An intercultural, immersive learning experience
ESCP Sales 4.0 Master students visit Houston as part of spring study trip

How do we incorporate AI into sales processes? How do we motivate salespeople to fully embrace tech tools? What time are we going to the NASA Space Center? Do I need a cowboy hat for the rodeo? Let’s keep in touch? These are just a fraction of the rich conversations students had during the SALES 4.0 | Master in International Sales Management’s recent study trip to Houston.

First-year master students spent a week of their spring term at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston (UH) as a mandatory part of the curriculum. In the course “Digitising the Sales Process”, they explored the ever-evolving landscape of salesforce management in an era of digitalisation and AI.

A diverse learning experience: the future of salesforce management

The week was immersive and jam-packed! The module, led by UH Professor Johannes Habel, kicked off on campus with engaging sessions on the concept of prospecting in the digital age, with an emphasis on practice and real-world applications. It was followed by another lecture on tech sales and customer success management.

An inspiring highlight of the trip arrived on a visit to the headquarters of Insperity, a company that provides innovative human resources solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. The topic of the afternoon naturally centered around Insperity’s take on sales automation and digitisation, but there were also broader, challenging discussions on AI, sales training, technology mindsets, and what the future holds for sales.


The warm welcome and openness of Insperity was noted by the students. “Having a company visit like that with such good speakers, so much interaction and an open round of discussion was very interesting and I thought it was a great insight to see how they operate and how they deal with all the technological changes,” said Chiara Zeh, a Sales 4.0 Master student.

Throughout the week, Professor Habel, guest speakers, and the group of students continued to dive deep into sales processes, such as the different types of sales analytics and how to effectively use a CRM. Students enjoyed a peek into an American university atmosphere as well.

What will truly stick with me from Prof. Habel's lectures is his extensive experience in sales, which he effectively integrated into every lesson. He consistently encouraged us to practice our skills and underscored the importance of gaining confidence through hands-on experience.

Lavinia Ricciardelli
ESCP Sales 4.0 Master student
Fun and games in Texas

The agenda balanced studies with some non-academic activities that allowed students to get to know Houston. The students got a vibrant taste of Texas culture at the famous Houston Rodeo for some square dancing, music, bull rides, BBQ and tasty carnival treats, and more. They also spent a day at the NASA Space Center learning about American space exploration.

The ESCP students also joined in on some sporty activities to make the most of the Texan enthusiasm for sports. Some students went to a Houston Rockets basketball game, and the entire group, professors and UH students included, played golf at TopGolf Houston-Weber. “I loved the TopGolf experience! We all played together as a class. The ones that needed help playing golf for the first time were taught by fellow students, and we just enjoyed the time there so much together,” said Chiara Zeh.

Strengthening friendships and making lasting connections

As memorable as all the activities were, the remark that kept coming up over and over again was the positive and cohesive environment, and how such a unique trip —traveling, learning and being immersed in a different culture together— allowed the students to grow closer and strengthen bonds with each other. “Traveling in groups really enhances the student experience as well as personal growth,” shared Charlotte Hillig, Director of Programmes and Student Experience, who joined the students in Houston.

The ESCP group also had plenty of chances to meet UH students and exchange with them both in and outside the classroom. “The fact that we could meet American students was really interesting,” said Alice Bora, ESCP student.

Overall, students agreed that it was worth it to make this big trip, for academic, professional, and personal reasons.

I can say with confidence that this trip was transformative. It has not only enhanced my skills and broadened my perspectives but has also left me with invaluable knowledge and connections that I will cherish throughout my career.

Lavinia Ricciardelli
ESCP Sales 4.0 Master student

About the SALES 4.0 | MSc in International Sales Management