Sales Management in a Global B2B Company – Guest Lecture by Dow

On January 27, a long-standing tradition in the form of a guest lecture by Dow was continued in the Sales Management course. Professor Manfred Krafft and his team were pleased to welcome Klaus Rudert (Global Customer Executive and Managing Director Dow in Germany), Benedikt Rammrath (Senior European Customer Manager) and Irene Meinhardt (Senior Global Customer Manager).  All three guest lecturers found their way from Wiesbaden to Münster and spoke in person.

During the presentation, interesting references were made to the content of the Sales Management course. First, a brief introduction to the company was given. Dow is one of the leading chemical international and multicultural companies with operations in locations around the world. Its ambitions to be innovative, customer-centric, inclusive and sustainable enable the company to strive for value and best-in-class performance. The further presentation included the B2B business environment and its challenges. One of the specific topics that relate particularly well to the Sales Management course was sustainability at Dow, which is accelerated by specific sustainability goals formulated at the corporate level, e.g. the goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 and create a mindset and solutions to reduce plastic waste. Moreover, the company's customer relationship management was also discussed. Dow focuses on commitment to outstanding customer as well as employee experience. The guest lecturers demonstrated different sales approaches based on customer segmentation considerations. Challenges in the new, virtual reality were also highlighted which was particularly interesting given the focus of this year's tutorial: less face-to-face contact, more interactions through digital means, and an emphasis on video conferencing tools or email conversations partially replacing the pre-pandemic usual face-to-face sales calls. The relationship management approach was outlined as an example for a larger, complex account of a global consumer goods company. One of the other issues addressed was the organizational design at Dow. Herein, the matrix organization offers advantages and adds challenges that need to be tackled. In addition, a brief overview of sales force management in a global company was given, including the allocation of selling efforts, communication and sales management tools and work culture (with a special focus on the different employee networks at Dow).

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the guest lecturers from Dow once again for the interesting insights and hope to welcome them again next year.

Note: More information on the company can be found under Dow.com.