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Emerging Sales Skills Post-Covid-19

Nicholas Crowe, Vice-President, Learning Solutions, Canadian Professional Sales Association

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many sales organizations to increase their adoption of virtual selling strategies and sales technology. The way salespeople are adding value to the buying process is shifting, and sales education needs to adjust at the same pace.

In this presentation, the CPSA will highlight some emerging trends in B2B sales and buying habits that can help educators adjust sales curricula to better prepare our students for success in the labour force.

This presentation will cover portions of the CPSA Professional Sales competency framework and share upcoming research to help educators guide curriculum updates.

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BREAKOUT SESSION: What I Learned Teaching 100+ Hours Online

Eric Janssen, Faculty @ Ivey School of Business, Western University

In making the move to teach online, I looked outside of academia for inspiration. I focused on the most engaging online / digital experiences that I could think of and took inspiration from YouTube creators, podcast hosts, online festivals and concerts as well as digital conferences. In this talk, I’ll share my major lessons learned from teaching 100+ hours of virtual classes to hundreds of students in my Sales Foundations course ( at The Ivey Business School.


I’ll provide a list of recommended tools, technology investments, and interactive activities that educators can use to entertain, engage, and educate their students – many of which are applicable in our eventual return to in-person teaching.



BREAKOUT SESSION: The Sales Lab Experiment

Rose Mastnak, Director Conestoga Entrepreneurship Collective

Michael Downing, Sales Lab Architect

What would happen if keen students applied to be a part of an experiment? What if they were high-performers, loved sales,wanted to make it a career? What if we coached them one-on-one, developed their individual skill sets and exposed them to sales industry mentors? What if industry were dying for candidates like these? We'll walk you through our Sales Lab Experiment and let you know how it's going!

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Preparing Students for the Future of Sales with Salesforce

Kevin Wedeen-Zittle,Trailblazer Connect, Salesforce

Grant Glaser, Global Director of Enablement Strategy & Innovation, Salesforce.

Join us to learn about how you can prepare your students for sales careers using Salesforce, the world's top CRM. We'll explore the Salesforce ecosystem and pre-built curriculum that you can use in your classroom for free to give your students hands-on experience they'll need. We'll also discover how enablers focus their efforts when creating content for the field, tips for learning & engaging in a digital-first world, and the power of creating & launching a standardized Global Sales Methodology.

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LUNCH AND LEARN: Bridging the Experience Gap

Amanda Bauman,Director, Trailblazer Connect, Salesforce

Join Salesforce’s Amanda Bauman and employers from the Salesforce ecosystem for a panel discussion on what employers look for in early career seekers and recent graduates. Learn about employer expectations to help you close the skills gap for students entering the workforce.

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Improv for Sales

Gada Jane, Improv Trainer and Intuitive

Improv is a kind of theatre in which the players make up a scene as they go.  Improv is fun and fast, but it’s not just about being funny or getting attention. It’s about making and accepting offers, listening to both your instincts and to other people, and learning to relax even when you are put on the spot. In this session, improv trainer Gada Jane will demonstrate how improv exercises can help teach sales students to listen, respond to new information quickly, and be more natural in presentation and conversation. She will take the group through a series of playful exercises that get people out of their heads and out of their comfort zones, while building skills and confidence in the process. 

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BREAKOUT SESSION: Agile Sales - B2B Customers Expect It!

Sanjay Dhebar, Faculty @ Schulich School of Business,York University

Co-founder @ Leonnova Inc.

The B2B buying landscape is increasingly reflecting the 24/7 consumer world. Customers expect speed and accuracy as well as digital and in-person touch points. While this ongoing trend has already forced B2B companies to rethink their sales model, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to accelerate this. Sales situations change dramatically, requiring rapid customer responsiveness, while both sellers and buyers get accustomed to remote and digital interactions. 

In response to changing buying preferences, sales organizations have started moving to become more agile. Misunderstandings about what agile is, however, persist. “Agile” does not just mean putting in place iterative, test-and-learn working practices. It means putting in place a new operating model, built around the customer and supported by the right processes and governance. 

Underpinning and enabling the dynamic, fast pace of agile sales teams are the stable practices that provide the structure within which agile teams can operate quickly and effectively. This is the difference between acting agile and being agile—having an operating model that provides stability while allowing sales teams to pursue growth opportunities. 


Key Takeaways: 

  • Common aspiration across the sales organization 

  • Network of empowered sales teams (supported by digital capabilities) 

  • Rapid decisions and dynamic pipeline management 

  • Dynamic people support to foster customer- centric sales capabilities 

  • Next-generation-enabling technology 


Tool: Sales Assessment to match your profile with your typical customers profiles 

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BREAKOUT SESSION: How the Pandemic Impacted Professional Sales in Multiple Industries

Nicole Rourke, Professor, St. Clair College and Author of 7CE ABCs of Relationship Selling

Meghan Clark, Director of Sales Support Planning and Engagement,

McGraw Hill Canada

Nicole Rourke, Professor, St.Clair College teaches Multi-Media Sales Presentations also the author of the 7CE ABCs of Relationship Selling, will discuss how the pandemic impacted 5 different industries with major emphasis on professional selling.  Rourke will discuss interviews she conducted with different professionals in sales and how COVID-19 impacted their day-to-day and long term forecast for their industry. From professional sports, small retail clothing stores, restaurants to the higher education publishing industry, Rourke will provide Sales educators with a variety of examples from her research of how sales professionals responded effectively during this tumultuous time in our history.

Sales professionals from McGraw Hill Canada will present as well and will also discuss how the pandemic dramatically changed higher education and how the publishers had to support frantic faculty while they pivoted to online learning.  Sales professionals will discuss how digital learning tools have improved the online learning environment and emphasized the importance of the sales support team for the higher education publishing world.

Key Takeaway: Resource References/Lesson Plans – Rourke will present 5 business case scenarios she published in 2021 as COVID Supplemental resources for the 7CE The ABC’s of Relationship Selling.  Sharing these business case scenarios and discussing the changes impacting organizations, sales educators will take away how creativity, innovation, resilience and technology have assisted organizations in their response to the pandemic.  Rourke will also present how online digital tools, like Connect Application Based Activities such as ‘Where’s the Toilet Paper?’ assisted marketing and sales educators in their online learning environment.


How Simulation Based Learning is Transforming Education

Imran Mouna, Co-founder, InStage

Chris Dudley, Director of Entrepreneurship, Seneca College

During this session, InStage will show a live simulation and discuss how this technology is being used at post secondary institutions across Canada including; University of British Columbia, Queen’s University, Seneca College, Humber College, and Fanshawe College to give students an opportunity to build confidence and practice for everything from a job interview, to a business presentation, and more.

We will explain how InStage turns Zoom meetings into immersive simulations so students can practice for these opportunities with a diverse cast of characters that makes it feel like they’re talking to real people. Afterwards students immediately receive personalized metrics on their rate of speech, volume, and use of filler words.  This allows students to learn from their mistakes, track their progress, make improvements, and try again. 


Best Practice Jam Session

Rebecca Wakelin, Educational Developer, Algonquin College

Patrick Charlton, Professor and Coordinator, Algonquin College

Teaching sales is not for everyone and demands creative methods to earn your student’s attention, engagement and buy-in to this important topic. Add in a global pandemic to the mix and overnight switch to virtual teaching channels, has made this year exceptionally more challenging than ever! Bring your best practice “tool kits” and get ready to hear from your peers on trade secrets for teaching sales content effectively online (remote) and/or (eventually) in person! This will be a fun and interactive session where you will be able to take away valuable insights and ideas to keep your students engaged while meeting their learning requirements. You will have a chance to mingle and meet with your fellow participants too!

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Ready, Set, Pivot

David Meyer, Instructor, Fastenal School of Business

This session will show an inside look at how the Fastenal School of Business adapted and shifted in order to help Fastenal Company train its sales force through the pandemic… and beyond.


Fastenal School of Business (FSB) is the corporate training and development arm of Fastenal, an international distributor of industrial supplies with over 20,00 employees worldwide. FSB designs and delivers training for all levels of employees in all parts of the company. FSB offers training in sales, product education, leadership and business operations. As a sales organization, a strong emphasis of the school of business is to grow the skills and effectiveness of our sales force.

Experts Panel



Checking in with industry and students on key issues in sales today and in the future.