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Center for Sales Innovation co-hosts sales conference with 3M

A business leader attends a presentation with Professor Mary Henderson, Ph.D., and Lynn Schleeter, the director of the Center for Sales Innovation at St. Kates.
A business leader attends a presentation with Professor Mary Henderson, Ph.D., and Lynn Schleeter, the director of the Center for Sales Innovation at St. Kates.
Photo by Maria Ignacio '12.

The Center for Sales Innovation at St. Catherine University co-sponsored the annual 3M Frontline Conference with 3M, April 11 – 13, and welcomed participants to campus on April 12, in the Coeur de Catherine.

Emerging sales models and trends was the theme of the 15th Frontline Conference that brought together 3M sales leaders with faculty and sales students from 10 universities across the country. Each university offers accredited sales curricula in partnership with 3M.

 The Center for Sales Innovation at St. Catherine University began partnering with 3M in 1998 and offers business-to-business and healthcare sales majors, minors and healthcare sales certificate.

 “The marketplace is in a state of constant change and evolution with the Internet and social media enabling customers to be much better informed and prepared in their buying decisions,” said Lynn Schleeter, director, Center for Sales Innovation. “We gathered to discuss the impact of today’s market on sales, and how business leaders can remain competitive and secure the loyalty of their customers.”

 The conference kicked off the 3M summer sales internship program for 19 students from partnering universities. St. Kate’s sales majors, Sally Cook and Kelsey Kromminga '12 participated in the intern team challenge. These students created a sales plan and selling solutions for a 3M product and presented the plan to faculty and 3M sales leaders.

"The conference was a great experience," said Kromminga. "I met a lot of people and learned more than I ever would have thought."

The interns participating in the conference were split up into three groups in order to complete their projects.

"We were given a lot of freedom and had numerous great ideas," said Kromminga. "It was fun and beneficial to work with other interns who came from all over the U.S. We all had different styles of learning and work but managed to work well together and came away with a strong presentation."

 “The 3M Frontline Program is the source for top talent and performance ready sales candidates that generates a diverse talent pool for our sales pipelines,” said Mike Martinez, co-chair of the Frontline Sales Initiative at 3M and national sales manager, 3M Security Systems Division.

 According to Martinez, the Frontline Program was also designed to provide leadership opportunities for 3M sales people, allowing them to work with universities to hone their coaching skills. In the process, these sales people help to build the 3M brand awareness on campuses.

To date, the Frontline Program has offered 240 student internships, with many interns becoming full-time 3M employees and being promoted to leadership positions.

St. Catherine University is the only college or university in Minnesota to offer four-year degrees in sales. Its Center for Sales Innovation has close relationships with national corporations, which means students have exceptional access to internships and job placement after graduation.

April 21, 2011 by Melissa Kaelin

See also: Business