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Gen-i, Waikato launch post-graduate sales training

A corporate version of apprenticeships is emerging as businesses look to fill skills gaps by partnering with the tertiary education sector.

ICT provider Gen-i set up its own internationally recognised Sales Academy as a way to alleviate an education skills gap and now it is partnering with the University of Waikato Management school to launchthe first Australasian post-grad sales training programme.

The media release below outlines the details of just how the corporate ICT provider Gen-i and the University are working together to provide what could be termed a “corporate form of apprenticeship”.


Gen-i and Waikato University launch first post-graduate sales training programme

. . . enhances Gen-i’s existing Sales Academy to drive excellence

in sales management . . .

Auckland, 20 October 2008 – Gen-i and the University of Waikato Management School have launched the first Australasian post-graduate sales training programme. Designed to elevate Gen-i’s client relationship skills to a new level of excellence, the new course complements Gen-i’s existing Sales Academy and strengthens Gen-i’s ability to create strong and sustained relationships with its clients.

Gen-i client managers and sales support people who graduate from Gen-i’s existing Sales Academy programme can now enrol in the new post-graduate Certificate in Management Studies jointly taught with the University to further develop their sales and client relationship skills. Gen-i’s Sales Academy talent development programme was recently recognised by the US-based Sales Executive Council (SEC) as one of the most effective programmes worldwide out of the hundreds evaluated by the SEC.

Chris Quin, Gen-i Australasia Chief Executive Officer, explained that the launch of the new programme was a huge endorsement of the quality of Gen-i’s existing Sales Academy and its success at building world-class sales people.

“Our client success is largely due to our approach to building strong and sustained partnerships, based on honesty, trust, relevance and leadership,” said Quin. “The Sales Academy has been pivotal in developing our sales and client relationship skills to new levels, and has been a great contributor to our efforts to recruit and retain the best in the business.”

“The new post-grad course builds on the Sales Academy to give our sales people further development and learning opportunities, and provides them with the tools to enhance their revenue generating capability.”

John Woodyard, Gen-i Sales and Service Academy Manager, says that Gen-i is committed to developing excellence in sales management, and that the training has delivered proven competitive advantage for Gen-i.

“The Sales Academy has been a trailer blazer in the ICT industry and has helped elevate our role to one of trusted partner with our clients,” said Woodyard. “The training across core competencies, followed by a rigorous graduation process, has legitimised sales as a professional skill that is critical to our business success. The recent SEC recognition provides further confirmation that our programme and our people are world-class.”

“We’re thrilled to able to combine the expertise of a leading tertiary provider like Waikato with our corporate experience. Our people can now develop their client relationship skills to an advanced level, while receiving a recognised qualification and getting a head-start on further postgraduate study, such as an MBA.”

"It's a win-win partnership for both organisations," says Dean of Waikato Management School Professor, Frank Scrimgeour. "The post-graduate certificate will give Gen-i access to cutting-edge researchers in the field of sales and marketing, and it's also an opportunity for Waikato Management School to incorporate aspects of an industry best-practice model into our research and teaching.”

The Waikato Management School is also the lead provider of a Management and Leadership Development Programme for the wider Telecom Group.

The new post-graduate sales programme start in early 2009 and is open to graduates from Gen-i’s Sales Academy. It consists of four modules on relationship management, strategic marketing, global marketing and ‘action learning’ where students apply their studies in their daily work. The 18-24 month programme is designed around Gen-i’s salespeople’s jobs, using case studies relevant to converged technology and telecommunications, and classes held at Gen-i’s offices.

Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies with a specialisation in Sales Management. The qualification can also serve as a pathway to further post-graduate study, including an MBA.

Gen-i established its internal Sales Academy in 2005. Over the last three years, 50 Gen-i client managers, out of an eligible 500, have graduated from the rigorous programme. Gen-i plans to extend the model to other parts of its business, with a Service Academy planned for the future.

Last month, Gen-i’s Sales Academy received endorsement from the US-based Sales Executive Council, a global association representing over 500 sales organisations and thousands of executives committed to stewarding sales and marketing practice.

Mary Detterick, Sales Executive Council Research Director, ranked Gen-i’s Sales Academy as world-leading. “The Sales Executive Council has assessed hundreds of sales development programmes. Of all these development programmes, we believe the Sales Academy developed at Gen-i and Telecom to be one of the most effective we have seen. We first recognised the Sales Academy in 2005, and have been greatly impressed by the programme’s continued development and success since then.”

In particular, the Sales Academy was singled out for aligning training with corporate goals and strategy; targeting role-specific skill gaps; sustained coaching; requiring demonstrated performance; and tying success metrics to business outcomes.


About Gen-i

Gen-i is at the forefront of helping customers take advantage of the convergence of technology and telecommunications, and the new opportunities this makes possible. Gen-i works alongside its 3,300 corporate, government and business customers to deliver seamless and integrated ICT solutions. A member of the Telecom New Zealand Group, Gen-i achieves this with the support of over 3,000 highly skilled people in 17 locations across New Zealand and Australia. For more information on Gen-i, visit

About the University of Waikato Management School

The University of Waikato Management School is ranked the number one research-led business school in New Zealand, and has been recognised as one of the world’s best business schools. The School’s business education programmes have been accredited by all three of the world’s leading quality assurance bodies - AACSB International, AMBA and EQUIS. Less than 1% of business schools globally have earned this “triple crown” distinction of excellence. The School has around 2,500 students, more than 100 faculty members, and offers qualifications at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level, as well as a suite of corporate and executive education programmes. See

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