Sales Professionals Network


The Sales Professionals Network is a space for those working in sales in the West to connect and build sales expertise, while informing future course development. It was established by  industry partnering with the West Regional Skills Forum in 2017. The SPN is a free “sector agnostic” sales network in the West Region which aims to build a coordinated approach to sales team talent development between industry and third level education and training providers. 

The Steering Group works together to understand what is the existing sales talent in the West region, to host business breakfast events for peer learning, and to promote “Sales as a Profession” by creating new training courses & standards. The members are a diverse group of companies from various sectors such as tech, hospitality, retail and other. 

The Sales Professionals Network Members  consists of sales professionals across the West who attend events and provide feedback which informs ongoing course development. Membership is free of charge  - if your company is in retail sales, e-commerce sales, inside sales, field Sales, channel/partner Sales, digital marketing, is an SME with a need to grow sales then this is the network for you!  

Steering Group Members

Sales Professionals West Steering Group Members

  • John McArdle VP Worldwide Sales, Channel Mechanics
  • Ruairi Conroy, VP Global Growth Markets, Siteminder
  • Darragh O' Connor, MHL Hotel Group
  • Ciara Deane, Sales Enablement Lead, Fenergo
  • Florence Higgins, Senior Sales Manager, EMEA, Smartbear
  • Renate Kohlman, Director, Renate Kohlmann Consulting
  • Maureen Kelly Hardiman, DXC Technology
  • Jamie Ralph, JR Consulting
  • Donal Murphy, Head of Sales and Marketing, Intuity
  • Ed Shiel, Director Service Sales, Avaya
  • Jonathan Levie, Professor of Regional Development & Entrepreneurship, NUI Galway
  • Siobhan Magner, Sales Apprenticeship Manager, MSLETB
  • Monica Nielsen, Marketing Lecturer, GMIT
  • Eithne Nic Dhonnchadha, Director, GRETB
  • Carl Blake, Galway Executive Skillnet
  • Dee Timoney, Network Manager, ITAG Skillnet  

If you are interested in joining the steering committee, or learning about upcoming events, please contact

Some exciting industry-tailored courses have been recently developed or refined by members of the Sales Professionals Network. 

Jamie from Jamie Ralph Consulting tells us why you should join this free networking group in the West of Ireland!

Hear from Catherine O' Grady Powers, owner of Glenkeen Farm, on how she pivoted her business during the pandemic, and why she's a member of the Regional Skills West Sales Professionals Network:

Darragh O' Connor, Sales Director for the MHL Hotel Group  tells us of his involvement with the Regional Skills West Sales Professionals Network, and how he maintained hospitality sales despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Events & Resources

The Future of Sales:  Free Business Breakfast 7 November 2019

The Sales Professionals Network, an initiative of the West Regional Skills Forum hosted a Business Breakfast on ‘The Future of Sales’ in the Maldron Hotel, Sandy Road Galway at 7.30am on Thursday 7th November 2019. 

 This event, in partnership with the Galway Chamber of Commerce was an exciting opportunity for sales professionals, and for businesses based in the West, to learn from those at the cutting edge of sales, globally and in Ireland.

For more information see link to presentation here. 

See  the event on youtube

Founder Sales Business Breakfast Brainstorm 

Held on 26 November 2019 in Portershed Galway. 

Facilitators: Jonathan Levie (NUI Galway), John McArdle (Channel Mechanics), Denise Rocks (West Regional Skills Forum) 

The aim of the event was:

    • To identify key skills needs for possible Founder Sales course module development 
    • To support peer learning between business founders and salespersons in the West Region 
    • To offer a networking opportunity for entrepreneurs of the West Region 
See Youtube video on The Two Most Important Rules of the Sales LifeCycle! 


 Content Creation to Maximise Sales During Turbulent Times

Thursday, 23 April 2020, 10am

3 West of Ireland based B2B and B2C companies on how to:

  • Create Content for Online Sales during challenging economic circumstances.
  • Be ready with the right content and a skilled team in place for when the market restarts.
  • Overcome obstacles in content creation for direct & indirect sales teams.

See Presentation Slides here:

Using 3D Digital Tools to Make Sales

Expert speaker Boyan Grigov takes the Sales Professionals Network members through a series of options to showcase products online. 

Sales Storming - Speaker presentations - July 2020

These sessions are not recorded as it's a safe space for companies to share issues they are facing. However each session has a key speaker, and the presentations can be found here:

July 8th 2020

Darragh O Connor, Director of Corporate Sales - Glenlo Abbey/Harbour Hotel

July 15th 2020

Noreen D'Arcy (D'Arcy PR & Marketing) & Fergal O' Connor (BuyMedia)

July 22nd 2020

Horkans Garden Centre & Essential Food Trails

July 29th 2020

Jamie Ralph Consulting slides

Marketing & Sales Strategy Alignment

NUI Galway and Galway Executive Skillnet partnered to bring this insightful webinar from guest lecturer Ruairi Conroy, VP Global Sales at Siteminder.

Along with extra guidance from John McArdle, VP Worldwide Sales at Channel Mechanics, and Chair of the Sales Professionals Network

Pitfalls to Avoid When Launching or Scaling an International Channel’ webinar: The full 1 hour recording is available to view directly here   

Or for faster or more selective viewing these individual clips cover the main topics:

  1. 5 Common Pitfalls When Launching Your Channel 6 minshere
  2. Where Established Vendors Scaling their Channel Come Unstuck 6 mins: here
  3. What A Solid Channel Strategy and Plan Look Like 6 mins: here
  4. The Skills and Profiles Needed to Build/Scale a Channel 6 mins: here 
  1. Top Tips for Building Your Channel Right, First Time 2 mins: here 

The MEDDIC Sales Process

 A great methodology to ensure we know the “Main Economic Buyer”. This can be anyone from a CEO to CFO in todays climate rather than a line of business owner, procurement team (who are rarely the main economic buyers – but they have to ensure their formal process is adhered to) or technical people (technical people usually only influence / recommend – unless the purchase can be made on a credit card they often don’t have such authority to make the final purchase). It’s just a framework – it may seem heavy but you can create your own templates / questions to drive conversations for each letter in MEDDPIC and ensure you have an answer for each. 

What-is-the-MEDDIC-sales-process.docx (size 299.3 KB)

Storytelling for Sales 

This intriguing workshop helps professionals to understand what a story is, how and when to use it to increase sales!

The course presentation can be found here:

Storytelling-for-Sales-Professionals-.pptx (size 1 MB)

Additional handouts from the course can be found below:

Storyfile---Blank-copy.xlsx (size 20.9 KB)

How-stories-help-excel-sheet.xlsx (size 10.7 KB)