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Boyer's innovative method for teaching global sales skills wins national award

Already the recipient of nearly two dozen awards, Associate Professor of Marketing Stefanie Boyer, Ph.D., will receive the prestigious 2017 AMA Sales SIG Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Marketing Association on Aug. 5, in San Francisco.

Of her decision to apply for the award – a competition open to thousands of marketing professionals – Boyer said, “I thought [winning] was a shot in the dark, but if I don’t try, then the answer is definitely ‘no,’” just as in sales.

"Business is global… we have to understand how to communicate with different people in different cultures."

In April, judges at the National Conference of Sales Management in St. Louis, MO, awarded first place for teaching and innovation to “Developing Tomorrow’s Global Sales Leaders: Adapting to Cultural Differences in Role Plays,” created – and demonstrated – by Boyer and Michael Rodriguez, Ph.D., of SKEMA Business School at North Carolina State University.

“Business is global… we have to understand how to communicate with different people in different cultures,” said Boyer. Incorporating the cultural dimensions theory (developed by Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social psychologist and professor emeritus) and using free online resources, their replicable presentation was unique in addressing global perspectives in selling.

“In the United States, for example, the sales process focuses on identifying the customers’ needs; in France, you have to spend … more time … on building rapport,” she said. “It’s not only about us Americans… there’s a whole world with us.”

The award – as well as recognition from Forbes in 2016 and The Wall Street Journal in 2015 – showcase Bryant's innovative teaching approaches and spotlight the University, says Boyer. Attributing her success to the collective contributions of Bryant faculty and her colleagues in sales, she said, “I’ve put what I’ve learned into a format that makes sense at Bryant.”

Boyer has brought to Bryant the Northeast Intercollegiate Sales Competition (NISC) and social media and elevator pitch competitions, which engage experienced sales and marketing professionals with students on- and off-campus.