SALES 4.0 - MSc in International Sales Management


Prof. Dr. Frank Jacob, Chairholder, Academic Director
International Sales Management:

European Academic Director of the Master in International Sales Management (acting) Prof. Jacob holds the chair of Marketing at the Berlin Campus. Prof. Jacob is Academic Director of the Master in International Sales Management in Berlin.

“Marketing and sales are growing increasingly closer to each other,” says Prof. Dr. Frank Jacob, the academic director of the Master in International Sales Management at the Berlin campus of the ESCP Europe Business College. This is caused by changes in customers’ purchasing habits. They obtain information digitally and are prepared to provide private information. And of course, more and more things are becoming available on the Internet. Frank Jacob explains which trends will still have an influence on sales and marketing in 2017.

“The first important trend is that the demand will continue to be divided into commodity and speciality. Customers will either buy affordable standard products or completely individual solutions. For suppliers this means that their sales and marketing strategy will be very clearly differentiated and that you have to position yourself clearly and bravely. The bigger challenges are found in the solutions business, as every customer becomes a client to be counselled. And all of this applies not only to the B2B, but also to the B2C field. On the other hand, decisions in the B2B field are becoming increasingly emotional: not only households and consumer, but also business and buyers expect perfect support from the provider at all the relevant touch points, offline as well as online. The second trend is new business models. Totally new business models are being developed. Before you had sales models and solutions models and that went on for decades. Today customers are mainly users, business models are much more complex and also change extremely quickly. Solutions are achieved by collecting and evaluating data, so that multi-channel sales have to be extended to multi-market sales. And that brings us to the third trend: Scale-up enterprises. It is quick to found a start-up.  But only those who get to scale-up, have succeeded – for the time being. I can only grow if I reach others with my idea, and every single customer or user means growth. Right from the start a sales concept is indispensable for the acceleration of growth,” Jacob finally concluded.

Recommendations & Comments on the Programme

Dr. Gregor Matthies, Partner at Bain & Company:

Dr. Gregor Matthies is a partner at Bain & Company in Munich and heads the European Automobile practice group. His expertise extends to the automotive sector and the aerospace industry. He mainly acquired his wide consulting experience through strategy development, organizational and restructuring projects for a range of international companies and in the private equity area.

What is your assessment of the regional and global need for salespeople?

Both the regional as well as the global need for salespeople will increase sharply in the next few years. One reason for that is that products are converging more and more from their substance and it is becoming increasingly important to have differences explained by an appropriately qualified salesperson and familiarise the customer with them - online, offline or by a combination of both.

In your opinion, what professional opportunities do I have as a graduate from this course of study at a company like Bain & Company and why would you hire me in particular?

The possibilities of being employed at Bain & Company are very good with a corresponding international qualification as offered here at ESCP Europe. Of course we also attach great value to excellent marks and the personality of the candidate. We are primarily interested in recruiting employees who are knowledgeable in sales, as there are more and more topics in our project and customer portfolio that need to be dealt with.

In your view, which professional opportunities do I have as a graduate of this course of study in the automotive industry?

I see great opportunities for graduates in the car industry as well for graduates of this course of study. As vehicles are becoming increasingly less differentiated and the objective criteria like quality and workmanship become more and more alike, it becomes increasingly important for these products to be appropriately positioned, actually marketed and provided with a relevant marketing message. In this respect, a combination of marketing and sales with the knowledge of the various channels that are now available is a real asset. The automotive sector therefore urgently needs well trained salespeople.

Jochen Böringer, Partner at McKinsey & Company:

Jochen Boeringer is a partner at McKinsey & Company and has 15 years’ experience in commercial excellence topics, eight of which in consulting and seven in the industry. He is a leader in European marketing and sales activities in chemistry, energy, basic materials as well as oil and gas

What do you think makes the course "International sales Management" at ESCP Europe special and therefore desirable?

To me, the International Sales Management course is a good choice because it combines practical sales skills with a sound academic education. At the same time, the Master places emphasis on relationship skills and has a very strong international connection, which is important for the future in the field of sales.

What is your assessment of the regional and global need for salespeople?

The need for highly-qualified salespeople is increasing, from our point of view. At McKinsey we will be appointing even more marketing and sales experts in the coming year. But we also see many possibilities in industry. Also, the profile of a successful sales leader will be changing. Routine tasks will become increasingly automated, and sales will become increasingly professionalised through the use of digital technologies and advanced analytics. Graduates with a focus on sales management should therefore have excellent career opportunities.

What professional opportunities do I have as a graduate from this course of study at your company and why would you hire me in particular?

At McKinsey, we focus our marketing and sales expertise in what we call Marketing & Sales Practice. Here we appoint applicants directly from the university. We are looking for people who have already gained relevant marketing and sales experience during their studies and internships. That also applies to graduates from this course of study.