Toshiba TEC helps make channel salespeople better by degrees
Toshiba TEC, the leading imaging solutions provider, is celebrating the on-going success of its innovative work based learning initiative, which is helping 14 of its channel partners achieve a master’s degree (MSc) in Professional Practice in Leading Sales Transformation. Launched in early 2014, the course provides insight into best practice and modern sales management techniques, so that students can apply this knowledge in their day-to-day activities and drive up profit.
The decision to introduce the course was a direct result of Toshiba TEC’s commitment to increasing the professionalism of its industry, to maintain sustainable strategic relationships with its partners, and a desire to make a positive impact through people, education and development. The part-time course takes a total of two and a half years to complete and is heavily subsidised by the company, which covers the entire costs of students’ tuition fees.
Developed alongside Consalia, the award winning global sales performance improvement company, the qualification offers an innovative professional development opportunity that helps students improve their sales strategies, better connect with their customers, build strong brands, shape their offerings and create long-term growth. Delivered in conjunction with Middlesex University's Institute of Work Based Learning, it represents the first opportunity for senior personnel in the document management sector to gain academic recognition.
Students are expected to dedicate four hours a week over the duration of the course to complete five modules and submit a 3,000 word report on each, and write a 12,000 word final dissertation. The course content is based on the principle of reflective practice – the capacity to reflect on action(s) so as to engage in a process of continuous learning, which is one of the defining characteristics of professional activity. It teaches how to produce results through others and translate the goals of a company into commercial strategies.
Theory is already being put into practice and students are winning business on the basis of what they’ve learned. Gary Putson, Group Sales Director at Arena Group, explained, ‘Arena has recently been successful in securing a managed print contract with a national company, the alternative approach we took in our proposal demonstrated both a unique and high level understanding of the client’s business requirements, whilst a key factor in their decision was Arena’s dedication to delivering excellence. The different approach we took to the client in the initial stages was a direct result of our learning from the Toshiba Masters Programme’.
The course has been so successful that Toshiba TEC intends to launch a one year post graduate qualification and a two year diploma in the same subject. There are also plans to publish some of the papers that students have submitted in the Journal of International Sales Transformation.
Carl Day, Sales Director at Toshiba TEC, is the brainchild behind the master’s degree and is also undertaking the course. He concludes, ‘People development has been a key factor in my strategy throughout my career. The MSc in Leading Sales Transformation programme has given me the opportunity to build on that strategy and offer our dealers a truly amazing opportunity to develop both their people and businesses by a formal work based learning programme. The Masters, which is unrestricted by traditional approaches to academic or professional development, is really teaching people to think and act differently. I’m particularly pleased that we are now starting to see the positive impact resulting from the hard work the ‘students’ have put in so far. We are currently in the process of enrolling more talented individuals for the next cohort due to start at the end of this year and have long term plans to develop the programme for our direct and indirect talent over the years to come.’