About The Thought Leadership on the Sales Profession Conference

People often ask us why we created the Thought Leadership on the Sales Profession Conference and what makes it special. The Thought Leadership on the Sales Profession Conference was born out of our desire to create a forum for leading academics and senior business leaders to discuss ideas and emerging trends in the sales profession. Prior to the conference’s inception, we had been to a lot of conferences that either did a great job of bringing sales researchers together or bringing sales leaders together, but none that effectively brought both groups together.

Since day one, the conference has attracted a diverse group of senior business leaders from a wide range of industries as well as the top sales researchers in the world. The intimate nature of the conference provides the ideal environment for meaningful interactions amongst this distinguished group of attendees.

Given the emphasis on encouraging meaningful discussion amongst leading academics and practitioners, we have structured the programing for the conference to maximize opportunities for impactful ideas to be both shared and critically discussed amongst the conference’s participants. Unlike many conferences that feature the presentation of research from academia, at our conference researchers present their work through TED-style talks with mixed panels of subject matter experts from both academia and practice discussing a presentation’s contents and its broader implications after each presentation.

The conference features some of the most renowned leaders in industry and academia as keynote speakers, along with plenary panels featuring top sales executives discussing in depth issues of critical importance to the evolving sales organization through the distinct perspectives that their respective positions afford them. Since its inception, the conference has been held every few years at some of the top business schools in the world. Previous hosts have included Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, HEC Paris, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and UVA Darden School of Business. This time, we are excited to have the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management as our host.

In sum, this event is truly one-of-a-kind. Nowhere else will you find more prominent figures from both academia and practice coming together in one room with the singular goal to advance the methods and processes through which sales forces operate.


Mike Ahearne


C.T. Bauer Professor of Marketing Research Director

Sales Excellence Institute
University of Houston,
CT Bauer College of Business


Tom Steenburgh


Ralph Owen Dean and Professor of Marketing

Vanderbilt University,
Owen Graduate School of Management