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Page updated 30.1.2023

The research group in Sales and B2B Business studies sales competences and sales and buying experiences

A new research group has been established at Turku UAS: Sales and B2B Business. The focus areas of the research group are sales and negotiation competences, business development and digital sales and buying experiences.

Sales is omnipresent. It is interaction, which entails discussion about “exchanges” and produces value, as defined by the leader of the new Sales and B2B Business research group, Principal Lecturer Timo Holopainen.
–Sales has changed a lot and also been shaped by digitalization. Instead of pushing and hard selling, sales is about seeking solutions and producing value, Timo Holopainen says. 

The focus areas of the research group

–The three cores of the research group in Sales and B2B Business are sales and negotiation competences, business development and digital sales and buying experiences. 
More specifically, the research and development activities are targeted at developing the interaction and negotiation competences in the sales and buying process, the development of the profitability of B2B companies, the research and development of innovations which develop the business of companies in both contact and remote interaction situations.
The Customer Behaviour Lab , which was opened in early 2022, works as a test and operating environment of the research group. The devices at the lab which measure eye movement, facial expressions and conductivity of the skin can help solve different questions related to choices in sales and marketing situations, buying behaviour and the usability of products and services.
–Digitalization will change sales and business a great deal. This entails e.g., AI and big data.
–Digitalization and online sales do not remove the need for face-to-face sales competence. Both are required. A researcher has used the term “omni-channel-sales”, which means that both ways need to be mastered.

Sales are general and special

Sales are at the same time something general but also field-specific. Holopainen’s own special competence is related to sales in the technical fields and training engineers in sales competence. He also has international positions of trust related to this. In summer 2022, Timo Holopainen was appointed the chairperson of the international Academic Association of Sales Engineering (AASE) . AASE aims at developing sales engineering education and quality assurance. 
Another important issue for the leader of the new research group is the sales competition in the degree programme in sales competence. In it, students’ sales skills are evaluated in a simulated B2B sales situation. The sales competition concept has been developed and distributed to different countries as a part of development projects which will be continued also in the research group in Sales and B2B.