Professor Deva Rangarajan among the winners at the 2012 IBM Faculty Awards

Vlerick’s sales and marketing expert Deva Rangarajan was recently granted a 2012 IBM Faculty Award in the expertise domain of Sales and Marketing for his work on sales especially focusing on solution selling. This sales technique focuses on offering solutions rather than highlighting the product features.

This global IBM competition recognizes the quality of Deva’s research and its importance to the industry. His research proposal “Changing Business Models Amongst Buyers and the Impact it has on the Selling Process of the Selling Organisation was selected out of numerous competing entrees worldwide by the IBM evaluation panel in the US.

The IBM Faculty Awards selection procedure is highly competitive. Local IBM liaisons nominate multiple participants to this competition. Winning submissions are selected by the US panel on a global scale.

The $25,000 grant enables Deva to conduct his research which analyses the characteristics of successful salespeople selling complex products or projects, and on how to manage these people. When completed the study will offer insights in how solution sales affects customers business models. This enables salespeople to anticipate in the sales process of customised solutions and helps customers prepare for the changes ahead. “Solutions sales is not dead, it has only shifted to an approach in which successful salespeople tend to be more customer-oriented by understanding the impact of their solution offerings on the customer’s business model”, Deva states convincingly.

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