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  • Examine what holds organisations back from delivering the results they really need to drive growth in their business
  • Examine strong baseline information including financial performance, market and competitor dynamics, customer needs and organisational assessments
  • Analyse the changing strategic demands on the sales and business development function in order to bridge the gap between strategy and execution
  • Evaluate performance and benchmark versus latest global perspectives
  • Develop a more sophisticated understanding of leadership, its associated challenges, and an appreciation for a range of tangible leadership practices to use in professional and personal contexts
  • Understand leadership as a ‘craft’ activity, emphasising the importance of experience, engagement, intuition, and emotional awareness
  • Acquire a range of practical coaching skills that form a crucial part of a good leader’s armoury
  • Investigate how firms must develop differentiated products and services, based on sound customer insights and enhance their capability to effectively implement their strategy
  • Present a compelling approach that allows suppliers to demonstrate and document superior value compared to the next best alternative from the customer’s perspective
  • Examine the differences between selling approaches and understanding proactive customer and client development
  • Consider buyer seller relationships in terms of how to identify win-win solutions with potential and existing clients
  • Understand what areas of sales process development are necessary to improve deal movement and selling skills
  • Acquire value-creating negotiation strategies and practice their application
  • Create an effective organisation that is focused, flexible and operates at pace
  • Develop appropriate processes, systems, and a culture of delivery
  • Diagnose root causes driving the lack of performance in achieving business goals
  • Position the sales/business development function within the organisation’s overall sales and marketing strategy
  • Address the components required for designing and managing a highly effective sales/business development team
  • Develop a robust understanding of why talent development is a key driver of profitable growth
  • Utilise targeted development and succession planning techniques
  • Learn the necessary skills to manage high-potential sales leaders, capitalising on high performance to achieve crucial business goals

Meet the Faculty

Our dedicated team of faculty are widely recognised as skilled educators, ground-breaking researchers and accomplished authors. Through publishing, consulting and teaching they leverage their business expertise and field-based research to deliver programmes, encourage participants to develop new ways of thinking, widen their perspectives and to understand their own challenges and capabilities.

The faculty present topics in a range of engaging methods such as ‘action learning’ projects, case studies, role plays, individual assessment and one-on- one coaching, so as to deliver a unique and lasting learning experience.

Margaret Berry is a strategic thinking and commercially minded business development lecturer and independent business consultant. She designs and
delivers modules at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School delivering workshops and modules in executive education and other postgraduate
programmes in subjects such as competitive strategy, maximum performance impact and key account management. Prior to working as an independent business consultant and lecturer, Margaret held a number of strategic and commercial positions responsible for managing & implementing effective B2B account strategy regionally and globally with blue-chip FMCG companies ensuring best practice account management, consistent sales growth and margin opportunities. Margaret is the Programme Director for the Diploma in High Performance Sales and Business Development.


Dr Gearóid Hardy

Gearoid is accustomed to asking the challenging and often unpopular questions that draw business leaders and teams out of their comfort zones. He continually prompts them to reassess the situation, which leads them to new found clarity from within. In today’s fast-paced world, managers rarely have time to look at the big picture, tweak it for the best results and move towards a more efficient way of working.

Gearóid has earned his business colours over more than 35 years. He has worked with many global organisation and executive management teams to help them rethink their strategies and develop resilient, energetic businesses. He has helped clients succeed in Ireland, the UK, the US, Poland, Holland, Bahrain, Jordan and Hong Kong.

Gearóid is particularly experienced in advising on and implementing lean and agile business principles for performance improvement. These help increase competitiveness by improving process efficiency, reducing operational waste and creating value.

Dr Andrew Keating is an Associate Professor in marketing at the UCD Smurfit School of Business. Andrew earned his PhD in 2008 from UCD and also holds an MBS in Marketing, a DBS in Business, and a BA. His research interests at present are in the areas of the intersection between entrepreneurship (venture creation and development) and marketing, the internationalisation of new ventures, as well as exploring consumers and austerity. His research has appeared in leading academic journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (FT 50 Journal), Industrial Marketing Management, Consumption Markets and Culture, and the Journal of Consumer Behaviour. He is the academic director for the UCD CEMS MSc in International Management and lectures in the area of consumer marketing and marketing and innovation. Andrew has also been involved in delivering executive education across many of the school’s executive education programmes including for the likes of Alltech, Enterprise Ireland, Google, InterTrade Ireland, and Bord Bia.

Stephen Boyle

Stephen Boyle is a negotiation trainer, lecturer and consultant. He teaches at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, where he delivers courses in negotiation, influence and decision making on executive development, MBA, and other postgraduate degree programmes. Stephen also designs and delivers customised executive development for corporate clients and has delivered workshops in Europe, Asia and the United States in sectors as diverse as automotive, construction, financial services, food and agribusiness, government, healthcare, law enforcement, pharmaceuticals, retail and technology. Prior to embarking on an independent training and consulting career 19 years ago, Stephen held roles in management consulting, and in communication and change management at a Fortune 500 company.



Dr. Alessandro Laureani 


Alessandro has been an Operational Excellence leader in the services and tech industry for over 20 years, leading business transformation programs, particularly in the areas of Process Improvement, Customer Experience and Product Operations. 

Currently a Global Operations Leader at Microsoft, where he is responsible for the Billing processes within the Microsoft Business Operation, he previously spent 10 years at Google, in a variety of roles from Google Advertising Operations to Ads Customer Solution and finally Google Cloud, where he was Director of Business Development. He also previously held leadership roles in KBC Bank and Hertz Corporation. 

Alessandro earned a bachelor degree in Statistic from University of Rome “La Sapienza”, the Executive MBA in the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, and a PhD in Engineering Management at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 

He has published in a number of peer reviewed internationally recognised journals on the topics of Leadership and Operational Excellence and has previously lectured at the DCU Business School and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland on the topic of Operations Management. 

Alessandro also serves on the Quality Management Standards Committee of the National Standards Authority of Ireland.


Colm Murphy has a wealth of experience in all aspects of coaching. He is a successful executive and team coach whose area of expertise is in taking a psychological approach with leaders and their teams to achieve meaningful behavioural changes that drive business results. Colm set up his own coaching business in June 2008, following ten years in senior global Learning and Development roles. He helps leaders and teams improve their performance by raising their awareness of their attitudes, assumptions and behaviours and the impact these have on their effectiveness.

Colm has extensive coaching experience in large multinationals and in the public sector. His coaching ranges from preparing individual contributors for management roles to helping leaders widen their impact on their organizations. He is also an experienced team coach for senior leadership teams around the areas of team performance and effectiveness.

Colm is currently completing his Doctorate on “How does team coaching contribute to team effectiveness?”.

He has co-authored a chapter on Team Effectiveness for The Practitioner’s

Handbook of Team Coaching published by Routledge (2018).

Colm is an accredited member of the International Coach Federation.  He holds the following qualifications:

  • Diploma in Systemic Team Coaching, Academy of Executive Coaching, 2014
  • Postgraduate Diploma in the Psychology of Executive Coaching, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, 2010
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Executive Coaching, Dublin Institute of Technology, 2006
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Training & Performance Management, University of Leicester, 2006
  • Masters in Accounting, University College Dublin, 1993

Colm is Programme Director of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s Diploma in Team Coaching, and has taught on the Diploma in Business and Executive Coaching since 2010. He also contributes to the UCD Smurfit Diploma in Organisational Change and Transformation, and on the Leading for High Impact and Results Programme.

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