UA Little Rock professors chair national conference on global sales

Dr. Lenita Davis teaches a marketing class in the UA Little Rock College of Business.

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock professor has led an international conference on global sales that is raising the profile of the university’s professional sales program. 

Dr. Lenita Davis, director of the UA Little Rock Professional Sales Program, served as co-chair of the 13th Annual Global Sales Science Institute Conference, which took place June 5-8 in Panama City, Panama. The conference brought together academics, students, and professionals involved in the research, teaching, and best practice of professional business to business sales and sales management around the globe. 

“This was the largest conference the organization has ever had and the first conference ever held in Latin America,” Davis said. “Panama connects both sides of the globe, and it is the hub of business and marketing and sales in Latin America. There were wonderful opportunities to connect with the culture and business community in Latin America at this conference.”

The conference, which Davis co-chaired with Dr. Pia Hautamaki of Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland, gave educators an opportunity to collaborate with universities from across the world. 

“I got a lot of great ideas from people from all over the world that I can bring into the classroom that will help our UA Little Rock students,” she said. “I partnered with a university in Finland to chair this conference and got amazing ideas on how they run their sales program. Another school in Ohio, for example, sends students abroad to become mentors to other sales students. Making those connections and learning about these opportunities helps students so much with their education and helping them to become mature business professionals. Some of the conference speakers have decided to stop in Little Rock in the upcoming year to meet our students.”

This year’s conference theme, “Sales Ecosystems – Defining and Exploring how Various Levels of Connection and Interaction Affect the Selling Process,” was well received by conference goers and sparked an invitation to edit a special edition of a business and marketing journal. 

“Sales ecosystems have major implications for global sales,” Davis said. “When you connect with someone today, you aren’t just connecting with a single person. You are connecting with their whole network. Technology has disrupted and changed almost every aspect of the interactions and connections that occur in the sales process. The theory and research concerning ecosystems, the interactions and connections that occur between networks, is necessary given the trends and relevant issues that exist in global sales and logistics.”

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