International author joins University as executive in residence
Jill Konrath, a best-selling author, speaker and globally recognized sales strategist, has been appointed the first sales executive in residence for the Center for Sales Innovation at St. Catherine University. The Center’s four-year, sales degree programs are offered within the School of Business and Professional Studies.
Konrath’s new role includes enhancing the sales curriculum, expanding corporate sponsorships and developing a corporate advisory board. She will create strategies for growing both healthcare sales programs — one for students to earn a four-year degree and the other, an accelerated sales certificate, for adult learners who already have a health-related degree such as nursing. One area of study that Jill plans to strengthen is the skillset needed for inside sales jobs, which grew by 54 percent between 2009 and 2011, according to The Bridge Group, Inc.
“With Jill’s deep expertise and broad corporate connections, St. Kate’s can continue to give our sales grads a decided edge in the job market,” said Mary Jacobs, director of the Center for Sales Innovation. “Jill is a game changer who will help our students see what it takes to become top producers for their future employers.”
Konrath is the best-selling author of three award-winning books: Agile Selling, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. The latter was selected by Fortune magazine as one of eight all-time, must-reads for salespeople. She speaks frequently at industry conferences and sales kick-off meetings. Konrath's sales blog has 140,000 followers. An industry magazine, Salesforce, recently selected her as a “Sales Visionary.”
With a sales career that began at Xerox, Konrath moved into technology sales, and later in services, before launching her sales consultancy in 1987. Her clients have included IBM, Accenture, LinkedIn, Hilton, Staples and numerous growing mid-market companies.
“My career has been defined by a relentless search for what works in an ever-evolving sales environment,” said Konrath. “That’s why I am excited to help the next generation of sales leaders to prepare and pursue a career in sales. My primary focus is on helping students to become salespeople who work smarter — a key bottleneck to improving sales productivity.”
Founded in 1998, the Center for Sales Innovation is a national resource for women in sales. The Center is advancing excellence in sales talent among women who want to enter the field and women who want to grow their leadership skills. Unlike traditional business schools, the Center offers a sales-specific curriculum and research based on best practices of experienced sales leaders, both professors and corporate leaders. The result for corporations is advanced sales talent coming out of a four-year degree program and advanced sales leaders who participate in continuing education programs to excel in entry-level and leadership positions.