I had the good fortune to attend the Queen’s Sales Management program a few weeks ago as part of my development plan. I will admit that I went to the course with a sense of scepticism. My memories of university business courses are that they were boring and taught by academics with very little practical experience. This could be because I went to a 2nd tier business school, even though the curriculum was based on Harvard Business School (I know this because the courses were case study based and every case study was branded Harvard).

This scepticism was quickly wiped away. If you are in sales management and have the opportunity to attend this course, do so. It is worth every penny, especially if you are with a smaller company. I base this on a few things:

·         The professors were excellent. It is clear that each has a very deep understanding of their business focus, each is an active consultant (thereby keeping their experience relevant), and they were great presenters who made the course a dialogue .. not a PowerPoint fest.

·         The course content was very comprehensive. It covered everything from marketing, sales organization structure, sales process to coaching.

·         The program was rigorous but well done. It started at 830AM each day and ended at 930PM each night. This made for long days, but they were well scheduled. There was a 4 hour break from 3:30 to 7:30 each day, they did regular stretch breaks and ensured that the courses ended on time.

·         The facilities were excellent. A little onsite pub for the 42 attendees to congregate each night, great food and a plethora of lifestyle programs to choose from (i.e. rock climbing, biking, gyms, cooking class, tours, etc.). In the end, I did not take full advantage of this other than the gym as I had a particularly busy work week going on at the same time.

In the end, I found it to be a very interesting review. The company I work for has a very mature organizational structure (Which I have watched evolve dramatically in the last 5 years), review process, compensation model and sales process. Interestingly enough, the majority of the content that was provided was either something that our company had implemented, was implementing or a course that I had already taken (i.e. crucial conversations and situational leadership).

It was an interesting affirmation that our company is on the right track and that the skills that I have been acquiring will be very valuable in the future.

Highly recommend it.

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