New Master's course on the sales challenges in start-ups

As part of the new WHU Master in Entrepreneurship, the Chair of Sales Management and B2B Marketing offered the course "Entrepreneurial Selling and Customer Development" for the first time. The aim of the course is to prepare students in an application-oriented manner for the actual challenges facing young entrepreneurs in sales.

The course contents were designed in cooperation with 14 WHU founders. The most important message of the founders: Selling is a top priority in start-ups. You sell your services to customers, your company to investors, your jobs to talent and your sales opportunities to suppliers. The course covered the following topics:

•    Entrepreneurs as sellers vs. employed sellers
•    Clarity about the benefit promise
•    Lead generation and scaling
•    Sales channels and international expansion
•    Management of sales data, CRM systems
•    Development and management of telesales
•    Use of sales assistants and sales intermediaries
•    Personal sales techniques
•    Sales-supporting material

We were particularly pleased that three founders and WHU alumni reported personally to the young entrepreneurs about their experiences in sales: Chair alumni Dr. Marlon Braumann told about his sales work as founder of store2be. In his presentation, he emphasized the differences in sales in large companies and start-ups. He openly spoke about his biggest sales mistakes and what he learned from them.

Norman Kreuter, founder and CEO of EviScan, expanded the concept of selling by making it clear that founders must sell not only their products to customers but also their visions to their own families, employees and investors. Since the customers in his context are primarily state authorities, he concentrated in his presentation on the special features of business-to-government (B2G) sales.
Another highlight of the course was the Real-Life Case Study with the Berlin founder and WHU alumnus Michael Wendt. Together with him, the students worked on current problems of his start-up LocaFox. Based on real data and authentic insights into his company, the students deal with the market strategy of the young company. At the end of the course, all students presented their ideas to Michael Wendt, who gave them valuable feedback.

We would like to thank all the founders for their support in designing the course and especially our three speakers for their special commitment to the training of the next generation of WHU founders!

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