales management in Belgium.

Should you be interested in knowing more about this year’s Sales Forum or if you are interested in our research findings, don’t hesitate to contact us:


Deva Rangarajan, Partner and associate professor in Sales, Vlerick Business School

Marc Abels, Partner, Deloitte Consulting



Vlerick scores again in the USA!

Congratulations to Rebecca Van Den Houte and Thomas Rotsaert, our two Vlerick students from M3, who scored a third price in the negotiation round during this years National Collegiate Sales Competition in Kennesaw State University, USA.

Not only were they competing against native English speakers, they were also the youngest in the whole graduate round of the competition, with some competitiors even having over 10 years of professional experience in sales, which goes to show their incredible talent!










Winning Edge article by prof. Deva Rangarajan

Prof. Deva Rangarajan was published in ‘Winning Edge Magazine’ where he talks about how sales education needs to be professionalized and what the sales initiatives are here at our Vlerick Business School.

Winning Edge is the official magazine of the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM) – the United Kingdom’s professional body for salespeople.

Read the full article here!








Congratulations to Rebecca Van Den Houte and Thomas Rotsaert for winning the Vlerick Sales Competition yesterday! They will both represent Vlerick at the National Collegiate Sales Competition in the USA beginning of next month.

Also a big thanks to all other students that participated!


Vlerick-Deloitte Sales Forum 2013

The Vlerick Sales Centre is organizing the second Sales Forum in cooperation with our corporate partner Deloitte. The Sales Forum will take place on Wednesday February 27th 2013, beginning with a welcome drink at 15.00h at the Vlerick Campus, Ghent. The theme of the forum is the relationship between Sales & Procurement.

A first class panel of speakers will explore the very latest trends and developments in both the sales and procurement area. We will also present the outcome of the “Sales & Procurement Survey” that has been launched in the last quarter of 2012.

To confirm your place, please register now by following this link:

The agenda for the day is the following:

15.00 – 15.30 Welcome,   registration & coffee15.30 – 15.45 Introduction:  Marc Abels, Partner, Deloitte & Prof. Deva Rangarajan, Vlerick

15.45 – 16.45 Trends in Sales & Procurement – Dirk Hendrickx – Vice President EMAILA, BARCO – Gino Hendrikx – Head of Procurement, KPN Belgium (Base)

17:00 – 17.45 Results of the Sales & Procurement Survey Dirk Peeters, Director, Deloitte & Prof. Deva Rangarajan, Vlerick

17:45 – 18.30 Panel discussion on survey results –   Interactive Q&A session – Alfons Dom – Regional Business Leader, 3M – Patrick Doyen – 25 years of experience in FMCG Sales & Marketing – Henk Talpaert – Procurement, Amcor – Didier Dekeyzer – Head of Procurement, bpost | Board of Directors PICS

18.30 – 19.30 Networking Drink


Kraft Foods becomes Mondelēz International

Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ), the world’s pre-eminent maker of chocolate, biscuits, coffee, gum and candy, is commemorating its launch as a new company with events across its operations in all across Europe. The celebration is part of a worldwide event involving around 100,000 Mondelēz International employees across more than 80 countries and 300 offices, research and development facilities, distribution centers and manufacturing sites.

Formerly Kraft Foods Inc., the maker of many of the world’s favorite food and beverage brands — including Cadbury, Jacobs, LU, Milka, Philadelphia, Tassimo and Trident — changed its name to Mondelēz International, Inc. after spinning-off its North American grocery business on Oct. 1. The company name is a newly coined word that evokes the idea of a world of “delicious products.”

Read the full press release about our entry level sponsor here!


10 Tips on Sales

Everyone who is in sales should take these 10 tips into account when making a sales call!

  1. Get to know your customer
    Whenever you are visiting a customer, make sure you look him up in advance. Make use of social media tools like LinkedIn to find out who your customer is, who he is connected too and what his role within the company is.
  2. Analyse your customer
    When you enter your customer’s desk, try to see what kind of person is sitting in front of you. Do you see a lot of family pictures? Then he/she is probably a sociable person! Do you see a lot of rewards/diploma’s? Big change that this person will listen to technical arguments and great referrals! …
  3. Introduce yourself
    When you first visit a new customer, take the time to briefly introduce yourself. If you can, use a referral to gain the customers trust.
  4. Euhm… I don’t know the answer
    If you don’t know the answer to a question that your customer asks you, don’t stumble and make up answers. Just say that you will get back to the client with more information on a later moment in time and tell them that you need to check with someone else first. The customer will not even notice that you are not aware of something.
  5. Give the customer enough information to sell your proposal internally
    Once you have convinced your customer that your proposal is the way to go forward, make sure to provide your customer with enough documentation and arguments that he can use to sell your proposal internally in his company.
  6. Be polite
    Nothing is ever so important than being polite to your customer. Even though they are not polite to you. Ask if you can sit down, ask for permission to put stuff on the customers’ desk…
  7. Only ask open-ended questions
    When you are talking to a customer, be aware to only ask open-ended questions. Otherwise the customer might end up just answering with a yes or a no and you will have to go back and ask your question again.
  8. 80/20 rule
    Always keep in mind the what we call 80/20 rule. This means: your customer talks for 80% of the time and you listen and you talk for 20% of the time. Remember: you have two ears but only one mouth!
  9. Analyse your customer’s problem
    Find out what the needs of your customer are, using the SPIN method. What is your current Situation? What are the Problems you are facing? What are their Implications? What would be the Need pay-off?
  10. Present benefits, not product features
    Your customer is only interested in what product features are of interest to him. So don’t end up presenting a long list of product features, he might reject the whole product because he feels like a lot of money goes to features that are of no interest to him. So LISTEN to the needs and then present your product only using the features that could benefit the client’s problem.

You can also download the word version on our Learning Corner!


Sales and procurement survey

The Vlerick Sales Excellence Centre is conducting a study to assess the relationship between Sales professionals and their Procurement counterparts. As a sales or procurement professional we would very much value your opinion on this topic. Therefore we would appreciate if you could take some time to fill out this survey:

The survey can be accessed via:



Vlerick Sales bulletin now available!

The first edition of our Vlerick Sales Bulletin is now available online:
Vlerick Sales Bulletin_1.

This is the first student led initiative in our Sales programs here at Vlerick. Here you can find more information about the speakers of the Sales Club, about what our Sales Competition entails and other sales related content.

Many thanks to the students who made this initiative possible:
Kirsten Gabrio
Michiel Masschelein
Olivier Van Buyten
Rebecca Van den Houte