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Faculty Spotlight: Rob Hammond, Fresh Out of the DBA, Heads Up the Newly Created Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation

By Keith Morelli

Rob Hammond teaching

TAMPA (January 22, 2018) -- Few disciplines in business are undergoing a foundational change like marketing and sales, where tried-and-true approaches that for decades, even centuries, led to success are no longer effective. Now, new models are emerging, driven by rapid advances in technology. Practices that involve digital transformation and cloud services are changing the way marketing is practiced in the business world.

The Muma College of Business saw this trend and made adjustments in its curriculum, building on its strong foundation in marketing to create a strategic competency in sales. The first step: establish a new sales concentration and sales certificate for undergraduate students. Those options were added to the course catalog last semester and are now available for students.

All this places even more importance on knowing and engaging the customer and driving the need for innovation in marketing efforts, said Rob Hammond, newly hired director of the recently proposed Muma College of Business Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation.

The college didn't have to go far to find Hammond, who was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Muma College of Business DBA program. Graduating with a doctorate in December, Hammond has more than 30 years of marketing and sales experience with some iconic global companies.

He joined the Marketing Department in September. He teaches sales classes and serves as faculty advisor to the newly formed Professional Sales Club in addition to his directorship duties.

Hammond recently took time to answer some questions about the center and its mission:

Question: What is your vision for go-to-market education here at the Muma College of Business?

Hammond: Marketing and sales are more closely related today than ever. Companies are increasingly assigning targets and quotas to marketing roles and sales people are constantly challenged to find different ways to communicate compelling commercial insights to customers. In the C-suite, the merging of the chief marketing officer and chief sales officer into the chief revenue officer is an example of recognizing the importance of the customer experience and revenue. Learning how to alter a buyer's journey takes classroom and field education. And that requires students, faculty and business partners working alongside each other.

Question: How do these elements come together?

Hammond: There is amazing energy and pull for education coming from the student and business community. The Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation already has established a business partner structure involving students and outside business managers and owners. The center fosters connections and facilitates these interactions. Through the center's Innovation Lab, we will provide students and faculty a curriculum for hands-on learning, research and innovation. The lab is key in developing insights on customer behavior and enabling training for inside sales and field sales.

Question: Can you talk a little more about planned student competitions and the sales club?

Hammond: The go-to-market student competitions and Professional Sales Club are awesome examples of how business partners, the university and students come together to learn and develop skills. The Professional Sales Club got started last semester. The club is new so there are all sorts of opportunities for students to join and contribute. The club meets every other Monday and takes field trips and has speakers on many of the off weeks. Club President Zach Otto said the focus provides members with four key benefits: opening up opportunities to network with each other and outside companies, learning and applying sales skills, supporting the community by sharing learned sales skills and providing opportunities that showcase student leadership.

The go-to-market student competition is new as well. On April 5-6, the center will host a USF student marketing and sales competition called Selling with the Bulls Spring 2018. The event will feature three competition tracks. The first involves students pitching themselves to employers for an internship or full-time position, the second is a go-to-market team case presentation and the third is a sales conversation. The plan is to conduct competitions twice a year. One of the competitions will be open only to USF students and the other will be an invitational where students from other universities will compete. The competitions also offer opportunities for students to network with potential employers.

Question: Where can students or companies go to learn more about the Professional Sales Club, Selling with the Bulls Spring 2018 or the Center for Marketing and Sales Innovation?

Hammond: The Professional Sales Club posts information on Bulls Sync. Anyone interested in the go-to-market student competitions, becoming a business partner or the center may contact me via email at rwhammond@usf.edu

Question: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Hammond: Yes. I'd like to say thank you to everyone for their help and support. The students, faculty and staff of the Muma College of Business and the university are simply amazing. Everyone recognizes the need and opportunity before us. There is incredible energy here and a great willingness to lend a helping hand. I'm simply thrilled to be part of it.