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Journal of Excellence in Sales Sales is born

Dragons for Sales

Selling and Coaching

Creativity accelerator:

Kakola Boot Camp


Contents 4 5

Vesa Taatila

Sales is Born Sini Jokiniemi

Editor’s Letter

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Liisa Kairisto-Mertanen

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Tarja Heikkilä

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Student Projects

Sales education at Turku University of Applied Sciences Dragons for Sales

10 Niko Aho, Juuso Karlsson & Teemu Kärkkäinen Case Milli - Learning to sell by teaching other students how to sell 11 Joakim Håkansson, Laura Klang, Essi Luotonen, Laura Nikkanen & Milla Rauta Case Turku Museum Centre - Selling museum experience at museum shops 12 Atte Oksanen & Fabian Fingerroos Project Rastor - Selling future leadership at Dragon’s Den 13 Mona Mäkkylä, Anni-Eevi Koivunen, Nea Kinnunen & Aaro Suvanto Hey young adult, house ownership is for you as well! 18 Mandi Virtanen Optimization of digital marketing in Elomatic 20 Tarja Åberg Teacher, mentor of the Elomatic project 21 23 27

Meiju Keinänen

Innovation pedagogy Jukka Rantala, Timo Holopainen & Tero Reunanen

Boot Camp Kakola I

Bachelor students’ theses at Turku University of Applied Sciences 28 Essi Koivu Effects of the financial crisis to housing trade 29 Lilli Haikio The significance of statements made by a third party for home buyers on purchase decision

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30 Veera Vahanen Evaluating the dynamic return model and its applivations in estimating real estate returns and property valuation 31 Jaakko Vehmanen Profitability of small brokerage businesses 32 Noora Nummilahti Supporting the sales of insurance company X with internal communication 33 Niina Karhu Digitalization of the financial sector 34

Hanna Halonen

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Aino Korhonen

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Sini Jokiniemi

Best Seller Competition 2016 Before and after sales studies The role of coaching in sales

Journal of Excellence in Sales Sales Excellence Center combines the needs of the businesses in the region with students’ input and world-class research on sales. Excellence Centers put together and develop the education, RDI activities and services of Turku University of Applied Sciences. The Journal of Excellence in Sales is a part of the activities of the Sales Excellence Center. http://www.turkuamk.fi/fi/turun-amk/exc/sales-excellence-center/ Publisher: Turku University of Applied Sciences Joukahaisenkatu 3 20520 Turku, Finland

Printed by: Painotalo Painola, Turku 2016 Next issue will be published in May, 2017

Journal of Excellence in Sales

ISSN (printed): 2343-5291 ISSN (online): 2489-2203 Editor-in-chief: Sini Jokiniemi Editorial board: Sini Jokiniemi & Martti Komulainen Cover Photo: Martti Komulainen

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Sales is Born Rejoice – Sales is Born! The proud parents, Turku University of Applied Sciences and Sales Excellence Center have informed us that the delivery was long but eventually successful. Today they are eagerly waiting to witness the first steps the newborn will take on its path to the future. We all expect to see great results taking place in our region through Sales. We at Turku University of Applied Sciences have selected Photo: Jussi Vierimaa “sales” as one of our spearheads in building the technical innovation university of the future. We see sales as the main driving force in creating a better and more sustainable future for all of us. Sales is the tool that connects people, providers and users, for a win-win situation from which both can emerge content. Being a university of applied sciences we believe strongly in practical competence, excellence in action. We have defined that innovation pedagogy is our strategic choice in all of our main activities. This approach is most useful in creating sales competence. Through continuous practical and innovative learning situations combined with deep reflection we can improve the sales skills of our students, staff and partners. We also want to share the best practices we have encountered on our path – thus this Journal of Excellence in Sales. We hope to be able to increase discussion on the practices in sales and through it improve the results of sales globally. Therefore it is our goal to create this new Journal into an active discussion forum that follows the highest scientific standards. We hope that You will get new ideas as well as challenges to your existing thinking patterns from the Journal. The results are, as always in sales, the most important part. Thus we expect that You will also get more deals done and that You’ll be able to improve the overall economy of Your region. Please, let us also know how we can improve Your sales. We at TUAS are most willing to learn as much as possible from sales so that we can increase shared understanding and enhance everyone’s possibilities to make successful deals. You are invited to contribute to the Journal or to give comments on the articles or contact us directly for additional information and competence. We are here for our shared benefit. So, let the sales begin!

Vesa Taatila

Rector and President of Turku University of Applied Sciences

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Editor’s letter Welcome to the first ever issue of Journal of Excellence in Sales. The journal aims to spark the sales interests of business professionals, business and engineering students as well as lecturers and professors with its twice a year publication. The Journal of Excellence in Sales (JES) will offer various initiatives on learning and doing sales and aims to stir up a public discussion on the possibilities of next-generation sales on a global scale. Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) has adopted Photo: Markku Koivumäki / Kamera-aitta innovation pedagogy as a mind-set and methodology for learning which is also evident in the journal articles. We cherish learning by doing, teaching as facilitating, co-operating with companies and believe in the capabilities of empowered students. Any nation needs the kind of young professionals who have been able to gather their learning experiences from real-life business cases and practice-based research findings and are therefore right off ready to offer their proactive and innovative talent to the business world. We hope you enjoy this first issue and do let us know if there are any topics you’d like to see covered in the future. We warmly invite any interested parties to share their questions, ideas, and experiences as guest authors in this journal. Let’s create a network of opportunities for learning and doing selling! Editor-in-chief,

Sini Jokiniemi

Principal Lecturer (Sales) at TUAS, Director of Sales Excellence Center

You can also find us on Twitter and share your thoughts online: @JournalOfSales #JES #TUAS

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Sales education at Turku University of Applied Sciences A brief history about how it all started Liisa Kairisto-Mertanen Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Environment and Business at TUAS Sales work and education have been close to my heart since I 26 years ago changed from sales tasks in business life to a career in the university world. Marketing has traditionally been recognized as important in our country and our business education has heavily been concentrating on it. Even the success of Finnish companies has during many years denied the importance of sales as good products were believed to sell themselves automatically. Whereas in the United States it was understood much earlier than in Finland that also good products need selling. Research within sales has a long history in the States. Big changes have taken place in the world during my career. When I was writing my doctoral dissertation in the field of sales more than 13 years ago the journals I used as my reference material were not available in Finland. They had to be ordered from the States as no web-based libraries existed at that time. Today these journals are easily accessible to any university and researcher via electronic libraries. Now, in 2016, it is understood also in Finland that sales is a prerequisite for success of businesses. It is not enough to have competitive and good products. Good sales people are needed who have an ability of understanding customer requirements, even foreseeing them

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proactively and building value to the customer by adapting the solutions of their companies to the requirements of the customer.

Finding best practices Our first program in professional sales in Turku started in autumn 2008. In spring 2008 I and Marjo Kumpula decided to benchmark and visited Dallas to experience what was happening at NCSM (National Conference in Sales Management). We presented results of our research conducted among high school and vocational school students at their final year of studies. The results of the survey revealed that these young people did not underestimate the value of sales or sales work. They considered it to be a good career opportunity. We took these results as a good justification for the new program and wanted to share them internationally. In Turku we started sales education by offering a bachelor’s degree in business administration, sales. Very soon we realized that engineering students also need to be educated in sales. The first engineering sales modules were introduced in our business management engineering program. However it took as late as the year 2014 until we had fully introduced sales education into our engineering programs.

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The sales task as well as the buyer in the roleplay always come from real life. There are both academic and business judges who assess the performance of the competitors using an assessment sheet agreed on together.

Photo: Martti Komulainen

The competition turned out to be a successful concept which is valued by the competitors, the universities and the companies involved. However it is the students who gain most; it is almost visible how their self- confidence increases. In addition to Best Seller, today we also organize a local sales competition in English at the end of the international sales semester. Today our international partners send their engineering students to Turku to study international, business to business sales here. An excellent opportunity for any student to get experience from studying sales in a multicultural group. The brand new master’s degree program in sales engineering started this autumn, in 2016. It is open for any engineer who has at least three years of work experience after the bachelor’s degree.

Best Seller competition Later during 2008 there was another trip from Finland to the States, to the National Collegiate Sales Competition in Atlanta. April 2009 the first Finnish sales competition, the Best Seller competition, was organized in Helsinki. It was a joint effort between HaagaHelia UAS and Turku UAS. The competition was to be organized every second year in Turku and Helsinki correspondingly. The basic idea behind the concept was and still is that both universities organize sales training for their students, look for sponsors for the competition and keep the actual competition free of charge to the competitors. Journal of Excellence in Sales

Becoming more international We all know that Finland is a country very dependent on international business which means that our sales people must be capable of doing successful business also in international markets. An organization, GSSI (Global Sales Science Institute), with an aim of internationally connecting education, business and research was founded in Helsinki in spring 2007. Today I am a board member and the organization attracts universities and businesses from every continent. Its conference takes place somewhere in the world once a year. By the year 2012 it was time to move the competition to the European level. The network consisting of us, Haaga-Helia, Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt, Nickel industry park from Poland and Vlerick Business School from Belgium managed to get funding from European Union lifelong learning program to build a European sales competition. The first European Sales Competition was held Brussels in June 2015, the following one in Helsinki in June 2016 and the next 1/2016

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one will be held in Edinburgh on the first of June 2017. The ESC (European Sales Competition) is now run by the European Sales Competition Association (ESCA) where the original members hold cabinet seats and the president comes from Finland. The initial sales competition was meant mainly for business students. Within sales engineering there was international progress as well. It was in 2014 when we were accepted as a member in AASE (the Academic Association for Sales Engineering). Most of the other universities belonging to this organization come from German-speaking Europe. However our contribution to the work in AASE was considered so valuable that two of our colleagues soon became members of AASE board. At the moment the main aim of AASE is to create a Pan-European sales curriculum for engineering education. To our satisfaction we can conclude that our contribution to the sales education at the European level has been big. Excellence in action and innovation pedagogy have shown their power!

Sales Excellence Center Sales holds a position in the strategy of TUAS. It is one of the spearheads of our future technological innovation university. Being included in the strategy means that special effort will be put on increasing our expertise on sales now and in the future. The Sales Excellence center (SEC) of TUAS was founded in 2015. Its aim is to represent our expertise in sales for internal as well as external stakeholders of the university. All sales education, all our different courses in sales are included in SEC. One of its main functions is to serve our enterprises by accepting assignments from them to be

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worked on in student groups. This benefits the students as they get the possibility to work with real-life cases already during their studies. Conducting sales research belongs to the tasks of SEC as well. The digitalization of sales is a hot research topic right now and fits well within the strategic scope of TUAS as digitalization forms one of the earlier mentioned spearheads in our strategy. The brand new sales journal which you now have in your hands is one of the products of SEC. It will be published at least twice a year and has a special function bridging the university world with surrounding society.

Faculty members in sales The whole process in sales started with only a few faculty members specializing in sales. During the past years, three of our lecturers finished their doctoral dissertation with a connection to sales. People are getting older, some are retiring but at the same time we have got new colleagues with doctoral degrees and work experience on sales. One of the advantages of a university of applied sciences is that all faculty members in sales must have experience from sales work outside of the university. We are proud to present our faculty with three principal lecturers and one lecturer specializing in sales. A situation which at the moment no other university in Finland can present. We believe that we are on a right track. The importance of sales to the whole economy has widely been recognized. Our bachelors and masters in sales will have excellent career opportunities and the SEC concept brings added value to our partners. We are committed to producing excellence in sales!

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Dragons for Sales Tarja Heikkilä

Senior Lecturer, TUAS Sales students in TUAS go through the Dragons’ Den event when participating in their first study unit. They prepare short business plans and present them to the audience. It doesn’t matter if the idea is worth executing for real purposes or not. Part of the idea of Dragons’ Den is to train new sales students to take responsibility when suggesting ideas to the audience, coaches and investors. No one can go through the test of presenting ideas without sales skills. The audience would only receive the message when it is put into clear format and communicated efficiently. Originally Dragons’ Den is a Canadian reality television show. In this television format, aspiring entrepreneurs pitch business and investment ideas to a panel of five venture capitalists. The most successful business owners of the country spar the candidates to better results, when at the same time they evaluate the financial potential of the ideas. When presenting, the candidates must learn to deviate their potential from the potential of the others. Sales skills are needed when presenting the offers. The official recommendation is to put aside the most valuable strengths and weaknesses when showing the results of the preliminary work. Anyway, when you show your good result with open questions you’ll get money for your business, or at least a much better tested plan for your future businesses. This is why it would be reasonable to show trade secrets when competing. Anyway, the need to rush is obvious when taking advantage of the feedback. Other listeners would copy the best ideas in a minute. However, the risk of others copying ideas is just one of the regular risks when sales occur. Do you present your thoughts and preliminary ideas and expose them to unequal competition advantage or do you keep the information? In a school environment sharing is a key element of learning. As the student groups participate in Dragons’ Den, the students learn to sell a wide range of products and services. Despite the fact that Dragons’ Den is more aimed at analyzing business opportunities, sales competence is a required skill. So, multiple tasks are reached within this study unit. In addition, international sales require skills that can only be attained when co-operating and sharing information openly. Sales skills require competition competence which co-operation and positive problem solving provide. This is the aim of the European Social Fund funded project MILLI, coordinated by TUAS. The project delivers sustainable sales skills integration to study units for students in secondary education. The MILLI research and development partners directly deliver sales skills throughout the City of Turku and the area of Southwest Finland and indirectly to the country as whole. All in all, competence in sales is a key element for success, wealth and prosperous elements of life.

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Student projects Studying at Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) is strongly working life oriented. Learning at TUAS is based on innovation pedagogy, which links together professional knowhow and theoretical research. Learning revolves extensively around project and teamwork. This offers students unique opportunities to work in real need-based projects assigned either by companies or R&D projects of TUAS. This section offers an overview of a selected number of student projects. The following students projects have been written by bachelor students who have carried out the project.

Case Milli Learning to sell by teaching other students how to sell Niko Aho, Juuso Karlsson & Teemu Kärkkäinen The goal of the Milli project is to raise the appreciation of the sales profession and to enhance the skills needed to succeed as a salesperson. The focus groups of this project are teenagers and young adults, as also private citizens need selling skills besides companies. For example, it is of crucial importance to know how to bring forth one’s thoughts, competences and experience when finding even the first-ever job, succeeding in working life and leading a prosperous life. Innovative learning approaches are put to test in this project in bachelor-level studies, in initial vocational education and in senior high schools. The annual high point of this project – funded by the European Social Fund – is the Voice of Sales Event celebrating sales learning at Logomo, an exciting event arena situated in Turku, Finland. The organizing parties of the Milli project are Turku University of Applied Sciences, Raseko Raisio Regional Education and Training Consortium, Kaarina Upper Secondary School and Turun Lyseo Upper Secondary School. During the spring of 2016, our project group of three members was assigned an interesting project with three main goals. The first goal was to spark interest among young high school students to participate in sales training, starting the coming September. The second target was to fix young students’ prejudices about sales as a career and to bring out interesting sides of sales as a profession. The last but not least of our targets was to promote our university’s sales program to second-level (high school) students. All these activities were part of a bigger project called Milli.

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For us 3rd year professional sales students this was an interesting task and we were quite enthusiastic about working among youngsters, going back to high schools and really making an impact on teenagers. We were also motivated to work among a possibly reluctant audience of teenagers. With our strong personal background in sales and a good sense of humor we were ready to face the kids and put ourselves on the line to draw results from our 45-minute performances. The most challenging part about selling sales was to shake off the old prejudices about 1/2016


sales. We explained that selling is listening to the customer, answering their needs and finding solutions that benefit both parties involved. As sales students it was vital for us to actually understand how we could make this process of selling happen in our performance. Measuring the success of our presentations was hard because the peer pressure among teenagers is strong and it is hard for teenagers to show their interest among other students, but after every show we noticed groups of students sticking around and waiting for us to answer a couple of questions. We think this gesture proved that we were on to something.

practice what we have learned during our three years at school. As a method to influence teenagers we think this is a powerful way to use on students who can easily relate to their teachers who have first-hand experience on the topic. During this project our attitude towards sales has become more professional and as our time in school is coming to an end it is great to see the careers our classmates are finding. Currently all three of us are working among sales, two of us are working on b2bsales and the results so far are quite promising. It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for us, but we have a strong feeling that selling will be a big part of it.

In our opinion this process of learning through teaching and performing is a great way to

Case Turku Museum Centre Selling museum experience at museum shops Joakim Håkansson, Laura Klang, Essi Luotonen, Laura Nikkanen & Milla Rauta Our project group of six students was formed as part of the Sales Assignments course. We received an assignment from Turku Museum Centre: our task was to enhance the sales and visibility of the museum shops. We started by getting to know the Museum Centre, the museum shops and the sold items. We were offered free entries to the museums: Turku Biological Museum, the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Arts and Turku Castle. After visiting the museums, we started to brainstorm different development ideas regarding how to make the museum shops more appealing. Our contact people at the Museum Centre were very supportive of our initial ideas so we felt even better about continuing to work with the project in which we were given “free hands and an absence of limitations”.

We carried on with the project by benchmarking other museums and their museum shops. Visiting Helsinki and its many museums offered us several best practice examples of what to consider also in Turku. In order to gain a wider external view on the topic we conducted a web-based survey. Nobody in our group was familiar with making surveys but we learned the necessary skills and we know these skills will be beneficial in other projects – and in working life – as well. The survey offered our project detailed information on both positive and negative experiences together with tips for development. We also conducted mini interviews at the Turku Art and Antics Fair. Discussions with the interviewees were nice and interactive, and we were actually surprised at how openly people told about their own experiences.

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Social media and its opportunities were also tackled in the project. As active social media users, it was easy for us to give practice-based and concrete advice to the Museum Centre on how to utilize social media for promoting museum shops. We also gathered a list of ideas – from visual tips to terms of delivery – what to consider when launching an online store. Our project culminated in giving a final presentation to the representatives of Turku

Museum Centre. Once again, we were glad to notice that the audience liked our ideas and they considered our work very beneficial. All in all, we all learned a lot during the project and familiarized ourselves with the museum culture. Especially we enjoyed the fact that although the assignment had clear boundaries we were given freedom to express ourselves freely within those settings.

Project Rastor Selling future leadership at Dragon’s Den Atte Oksanen & Fabian Fingerroos

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It all started in January 2016 at Turku University of Applied Sciences with the lead of our teacher Sini Jokiniemi. She had organized us a project with a company called Rastor. In Rastor we and two other student groups met with Area Director Mika Irenius who gave all the groups the same task. He wanted us to present and sell an idea of “How to improve modern day leadership?”. The name of the game was to work independent of other groups and not to share any ideas between the competing groups during the planning process.

We decided with our team that we will use the DiSC analysis in our proposition and use work safety as case samples. After reading and learning more about how the DiSC analysis works we thought it can be used as a tool inside companies to analyze the behavior of employees when they interact with each other and handle their tasks. We learned that as a tool it is really helpful especially to leaders because they can use DiSC information to understand each individuals’ working models and their behavior in different situations.

After digesting the task we decided to sit down with our team, take a piece of paper and throw in some ideas. At first it was hard to think of any fresh points of view towards leadership but in the end we realized that our school had already provided us the information that we need to complete the task. All we had to do was make a good schedule for gathering all the necessary information and what sort of other things we are going to need to convince Rastor in the upcoming Dragon´s den.

We also wanted to bring up that knowing your working environment improves work safety. Work safety was our second main theme in the task. By using the knowledge that DiSC provides it can be reflected to work safety. With the information of DiSC it is easier to foresee and prevent possible danger situations. Before we presented our idea to Rastor we met with Mika a couple of weeks before the Dragon´s den. It was a really interesting meeting: our total idea was challenged and contested.

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Afterwards we thought that this testing was a viable way to find out how convinced we were about our ideas. This kind of testing was a really good experience because it resembles a lot of upcoming challenges in life.

to the den where the Dragons were waiting. The presentations went really well and the whole atmosphere was really relaxed even though in the audience were really noticeable people evaluating our presentations.

After the halfway check meeting our team started to form the main presentation, and we pulled together all the information we had collected so far. The presentation day was exiting. We met with the other teams outside Logomo where the Dragon´s den was held. We wished each other good luck and we went in

All in all the whole project was really rewarding and we learned a lot of new things. Now that the project is done we can say that we gave our best shot and all the teams can be proud of themselves. Big thanks goes to Mika Irenius and Sini Jokiniemi for helping us and teaching us all the way.

Hey young adult, house ownership is for you as well! Mona Mäkkylä, Anni-Eevi Koivunen, Nea Kinnunen & Aaro Suvanto Often the first thought of a young person about buying an own home or property investment is ”not for me, at least not yet.” But the saying ”the sooner you start, the more profits you will be able to earn” is actually true when it comes to buying the first, own home.

Where to find the muscles for buying the first dwelling? When you are buying a dwelling, it is all about the mind-set. At least somewhere there is a person in the same age as you who owns already a dwelling – why couldn’t it be you, too? Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to be a person that everyone knows. Young, povertystricken boy from Austria, rises up to be a world-class bodybuilder and even to become the governor of the California in the United States. In his famous ”6 rules for success” speech he has stated that the most important

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thing is to listen to yourself and not to listen to people who constantly say ”you can’t”. He also advices to go hard for what you want, so that nothing stands in the way. Earning an income is all about yourself, the world is filled with money. Finland is also filled with dwellings. Maybe you have a relative or acquaintance, who could help you to get started with the loan you need for your investment. Saving money is all about the mind-set as well. If you are not used to saving, get familiar with it just by putting a few tenners away from your checking account. That way you will adjust to saving and later on you will be able to save more and more to reach the goals you 1/2016

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Photo: Jussi Vierimaa

have set for yourself. With prolonged saving you will be able to make use of compound interest. You cannot expect to succeed while keeping your hands in your pockets. (Orava & Turunen, 2013)

The means of saving When considering buying a dwelling, the first thing that comes to people’s mind is money and how to finance the investment. It is good to start saving for a dwelling well beforehand, even before actually considering of buying a dwelling. Nowadays there are many ways for saving, and there is definitely one for each person. Therefore the banks have developed many different savings accounts that benefit both the customer and the bank. In Finland, the most common way to save money for a dwelling is by using a state-subsidized housing loan. The account can be opened by a person in the age between 15 and 39, either by him/herself or with a spouse. This form of housing finance is only meant for first-

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time home buyers. In order to get the state to guarantee the loan with state-subsidized housing loan, you have to have at least 10% of the price of the dwelling saved to the account. The state-subsidized housing loan is a great option for young people, who easily misspend their money on irrelevant things, because you have to deposit to the account at least twice a year and you are not able to withdraw any money from it. If you already have some savings on your account, it is possible to earn a good interest by depositing a fixed amount to a fixed-term investment account. The deposit interest will be set when opening the account and the interest is fixed for the whole deposit time. On these kind of accounts you only keep the money for a shorter term and the interest is usually higher than normal. Different banks commonly have several savings account possibilities. Therefore it is often a wise thing to do some comparison between the banks as 1/2016


well as the account options in order to find the best option just for you. Often when a juvenile goes for buying the first home, the parents get the thought of helping them financially. Then it is wise to remember the gift tax stated in the Finnish law. The tax needs to be paid to the state if fortune or money is transferred from a person to another as a gift and the value of the gift is more than 4,000 euros. The gift tax also needs to be paid when the same person gives gifts to another person within a time period of three years and with an overall value more than 4,000 euros or more.

The influence of future in buying a dwelling It is important to consider the future when buying a dwelling. It is recommended to stay at least two years in the same home in order to avoid the capital gains tax regarding the selling of the home. Therefore it is wise to think few years ahead. Will the space be enough for you, will your life be in that area (work, school, friends, etc.), will you be living only by yourself or will you have family at that point? Will you still be pleased with the outlook of the dwelling in a few years or will you get tired with it? When buying a dwelling, the location has a crucial influence. It is important to search whether if the area you are interested in will be still progressive in the possible selling situation. That will determine if you will make profits of losses with your investment! Commonly possible home buyers have to take a loan from a bank in order to be able to buy the home. Therefore it is important to consider the personal financial situation, so you will be able to pay the loan with the interest back to the bank monthly after years as well. The Journal of Excellence in Sales

bank always makes a payment plan with the loan taker. It will be possible to change the plan later, if your incomes change and you will be able to pay the loan faster than you first thought. Banks also offer loan-free time, when you only pay the interest of the loan. The dwelling buyer might also be buying the dwelling as an investment and not planning to use the dwelling as an own home. In that case the interior of the dwelling is irrelevant, but the location is the most important factor in the decision process. When buying an investment property, it is smart to examine if there has been rise in the rents in that specific area and in which direction the prices of the dwellings will move to in the next few years. In this situation it is crucial to think ahead in the future, so you will be able to predict the profits you will be able to get out from it. The investment also requires calculations of in what time the investment will start to actually bring money back, because you need to take into consideration the costs of different renovations in the housing company and the costs of the loan.

The advantages of owning a dwelling Why is a having an own dwelling such an aim for many? It is simply because having such property makes a person more liable in the eyes of different actors. Also the saying “the faster you buy your own home, the faster you will be loan-free� is really true. Banks, credit companies, insurance companies and many others consider clients with housing loans more liable, therefore it enables more things for the client. Having a housing loan shows that the person has stable income every month, has reliable personal economy and has some knowledge on saving and investing. This 1/2016

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makes their status higher in a credit ranking than a person living in a rented home, while pursuing for other services, such as insurances etc. If the dwelling is picked right, the assets that are mortgaged into it are well saved in the share certificates of the dwelling in the bank vault. And if the life situation changes, the assets can be taken back to use by selling the dwelling. Usually people tend to at least get back the assets they invested in a dwelling, many times even profit of it, if the value of the dwelling rises while owning it. Many banks offer special services to the clients with housing loans, such as repayment security that guarantees the loan to be paid by the bank if your life situation changes rapidly (getting unemployed or something happens to a family member you have the loan with) or bonus systems, that pay you a bonus based on the balance of all of the services you have through the finance company. House ownership is also seen as a form of steady investing. A monthly loan payment forces you to put away the amount of the loan to pay back to the bank and at the same time to increase the amount of shares in your ownership of the house. This form of investing suits a person, who might be passive saver, or to a person that saves unevenly, because the fixed monthly loan payment forces to put some money away instead of using it and it has to be paid every month. This form of investing does not require any research done before paying, it does not take any extra time, and therefore it is an easy way to save for the future. The assets saved into it can also work as a down payment for some other investment, for example a bigger home. What could be nicer than having a paid home some day?

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In many cases, owner-occupied housing is actually cheaper than rented housing in the bigger time frame. The advantages of owneroccupied housing compared to rented housing depend much on the features of the dwelling and the characteristics of its surrounding area. As long as the value of the property remains the same or even rises, owner-occupied housing is more profitable in long timescale. This is based on the raised or remained value of the property. It that case, the assets invested in the dwelling actually bring more profits during the process. The expenses in rented housing remain almost the same in a longer time, whereas the expenses of owner-occupied housing might change rapidly during the ownership simply because the environment changes. (Taipale, 2016)

Easy checklist for a young person Many new situations come ahead when a young person seeks for an owned dwelling. Here we have listed a few most important points to consider in order to avoid many surprising, unpleasant situations with a housing transaction. The first thing is to clarify the finances with a bank. It is not always the home bank that offers the best housing loan, so therefore it is highly important to run housing loan offers on several different banks and take the loan from the bank that offers the most attractive payment plan for you. The personnel in the bank are there to help you to find out how far your saving takes you. It is also important to count the monthly payment beforehand, so it will not take too much of your money and then not to reduce the quality of your life. The criteria for the actual home should be held high when seeking for the one. It

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is necessary to attend open houses, scroll through the internet for different ads and to read newspapers. Some things that the realestate broker does not remember or does not know to inform you about in the open house might pop up. It is also wise to check the details of the dwelling carefully before the sales, because if some faults are found after the sales, you are unable to charge the compensation from the previous owner of the dwelling. You need to consider precisely if the faults that exist are easy to repair, or if you are ready to put more money on the repairing. If the dwelling is actually something you are interested in, you should ask the real-estate broker to send you all the official documents about the housing company and the dwelling. It is important to look through them and to be aware of the targets and aims of the housing company as well as the previous and upcoming renovations.

Main references: The webpages of www.asptili.fi www.vero.fi www.op.fi www.nordea.fi www.asuntosuomi.fi

After you have found the perfect home, you need to consider if the dwelling fits completely with your expectations and criteria. It is smart to look ahead to the future and think how your life will be in two years. The Finnish taxation system charges with capital gain tax if you sell a property with substitution within two years of buying it. The most important thing in the process is to be able to take responsibility of your own decisions and to seek for help and actually accept it in things where you need it. No one wants to regret decisions that were made without correct information and on the biggest amounts of money you might ever have.

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Photo: Elomatic

Optimization of digital marketing in Elomatic Mandi Virtanen Last spring I participated in our school´s project studies. We had a whole class of people who wanted to learn more about working in groups. However, on this course it was not about the classic group studies you might do in every class. In this course it had been taken one step further and we were actually working with real projects, real companies and real customers. Our project was to find the right keys to digital marketing. Basically it meant finding out everything we could about digital marketing and social media and how it could be programmed in the best possible way for our customer, Elomatic. Elomatic is one of the most successful companies in my home city. It is an engineering and consulting company

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which has several offices all around the world including China, Russia, and the Netherlands. At first we wanted to create a solid ground for our research by characterizing the existing and potential purchaser companies. We were able to get a list of companies that were already in cooperation with Elomatic and a second list of potential companies that they thought they could cooperate with. Based on this we made an enquiry that would help us to really define the social media habits of every purchasing manager in each of the companies. With this enquiry of the customers we thought we would need also a good dissection of the companies in competition. At the beginning we thought this idea was harder to execute 1/2016


than we thought, but we ended up with a basic plan of putting ourselves in position of the potential buyers and implemented the evaluation. We looked through all information on the competitors that we were able to find online and reflected the info against the same info from Elomatic. With this we wanted to have as objective an opinion as possible of what really worked and what didn´t. Based on this we created the dissection. By understanding the customers and competitor companies we got to do the next step which was customer acquisition. The focus was on background influencing and this way making the brand known everywhere. This is something companies should spend a lot more time with, and also find the hot leads out of all the possible customers. In this case we figured out that the key is the right content marketing. With the right content marketing you can reach the right people with less money and effort. In too many situations there is just someone or everyone chatting under the company name. It is good to be ”out there” as much as you can but if the content is not correct, less is more. If you want to prosper in digital marketing and in social media you have to think about the content you are putting out there.

to understand the customers or maybe create a chat service on the homepage where the company’s representative can be present all the time and take the time to connect with the leads. Especially new customer acquisition, content marketing, understanding the customer and buyer’s 360 journey rose to be the key words in digital marketing. Content marketing, which raises the customer’s interest and convinces the company of your expertise is also important. In addition, customer orientation is truly an important factor in digital marketing and overall in a marketing plan, in which the understanding of the buyer´s 360° journey increases: the importance of the trip and controlling it. In catching the leads it becomes more vital to have a personal contact with the customer (understanding the customer), in order to divert him or her from the path of purchasing towards satisfying decision making. These are the right keys in digital marketing.

Now we know the leads but how do we really catch them? That was the next question. The ideal situation is to get the buyer from awareness to consideration and finally to the decision making and to be a part of this journey the whole time. We also talked a lot about buyers’ 360 journey the target of which is to get the buyer do the three steps (awareness, consideration, decision) again and again and create a long term customer relationship. It might sound hard and even impossible but nowadays we have more and more ways to do it. For example we have a lot of data on the customer that we can collect from the internet and analyze it, or use lead magnets Journal of Excellence in Sales

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Photo: Elomatic

Teacher, mentor of the Elomatic project Tarja Ă…berg Project Manager at TUAS The Elomatic project was a good example of how a multidisciplinary group of three students could excellently tackle a company project even the subject area was not in the scope of their studies.

But I gave freedom and trust for flexible doing to make the agreed topics happen. The high motivation of the students, interest in the real life company case and high involvement was the requisite for a good success.

A small group of students as a resource is very vulnerable for any changes and needs tight cooperation and communication within the project team. It requires a flexible way of working to fit the meetings and doing with all the other activities, such as other courses, work and free time, with the overall tight project schedule.

Elomatic was very satisfied with the results of the optimization of the digital marketing. The assignment was done for the Automation and Electrification department, but was at the same time a part of the boosting work of the marketing of the whole Elomatic company. In that sense the results had a larger influence on the whole company and the results were shared for the top management of the company. Elomatic gave score excellent for the optimization of the digital marketing work.

As a mentor I was very tight on keeping the agreed schedule, milestones and main outputs.

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Innovation pedagogy Meiju Keinänen Senior Lecturer at TUAS The European Union’s Innovation Union Initiative underlines the importance of innovations in all sectors of the economy. Development of innovation calls for new methods and perspectives, enthusiastic people and supportive environments. The same elements are also required in education. When trying to respond to the challenge of today and build an “Innovation Union”, we must start concentrating to this already during the beginning of the studies. (Räsänen et al. 2015) Traditionally, the role of education has been to give knowledge-based readiness, which later would be applied in practice to various innovation processes in working life. An important challenge to today’s higher education is the development of practices that would integrate domain-specific knowledge with personal transferable and generic skills.

Traditionally, the role of education has been to give knowledgebased readiness, which later would be applied in practice to various innovation processes in working life. Innovation pedagogy introduces how the development of students’ innovation skills from the very beginning of their studies can be enabled. The core of innovation pedagogy lies in emphasizing interactive dialogue between

Journal of Excellence in Sales

the educational organization, students, and the surrounding working life and society. It is defined as a learning approach that defines in a new way how knowledge is assimilated, produced and used in a manner that can create innovations. (Kairisto-Mertanen et al. 2012; Kairisto-Mertanen et al. 2011). In innovation pedagogy, the social aspects of working and learning are emphasized and group processes where learning happens in multidisciplinary teams form an essential part of the whole process of learning. A social learning environment is formed by people with different talents and competencies and by the interaction which enables collaborative learning. The aim of innovation pedagogy is to generate environments in which knowhow-inspired competitive advantage can be created by combining different kinds of knowhow. Innovation competences sharpened by innovation pedagogy are the key in introducing new competitive advantages via know-how. The competences for innovation creation required in working places are developed during the studies in a multidisciplinary environment. (Räsänen et al. 2013)

The aim of innovation pedagogy is to generate environments in which know-how-inspired competitive advantage can be created by combining different kinds of know-how.

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Innovation competencies are the learning outcomes which refer to knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for the innovation activities to be successful. The methods applied and the way how teachers and students interact constitute a base for learning and thus enable the forming of innovation competencies. The methods used also facilitate intuitive and unexpected learning during the learning process and make transmitting of tacit knowledge possible when dealing with working life. In innovation pedagogy these kind of learning outcomes can manifest themselves in the form of intuitive and tacit learning which takes place in the learning situation. They can be for example experiences about cultural differences, about working at customer surface etc. The core idea in innovation pedagogy is to bridge the gap between the educational context and working life. Learning and teaching processes are developed so that they provide improved competences for the students and enable personal and professional growth. Learning is deeper when the previously gained knowledge is continuously applied in practical contexts. (Penttilä et al. 2011; Kairisto-Mertanen et al. 2012)

References: Kairisto-Mertanen, L., Räsänen, M., Lehtonen, J., & Lappalainen, H. (2012). Innovation pedagogy – learning through active multidisciplinary methods. REDU. Revista de Docencia Universitaria, 10, 67-86. Retrieved from: http:// redaberta.usc.es/redu/documentos/vol10_n1_completo. pdf Penttilä, Taru; Kairisto-Mertanen, Liisa & Putkonen, Ari (2011),”Messages of innovation pedagogy”, In Towards Innovation pedagogy. A new approach to teaching and learning in universities of applied sciences, ed. by Lehto, A., Kairisto-Mertanen L., Penttilä, T. TUAS Reports 100. Turku University of Applied Sciences. Räsänen, M., Putkonen, A. & Kairisto-Mertanen, L. 2015. AN INNOVATION PROCESS - COMPETENCES NEEDED TO MAKE IT SUCCEED. Conference paper in 16th International CINet Conference, Pursuing Innovation Leadership, 13–15 September 2015 - Stockholm, Sweden. Räsänen, M., Kairisto-Mertanen, L. & Penttilä, T. 2013. The Role of Social Learning Environment in the Context of Innovation Pedagogy in Higher Education. Proceedings of the Participatory Innovation Conference PIN-C 2013, 18th–20th June Lahti, Finland. Lappeenranta University of Technology LUT, Scientific and Expertise Publications – Research Reports No. 6.

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Photo: Martti Komulainen

Boot Camp Kakola I A Multidisciplinary Creativity Accelerator in an Authentic Environment Jukka Rantala, Leader (Education and Research), Senior Lecturer Timo Holopainen, Leader (Business Development), Principal Lecturer (Sales) & Tero Reunanen, Leader (Education and Research), Research Group Leader Instead of a traditional classroom education environment, Kakola Boot Camp was arranged by Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) in an authentic prison environment with multidisciplinary student teams. During 24 intensive hours, this creativity accelerator education method generated thousands of ideas, boosted innovation competences and produced Excellence in Action. This paper explains the methodology utilized and highlights results which will be analyzed further. Journal of Excellence in Sales

Background At Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), the Faculty of Technology, Environment and Business has utilized approaches based on the Innopeda learning continuum, such as the project hatchery, in its study plan since 2008. The project hatchery enables students of the faculty (engineering, business, design and sustainable development) to work on designated project assignments in multidisciplinary groups during their first semester [1]. 1/2016

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Innovation pedagogy and creativity accelerator

Photo: Martti Komulainen

A learning environment can be understood as the physical or virtual surroundings meant and built for learning purposes. In innovation pedagogy, in addition to physical or virtual surroundings, the social aspects of working and learning are emphasized and group processes form an essential part of the whole process of learning. A social learning environment is formed by participants with different talents, experiences and competences and by the interaction enabling collaborative learning. This is very similar to working life, various knowledge and skills are required. [2] [3]

Innovation pedagogy is a learning approach, which defines how knowledge is assimilated, produced and used in a manner that creates innovations. The goal is to enable one’s participation in the innovation processes by ensuring that the students are innovative and oriented towards various kinds of development tasks. To ensure the success in their future careers students have acquired, in addition to the expertise in their own field of studies, innovation competences. [4]. Innovation competences are learning outcomes that refer to knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for the innovation activities to be successful. The innovation competences follow the European Qualifications Framework set by European Commission and comprise three levels: individual, interpersonal and networking competences. [5] In the innovation cycle, one tangible idea which can be implemented, can require dozens, even hundreds of “base ideas” or leads. The development of a new product, service or even business idea require also time. Therefore, the cost of new ideas, which are ready to be implemented for the companies,

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are significant. In practice, only a few percent of the generated ideas in the early stages of innovation cycle are feasible and can be moving forward towards further stages of development cycle. Especially SME´s are painfully aware of these fact, since most of the SME´s don’t have the required recourses to accomplish all this. TUAS is aware of this issues and to solve this problem, creativity accelerator Kakola Boot Camp was created by TUAS’ faculty member Jukka Rantala and further developed by additional faculty members Timo Holopainen and Tero Reunanen, making the development team complete. Kakola boot camp creativity accelerator utilizes innovation pedagogy methodology to improve the innovation competences of the participating students, and to offer thousands of ideas as well as hundreds of solutions for the rapid business innovation needs of the participating companies. Kakola Boot Camp consists of two parts, which both include 24-hour intensive sessions, which are carried out in a closed environment. They are arranged a few weeks apart and last 24 hours. This methodology has gotten its name from the former Kakola prison in Turku, where the first boot camps were arranged.

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Photo: Martti Komulainen

Kakola Boot Camp I focuses on generating new ideas by utilizing a method which includes some characteristics of De Bono’s hats and Disney’s strategy method combined with a change of usual group dynamics within an unusual environment. The cooperation partners’ focus and the topic of the boot camp is not known beforehand. During an intensive 24 hours, intensive idea generation with variable themes pushes students out of their comfort zones and accelerates the utilization of Innopeda competences to generate new outcomes. Part of the pedagogical approach are the pre-assignment, where students need to familiarize themselves to the theory and methodology utilized and the postassignment, where reflection and evaluation on the innovation competence development is done. Kakola Boot Camp II utilizes similarly the pre-assignment, where students need to Journal of Excellence in Sales

familiarize themselves with the strategic and problem solving theories and methodologies, like PESTLE, Fishbone and SWOT. They are utilized to develop Boot Camp I ideas further and transform them into projects, actions and tangible goals. After Boot Camp II idea development, the results are handed over to the participating companies. As a postassignment, students perform 360 evaluation related to their own and group members’ performance combined with innovation competence development evaluation.

Creativity accelerator: Kakola Boot Camp The Kakola Boot Camp approach was arranged for the first time in 2015 with the Kakola companies. The companies have acquired an old prison area, which is located in a very central area in the City of Turku. Since the location and the buildings are exceptional 1/2016

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and have historical significance, a major portion of the region and the buildings are defined as conservation targets. Therefore the conservation of the Kakola area and its buildings is regulated, causing limitations to the regional and structural development. Kakola companies asked TUAS to help with the idea generation related to renovation of the existing buildings, building of new structures, attracting new business opportunities, attracting residents to the area and planning of the services and outdoor activities for the region.

effects of this creativity accelerator to the companies.

References: [1] Lyytinen, S., (2011) Project Hatchery – interdisciplinary learning through project methods. Towards Innovation pedagogy. A new approach to teaching and learning in universities of applied sciences, ed. by Lehto, A., KairistoMertanen L., Penttilä, T. TUAS Reports 100. Turku University of Applied Sciences. [2] Penttilä, T. & Kairisto-Mertanen, L. 2012. Learning Innovation Competences through Boundary Crossing

In 2016, the methodology was developed further and several different problems and companies were introduced to the creativity accelerator, having a simultaneous implementation of the innovation cycle. Another development is related to the utilization of mentor students, who have participated in the previous boot camp. This done to ensure that the practical implementation of the creativity accelerator to the local SME’s can achieve the best results in the future.

in a Social Learning Environment. Proceedings of

Conclusions and next steps

[5] Kairisto-Mertanen L., Penttilä T. & Lappalainen H.

The Kakola Boot Camp has been proven to be a very effective method to accelerate creativity, generate close to 9,000 ideas in 24 hours, boost the development of students’ innovation competences and to ensure speeding up of the innovation cycle. TUAS can now deliver a massive and multidisciplinary development of new ideas for large or small and medium-sized enterprises/organizations in a cost-effective way and at the same time we can offer a unique learning experience for our students.

EDULEARN2012 Conference. [3] Penttilä T. & Putkonen A. 2013. Knowledge in the Context of Innovation Pedagogy in Higher Education. Proceedings of INTED2013 Conference, Valencia, Spain. [4] Penttilä T., Kairisto-Mertanen L., & Väänänen M. 2014. Implementing cross-disciplinary learning environment – benefits and challenges in engineering education Proceedings of ICEE-Conference 2014.

2012. Fostering Capabilities for Continuous Innovation in University Education. Proceedings of 13th International CINet Conference 16–18 September 2012.

Although Kakola Boot Camp feedback is positive from both participating students and companies, further development is still needed, especially in the area of measuring the effects of innovation competences and

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Photo: Martti Komulainen

Bachelor students’ theses at Turku University of Applied Sciences This section showcases a selected number of themes and abstracts of bachelor students’ theses at Turku University of Applied Sciences. The aim of a thesis is to develop and prove a student’s ability to adopt learned skills and competences in a practice-based business assignment of a developmental nature. The attached links lead to publicly available copies of the theses written in Finnish.

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Effects of the financial crisis to housing trade Essi Koivu The aim of this thesis is to find out how the global crisis of the financial market which started from the United States in 2007 has affected the housing trade in Finland. The study is commissioned by a construction company which operates in Southwest Finland. The material of the study consists of 17 real estate units which are blocks of flats and terraced houses. Altogether there are 407 apartments studied for this thesis. The theoretical framework consists of important features of tied-up capital such as liquidity, turnover and management of inventories and the weighted average cost of capital. In addition the theoretical part addresses the capital structure of an apartment house company and maintenance charge, which is an essential part of the capital structure. In the case section, the transactions of apartments of the client company between the years 2006–2014 are analyzed using statistical methods. The case section is divided in three parts. In the first part the sales margin of the company is examined and the analysis is divided by the entire operation and by cities. In the second part the average marketing disposal period of the company’s real estate units of Turku is calculated and compared to the equivalent numbers of Turku and the whole of Finland. The third part calculates the company’s weighted average cost of capital

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and one of the company’s real estate units, which has been unprofitable due to a long marketing disposal period, is analyzed more closely. The study revealed that the financial crisis has not radically affected the construction company’s housing trade. The sales margin of the company declined slightly in 2008 but it amended in 2009 as better than usual sales. Apart from these years the sales margin hovered around 60 percent. The average marketing disposal periods of the real estate units had already fluctuated before the year 2008, so the financial crisis cannot be single-handedly held responsible for the long post-crisis marketing disposal periods. The weighted average cost of capital of the company was 4.64%. However, the results of the study should be observed critically due to the short analyzed period before the financial crisis. http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-201505188540

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The significance of statements made by a third party for home buyers on purchase decision Lilli Haikio

Energy performance certificate and condition inspection report

the evidence would appear to indicate. The research is conducted with two surveys; one survey for home owners of detached houses and one for real estate agents.

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the influence and significance of two different certificates for home buyers who are looking for a detached house. This paper will focus on the energy performance certificate and on the condition inspection and how these certificates affect the buying decision. There is a lack of study on the effects of these two certificates in the Finnish market. The energy performance certificate is due to a new law in 2013, which made the energy performance certificate mandatory for detached houses. The condition inspection report is not compulsory, although it is made for most houses to be sold.

The hypothesis was that the energy performance certificate has an insignificant effect on the buying decision and the condition inspection report mainly confirms the buying decision. The recent studies in other European Union member states have indicated that the influence of the energy performance certificate has not been seen the way the EU aimed. In addition it appears that condition inspections are conducted after the decision of buying a house has already been made and the results rarely prevent the deal. This is one aspect which the research aims to verify.

The first section of this paper sets out the theory behind the certificates. This is based on the literature on the subject as well as on the legal regulations and the government’s directions. This section focuses also on the buying process, on the aspects which affect the buying decision and the property transactions when it comes to real estate. The second section sets out the methods of the quantitative study and examines the results of the study. The last part concludes what Journal of Excellence in Sales

On balance, it appears that the hypothesis on the effectiveness of energy performance certificate on buying decisions was correct. Real estate agents seem to be unanimous that the energy performance certificate has no effects in the decision to buy a detached house. Despite some contradictory views, it would seem that the condition inspection report affects the buying decision when defects are found in the real estate. http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-201605269888 1/2016

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Evaluating the dynamic return model and its applications in estimating real estate returns and property valuation Veera Vahanen The goal of the thesis is to evaluate return models used in real estate investing. In the thesis I will introduce the dynamic return model and prove its usability with real life examples. I use two different return models to illustrate the weak demand for business premises in the city Center of Turku. The thesis is divided in the theory section and empirical section. The theory section covers the basic principles of investment purchase and important calculation formulas of profits and sunken costs. Definition of investing product valuation and the actual valuation process will be introduced in this section as well as the special features of real estate investing and their effect in the valuation process. I will also examine return models and the formula of required rate of return used in the current real estate market. The dynamic model developed by my principal will be introduced in the empirical section. I will also illustrate how different factors affect the relation between risk and profit in a given investment. The empirical section includes a comparison between the dynamic return model and the traditional return model used in real estate markets.

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This thesis shows that the sticky real estate market is the reason for empty business premises in the city center of Turku. Even though the environment of the investment targets is dynamic, the rents of the business premises are inelastic and they don’t connect with the market demand. The dynamic return model factors in the changes in environment and while balancing the risk between investor and tenant, it allows significantly higher returns than the traditional return model. In a ten-year examination period the dynamic model achieved 45.8% better returns than the traditional model. In addition, the thesis showed that risk is more equally balanced in the dynamic model and this allows a higher required rate of return compared to the traditional model. The thesis proves that an active investment strategy allows higher return and a way to improve a city in a beneficial way for many different interest groups.

http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-201604194578

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Profitability of small brokerage businesses Jaakko Vehmanen The purpose of this thesis is to study small brokerage companies and brokerage as a form of business. The main focus of this research is on profitability. Due to the lack of similar research the calculated average results can be seen as a benchmark.

whereas the ones before 2010 are classified as old. The turnover of the young ones turned out to be far greater than that of the older ones. However, the young ones reported operating losses when the old ones reached a positive net income.

The research material consists of financial statements of 10 small brokerage businesses. The material was chosen using the random sample method. Big national brokerage chain businesses were left out of the sample and instead the focus was on small brokerage businesses operating in the Turku area. The sample businesses employed on average 0–5 persons.

Based on the research’s results it can be said that the differences between small brokerage businesses are big. At best business has been extremely profitable each year despite financially challenging times. At worst brokerage has been a nightmare for the owners; a business that destroys one’s capital. On average the businesses’ turnover grew during the time period, but soaring expenses resulted in operating losses. Out of ten, only a single business reached a positive net income each year during 2010–2014.

The theory part of the research goes though the basics of brokerage, financial analysis, its nature and methods. The analytical focus is on profitability, solvency and growth. Various financial key figures from every business and a sample average is calculated. The averages of the 10 businesses’ balance sheets and income statements are transformed into a type of percentage based trend analysis, which helps when analyzing financial development within a chosen period of time.

http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-2016062613372

At the end of the research, a separation between young and old businesses is made. Businesses established in or after the year 2010 are classified as young businesses,

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Supporting the sales of insurance company X with internal communication Noora Nummilahti Sales are the lifeline of companies. It is very important to support sales efforts in a way that the best possible results can be achieved. In this thesis I investigate how sales activities are supported with internal communication in insurance company X. Effective and efficient sales support requires the use of various internal communication methods. It is important for companies to find the ways which are suitable for their needs.

has been implemented with methods of internal communication for quite some time. The importance of sales support has been understood. This view was also supported by the fact that the sellers experienced that they get support fairly well. They did not bring up development initiatives or criticism. http://www.theseus.fi/handle/10024/113764

This thesis consists of a theory section and an empirical section. The theory section has been divided into two parts. The first part concerns internal communication and its separate sectors. Separate channels and forms of internal communication are discussed. Their problems are also considered. The second part focuses on sales support. The connection between sales support and internal communication is scrutinized. The empirical study was conducted with a qualitative questionnaire and interviews. The questionnaire was directed to experts of internal communication and sales support. Interviews were conducted on the company’s selected sales personnel. Based on the study it became clear that in insurance company X, sales support

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Digitalization of the financial sector Niina Karhu

Impact on the customer experience and opening hours of the bank The aim of this thesis was to investigate the effects of digitalization of the financial sector on bank’s opening hours, services and customer experience. The employer for this thesis is a Finnish financial company operating in Southwest Finland. This thesis is based on the literature in the field, electronical publications and an empirical questionnaire. The method applied in this survey is quantitative and a paper questionnaire has been used as a research tool. The questions of the survey were structured multiple-choice questions with the exception of one open question. The questions were divided into three different sub-areas; background information, timing of service and used digital services. Answers were collected from customers at the client company during a two-week period, a total of 55 customers responded to the survey.

Journal of Excellence in Sales

The result showed that digitalization has affected customers’ transactions and service is wanted more widely compared to current service hours. The majority of the respondents felt that digitalization has facilitated their usage of bank services and they are willing to try out new services. The results also showed that some of the customers felt that due to poor skills with digital devices and services, they don’t know how or do not want to use them. However, some of those customers would also like to use digital services if their skills allowed that.

http://www.theseus.fi/handle/10024/114234

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Best Seller Competition 2016 Feelings from the heart of an assistant coach Hanna Halonen Bachelor student in Sales

Spring term was starting in Turku and I was asked to be an assistant coach in the Sales Training course. In the first lecture the atmosphere was quite the same as a year ago when I took part in the same course as a student. Students had no motivation and nobody cared why they were sitting on that course. When I introduced myself and told what my role in the course was – to give the students a peer student perspective and support – some of the students actually seemed to be listening. Nevertheless the lecture star ted nicely. The head coach, Sini Jokiniemi, gave me opportunities to open my mouth and tell the students that I really knew how they felt at the moment. I promised that the course would definitely be one of the best courses they will attend at Turku University of Applied Sciences. 34

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Lectures went by and students were thinking specifically one part of the sales speech, needs identification. How to make a good needs identification and why is it so difficult? We went through the sales process many times using different kinds of techniques, for example SPIN questions. I cleared many times that a good salesperson asks good questions (thank you for this lesson to my own lecturers Jouko Broman and Timo Holopainen). At the lectures I was often in the role of a buyer with whom the students were practicing their sales speeches. In some cases I was the difficult buyer who answered nothing more than ”yes” or ”no”. IO the other hand in some cases I was the very talkative buyer who just didn’t stop talking. With some of the students

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we started the whole conversation from the beginning if it didn’t go well enough or fulfill all the criteria. In any case, after the sales conversation, the student got feedback on his or her performance: what went well, what should be improved and what should be paid more attention to. Like needs identification, we also paid a lot of attention to offering the solution. How to offer the solution to the customer? How does it affect a customer’s feelings how a salesperson puts his or her words? A while ago I found Forbes’ article in LinkedIn, stating that most of the decisions in B2B-sales are made based on emotions. According to the article, even the 71% of the buyers who see the personal value in the purchase will end up buying the product or the service. The percentage sounds huge, but I believe it’s realistic. As in the finals of the Best Seller competition 2016 there were four different kinds of performances. The winner gave space and appreciation to the customer’s opinions in her sales negotiations. It was the thing what the buyer also highlighted after the competition, when he stated that in real life he would have bought the solution from one or two of the finalists.

As an assistant coach my most important goal was that after the competition the students would see selling as fulfilling the customer’s needs, not trading vacuum cleaners. In my opinion the Sales Training course was one of the most important courses at Turku University of Applied Sciences. Students learn about theory, practice and have an opportunity to develop as salespeople. During the course students learn about themselves and in an ideal situation find their strengths and the things that still need to be developed. Some people are naturally empathic, some are too empathic and some need to find empathy within them. In every case the salesperson needs empathy and with that it is possible to achieve B2B-deals that benefit both parties. References: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ danielnewman/2014/05/07/how-personal-emotionsfuel-b2b-purchases/#71241223764e

The Best Seller Competition is offered for Bachelor-level sales students in Finland. The aim of the competition is to boost the appreciation of sales as a profession and to highlight the importance of competent sales people for e.g. companies and national economy. Turku University of Applied Sciences and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences take turns in organizing this annual competition. Each university offers sales training in their curriculum and the best students from these lessons compete in the national Best Seller Competition.

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Before and after sales studies Aino Korhonen Project Coordinator at Sales Excellence Center, TUAS It was my second year in upper secondary school when I started to think about what I wanted to do for a living. I began to think what elements I’d like to have in my dream job. Most importantly, I wanted to work with people. In upper secondary school I was interested in psychology and social studies. I had a look at the different options on the internet and found that Turku University of Applied Sciences offered education which specialized in professional sales. I thought about it and realized that professional sales combined all my interests. I would work with people, get the change to analyze people’s behavior, and my interest on social issues would also benefit my career in business. So I decided to apply to Turku University of Applied Sciences to study professional sales.

Nowadays selling is figuring out the customer’s needs, fulfilling and in the best cases even exceeding them. I was accepted on my first try. When I told people about my choice, to my surprise I was faced with negative preconceptions and opinions about selling. People seemed to think that salespeople are greedy and trick and force customers into buying products and services that they don’t want or need. Luckily, my studies began with cracking these misconceptions and myths about sales. I was told that nowadays selling is figuring out the customer’s needs, fulfilling and in the best cases even exceeding them. I also found a

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whole new perspective on sales: Business to Business sales. Building long-term customer relationships and having bigger challenges and opportunities sounded exactly what I wanted from my future career. I congratulated myself, I had made the right choice. As I studied further my knowledge on sales and business grew. I learned the basics: financial administration, marketing and business law, besides a lot of sales theory. My knowledge was put to practice with different projects like telesales projects, business cases and the Best Seller Competition. Working on projects taught me important skills of a salesperson; problem solving, an innovative mindset, entrepreneurship, interpersonal skills and leadership skills. I need to admit that sometimes during my studies I was a bit concerned about my future. I was worrying about the commission based salary that is typical in a sales positions, the bad economic situation, my young age or when somebody made a comment that she would never want to be a salesperson. In those moments of worry I reminded myself that a career in sales is variable and challenging, where I can learn about human relations, behavior and assertiveness. Employment is also relatively good in the current economic situation. My interest in the field motivated me in my studies and I graduated six months early. After three years of practical studies and several internships, I am very happy that I chose sales education. Now I can turn to look for new sales opportunities. 1/2016


The role of coaching in sales Sini Jokiniemi PhD, Certified Business Coach

The Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI) is an international network formed in 2007 by both academics and practitioners involved in sales & sales management. Its aim is to unite the study and practice of sales & sales management around the globe. It brings together scholars and practitioners from across the world to further advance global collaboration in sales research, practice, and education. A selected part of the following paper was represented in the latest GSSI conference held in Birmingham, UK in June 2016. The product-to-service shift and related changes in business logic offer novel challenges and opportunities for businesses and sales organizations. Business-tobusiness salespeople are faced with increasing customer expectations and their skills, knowledge and interaction competences are emphasized when meeting with customers. This paper aims to offer a contemporary understanding of coaching particularly in sales research. The paper introduces an opportunity for a novel research stream within sales research by combining coaching and personal selling in the actual sales situation.

Introduction The product-to-service shift and the provision of service offers novel challenges and opportunities for businesses and sales organizations (Sheth and Sharma 2008; Vargo and Lusch 2004). The remaining business-tobusiness salespeople, who will not be replaced e.g. by websites and eCommerce solutions, meet elevated demands for their knowledge and skill levels when interacting and creating value with b-to-b customers, particularly Journal of Excellence in Sales

in face-to-face sales settings (MeunierFitzHugh 2011). In order to use the customer’s precious time in the most productive manner, salespersons need feedback and support for developing and upgrading their performance. Sales coaching is a form of organizational support, generally considered as an activity where the sales manager coaches his salespeople (Rich 1998). Sales coaching skills are widely considered as a competitive asset in sales organizations (O’Reilly 2015). Sales coaching may result in more positive attitudes in salespeople and positively influences their affective commitment to the organization, their intrinsic motivation and job satisfaction and decreases the felt role ambiguity (Onyemah 2009). In general, coaching improves employee and organizational performance (Ellinger et al. 2008; Good 1993). The widely recognized positive outputs of coaching suggest a fruitful form of interaction. However, sales force literature on coaching has received scarce research attention, lacking both theoretical and empirical investigations (Onyemah 2009; Pousa and Mathieu 2014). 1/2016

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Photo: Jobst Görne

The participants of GSSI 2016 conference on their way to dinner in Birmingham, UK in June.

One possible reason is that coaching is a broad and multifaceted term, “a complex human process” (Pousa and Mathieu 2014, 76) that does not easily lend itself for empirical examination (Rich 1998). Thus far only one integrative review has been conducted on coaching in sales research (Badrinarayanan et al. 2015). In comparison, executive coaching has been widely scrutinized e.g. in organizational studies (Onyemah 2009). In relation to actual business-to-business sales meetings between salespeople and customer representatives, coaching is a backoffice or indirect activity. Coaching activities do not directly involve the customer. The customer may be indirectly involved with coaching activities via the salesperson who has been coached e.g. by his sales manager. This paper aims to offer a contemporary understanding of coaching in the discipline of marketing, and particularly in sales research. Building on this ground, this paper

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introduces an opportunity for a novel research stream within sales research: scrutinizing, conceptualizing and exploring coaching as a B2B salesperson’s mindset and skillset when interacting with customers in sales meetings. In other words, directly involving customers with coaching. Based on the researcher’s search strategies, the combination of a salesperson adopting the mindset and skillset of a coach when interacting with a customer have not been previously discussed or scrutinized in the academic marketing literature. The paper begins with a literature review on coaching in marketing and sales research. The setting of the coaching situation and its participants are discussed, followed by a contemporary understanding of coaching in sales research and the sales manager as the focal actor enabling the goal achievement of sales personnel. The paper concludes by introducing a new research path by combining coaching and personal selling in the actual sales situation. 1/2016


A literature review Two electronic databases were used in search for the articles: ABI/Proquest and Business Source EBSCO. The name of the journal publication needed to contain the word market*. According to ABI database, there are nearly 3,000 scholarly journals and 241 of those journals include the search term market* in their publication titles. The Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management (JPSSM) was scrutinized as well although the word ’market’ is not included in the publication title. In addition, one search word – coach* – was applied within abstracts in scholarly journals with marketing in their journal titles. Besides JPSSM, 33 scholarly journals carrying the search term market* in their publication titles have published articles that mention coach* in the abstract. After first excluding duplicates and book reviews, 60 articles were left for closer examination. The articles meeting the eligibility criteria have been published in the year span of 1981 and 2015 – four in the 1980s, 11 in the 1990s, 22 in the 2000s and 23 in the 2010s. The pioneering article was published in Industrial Marketing Management in 1981 and the latest one in European Journal of Marketing in 2015. Sport Marketing Quarterly has published the highest number of articles (10), Industrial Marketing Management five, JPSSM six and European Journal of Marketing three articles. The remaining 29 journals have published one or two articles related to coaching. All the four articles that have appeared in JPSSM have been published during the 1990s. Articles related to coaching have not appeared in JPSSM since the turn of the century, although there has been a steady rise in the number of articles related to coaching in other journals. Related to the discipline of marketing, the studied articles offered various research Journal of Excellence in Sales

contexts, such as education, sports and health care as well as business-to-business marketing and sales organizations. The studied articles referred to several kinds of coach-coachee groups (one-to-many) and coach-coachee pairs (one-to-one) in business and other contexts. The most commonly mentioned one-to-many coaching situations were head coaches in sports who coached their student athletes and also sales managers who coached their own salespeople as coachees. Other examples of one-to-many settings within the same organization included marketing teachers and students, supervisors and service employees, teachers and their peers. Coachcoachee groups that involve participants from more than one organization included trainers and sales managers and trainers and sales personnel. The studied articles also pointed out several one-to-one coaching pairs. Face-toface meetings with a sales manager and a salesperson were highlighted; also supply chain partners in the roles of buyer and supplier were scrutinized as well as physicians and patients. The role of the coach was also appointed to a virtual avatar who acts as the service provider’s agent and coaches consumers with e-commerce activities. In addition, ICT-supported lifestyle interventions (e.g. eCoaching) offer a hybrid service design that incorporates both virtual and physical human interaction coupled with tele-coaching options.

The general understanding of coaching in sales research 28 out of the 60 studied articles discussed coaching related to either business-tobusiness or business-to-consumer sales settings. In general, coaching as a concept

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is used loosely and with no clear definitions. As Berry and Abrahamsen (1981, 207) put it: “the sales manager coaches, counsels, wheedles, cajoles his people”. In the 28 studied articles, the concept of coaching is often used interchangeably with mentoring, guiding, motivating, supervising, advicing, training and counseling (e.g. Berry and Abrahamsen 1981; Cadotte and MacGuire 2013; DelVecchio et al. 2004; Kemp et al. 2013). However, the aforementioned concepts are also offered as hierarchically categorized, e.g. counseling and coaching taking place within a mentoring processes (Fine and Pullins 1998). In addition, coaching is coupled with e.g. motivating and training as a related but independent concept (Shaw 2006).

Coaching as a concept is used loosely and with no clear definitions. In the studied articles, coaching is often mentioned interrelated with mentoring (Edwards, Chisholm, and Smith 2003). For example mentor coaching has been offered as a concept that supports the exchange of experiences, and giving and receiving peer support. To differentiate between the two concepts, knowledge sharing is underlined in mentoring that involves a senior-junior setting, whereas coaching is a process of support and guidance (Fine and Pullins 1998). When coaching is discussed in sales research, the sales manager is typically given the role of a coach and the salesperson is the coachee. Besides coaching, other managerial areas of responsibility for a sales manager include staffing, training, compensating and promoting employees (Bagozzi 2006). In modern times, coaching as a supervisory activity is emphasized as close control and evaluation give room for leadership and enabling (Good and Swift 1996). Sales managers are expected

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to transform from directive taskmasters with hard analytic skills into coaches who develop and motivate employees with their softer people skills (O’Reilly 2015). The roles of a communicator, motivator and coach are endowed for a sales manager (DeeterSchmeltz, Kennedy, and Goebel 2002) who ensures professional development of the sales force with career development planning, performance evaluation, and management coaching (Payne 1991).

Coaching is a day-to-day, hands-on process of providing employees with one-on-one guidance and support to improve their knowledge, skills and abilities. Coaching is a day-to-day, hands-on process of providing employees with one-on-one guidance and support to improve their knowledge, skills and abilities (Ellinger et al. 2008). Coaching is ongoing and informal with the goal of improving the salesperson’s performance (Shannahan et al. 2013) and a possibility for the manager to address specific performance problems (Pousa and Mathieu 2014). As a daily routine, coaching provides a source for learning (Ellinger et al. 2008) when the sales manager demonstrates how to improve one’s performance, offers salespeople opportunities to train their skills in simulated situations and gives versatile feedback (Edwards, Chisholm, and Smith 2003; Elmadag, Ellinger, and Franke 2008). When involved with sales coaching, the sales manager does not influence with authority but adopts a conversational style and looks for the solution together with the salesperson (Pousa and Mathieu 2014). It must be noted, however, that nobody can be coached without one’s 1/2016


own free will. Coachable salespeople have a proactive approach and are “...open to seeking, receiving, and using external resources to increase their sales performance in a personal selling context” (Shannahan et al. 2013, 41). Overall, the setting has to be favourable for coaching to work (Onyemah 2009). In a specific form of coaching, developmental coaching, skill and knowledge enhancement are in the focus of sales manager– salesperson interaction as a form of on-thejob training (Deeter-Schmeltz, Kennedy, and Goebel 2002; Good 1993). Developmental coaching comprises of two phases. The first phase focuses on the salesperson’s actual performance during a sales call with the sales manager present in the meeting (Good 1993). The second phase relates to a followup meeting with the sales manager and the salesperson, with the manager giving feedback and discussing methods of development with the salesperson based on the previous sales call performance. (Good 1993; Good and Swift 1996) The continuum and goal achievement of developmental coaching is supported by an improvement plan (Good 1993). Doyle and Roth (1992) use the term ‘Insight coaching’ for developmental coaching to underline the difference between a judging sales manager with a verdict and an encouraging mentor with forwarding questions.

Theoretical underpinnings of sales coaching research In 1998, Gregory Rich offered a seminal article on coaching for the community of sales researchers (Rich 1998). Although based on popular business press writings and practitioner views, the three core constructs offered in the article formed the basis for understanding sales coaching.

Journal of Excellence in Sales

According to Rich’s (1998) view, sales coaching is a multidimensional activity enabling salespeople to reach their maximum potential. When coaching salespeople, the sales manager is involved with encouraging salespeople by giving supervisory feedback on both the behavior during and outcomes of selling processes on a regular basis, offering a role model by setting a positive example and fostering trust and mutual respect with and amongst subordinates (Rich 1998). Communication, openness, quality of exchanges, experience and value added have later been accompanied with the original three constructs (Onyemah 2009; Pousa and Mathieu 2014). Onyemah (2009) has further scrutinized the nature of sales coaching by adopting insights from leader-member exchange theory (LMX). Based on the LMX theory, sales managers and salespeople’s behaviors and attitudes are affected by the types of their mutual exchange relationships. A recent addition to the theoretical discussions related to sales coaching is the perspective of interactionism. Interactionism offers the dynamics between stable personality traits and fleeting personality states coupled with situational variables: “individuals select environments that allow their personal characteristics to thrive” (Shannahan et al. 2013, 42).

The outputs of coaching Although coaching is a time consuming sales management activity (Good 1993), coaching yields considerable results. Coaching helps sales managers to motivate and build teams (O’Reilly 2015). Sales coaching also decreases opportunistic behavior such as manipulative tactics and high-pressure selling (Pousa and Mathieu 2014).

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Although coaching is a time consuming sales management activity, it yields considerable results. From the salesperson’s viewpoint, the intervening impact of coaching influences the salesperson’s performance and the resulting performance outputs, such as motivation (Berry and Abrahamsen 1981), internal drive and self-confidence as well as positive emotions and emotional health (Kemp et al. 2013), the perceived risk of failure (Good 1993), soft skills competence development (Good 1993; Shaw 2006), stronger customer relationships (Shaw 2006), appreciation, respect and job satisfaction (Elmadag, Ellinger, and Franke 2008), and sales performance and productivity (Schwepker and Good 2004; Shepherd and Ridnour 1995). Based on the view of Elmadag, Ellinger, and Franke (2008), in contrast to training and rewarding, coaching is an informal developmental intervention that is most effective in improving e.g. customer service quality. Coaching and related forms of supervisory activities aim at improving the salesperson’s performance and performance outputs as a part of the selling organization’s overall performance. The individual level performances – with coaching interventions – sum up as the whole organization’s performance. Sales organizations accepting the philosophy of coaching focus on both the outcomes and the process of selling (Good 1993). Managerial coaching positively impacts employees’ commitment to service quality and customer focus (Elmadag, Ellinger, and Franke 2008). With coaching efforts, employee satisfaction increases and staff retention decreases (Edwards, Chisholm, and Smith

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2003). When coaching is combined with the firm’s market orientation, it may create an inimitable competitive advantage (Ellinger et al. 2008).

Coaching as the novel integrator of the salesperson and the customer in a sales meeting Business-to-business selling processes are typically considered as dynamic, yet long-term undertakings unfolding over a long period of time. The selling process consists of several sales meetings and each of those short sales meetings can be considered consisting of a dynamic process of its own. In a parallel fashion, coaching is generally considered as a rather long-term interaction process consisting of several interaction moments and resulting in powerful outcomes. With such potential, can coaching be adopted by the salesperson to be applied when interacting with customers during a short sales meeting? As customers appreciate being challenged (Dixon and Adamson 2011), coaching involves the means “to open new and promising horizons” (Onyemah 2009, 938); to raise awareness, offer encouragement and empowerment (Pousa and Mathieu 2014); and to enable people to “move onwards and upwards” (Edwards, Chisholm, and Smith 2003, 170). International Coach Federation, ICF (www. coachfederation.org) defines coaching as follows: “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. Based on the ICF view, the coach is an enabler who is competent e.g. in the following core competences: establishes trust, listens actively, is open to not knowing, poses powerful questions,

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experiments with new opportunities and creates awareness. In other words, the coach encourages thinking as a cognitive process but does not guide the content of that thinking. In line with the modern sales manager who underlines what is possible and achievable instead of stating what is wrong or unsatisfactory. Skills, knowledge and interaction are the key competitive elements in the value-creating service economy with rising customer expectations and complex needs and solutions (Vargo and Lusch 2004). In these settings, there is a call for a coaching sales professional.

The coach encourages thinking as a cognitive process but does not guide the content of that thinking. In the logistics and transportation contexts, the coach is a charter – a form of surface transport – that moves travellers and tourists between places (Pearce and Sahli 2007). In a parallel fashion, can the salesperson coach and move a customer’s thinking into exploring unknown territories during a sales meeting? What are the actual ingredients of coaching that could be applied by the salesperson in a sales meeting with the customer and what are the philosophical and theoretical premises that coaching is founded on? These and other possibilities suggested in this paper offer several avenues for further research in this scholarly unexplored terrain.

Journal of Excellence in Sales

Key References: Badrinarayanan, Vishag, Andrea Dixon, Vicki Gail, and Gail Zank. 2015. “Professional Sales Coaching: An Integrative Review and Research Agenda.” European Journal of Marketing 49 (7/8): 1087–1113. Elmadag, Ayse, Alexander Ellinger, and George Franke. 2008. “Antecedents and Consequences of Frontline Service Employee Commitment to Service Quality.” Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 16 (2): 95–110. Onyemah, Vincent. 2009. “The Effects of Coaching on Salespeople’s Attitudes and Behaviors.” European Journal of Marketing 43 (7/8): 938–960. Pousa, Claudio and Anne Mathieu. 2014. “Boosting Customer Orientation through Coaching: A Canadian Study.” International Journal of Bank Marketing 32 (1): 60–81. Rich, Gregory A. 1998. “The Constructs of Sales Coaching: Supervisory Feedback, Role Modeling and Trust.” Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 18 (1): 53–63. Shannahan, Kirby L., Alan Bush, and Rachelle J. Shannahan. 2013. “Are Your Salespeople Coachable? How Salesperson Coachability, Trait Competitiveness, and Transformational Leadership Enhance Sales Performance.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 41 (1): 40–54.

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Towards next issue The next issue of Journal of Excellence in Sales will be published in May, 2017. For example the following issues will be covered: • Sales Engineering: The need and the solution • Main findings of the inaugural Sales Barometer of Southwest Finland • Interview with Best Seller 2017 and showcasing the competition • The annual Voice of Sales event • Highlights of the Sales Excellence Week in November 2016

Profile for Turun AMK, TUAS

Journal of Excellence in Sales, 1/2016  

Journal of Excellence in Sales, 1/2016  

Profile for turunamk