Craig Wortmann is the Founder and Academic Director of the Kellogg Sales Institute (KSI). The Institute helps leaders of all types develop the skills and disciplines they need to speak their preferred futures into existence. The KSI believes that all human achievements begin as good ideas, sold to the people they serve. Thus, the KSI helps people turn their ideas into new futures for their companies and customers by activating the habits of high-impact salespeople so that they can make progress in their lives.
Craig is a Clinical Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI). His teaching covers a wide range of topics based on his experiences as a professional salesperson, CEO, founder, entrepreneur and investor. In all of his teaching, Craig attempts to create immersive experiences that help people develop into magnetic leaders who drive predictably consistent high growth, for themselves and their organizations. Craig joined Kellogg in 2017.
Craig's teaching topics include:
Craig currently teaches four MBA and Executive MBA courses that he designed and built during his tenure at Chicago Booth and Kellogg, all of which are among the most in-demand courses at each school, requiring faculty to be brought in to teach additional sections. He also designed and built three MOOCs, "Massive Open Online Courses," that have reached tens of thousands of students, and continue to grow worldwide. Craig's courses include:
Entrepreneurial Selling (MBA) - This 10-week course helps entrepreneurs survive and thrive in the "wonderful chaos" from time-zero to break even by acquiring their first critical customers.
Selling Yourself & Your Ideas (MBA) - This 10-week course helps students develop a "situational awareness" of the communication skills and disciplines they need to show up, stand out and break through in every room they enter. SY&YI has now been turned into an Executive MBA course.
Phase 0 (Executive MBA) - This 4.5-day sprint course demystifies the fuzzy front end of starting businesses. Craig and his teaching partner, Professor David Schonthal, guide their students through an intense journey where they design and launch a business in one week.
Entrepreneurial Selling: Own Your Business (Executive MBA) - This 2.5-day course helps leaders scale themselves and their businesses by developing the knowledge, skill, discipline and habits of elite performers. Craig and his teaching partner, Professor Andrew Sykes, take their students on a deep-dive journey, helping them to get good at getting great.
Art of Sales (online Coursera course) - Upon Craig's move to Kellogg, this course was ramped down in favor of his new Kellogg online courses. Within a year, this MOOC, "Massive Open Online Course," enrolled 40,000-plus students with one of the highest ratings in the Coursera catalog to date.
Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process (online Coursera specialization) - Over three months in the Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process, participants learn how to segment customers, prospect, engage customers in conversation and move them through the sales process, then close the deal. Along the way, learners build a customized and powerful sales toolkit such that they always have the right tool for the right challenge.
Mastering Sales: A Toolkit for Success (online Emeritus course) - Craig and his Kellogg team recently launched a powerful online course that is rapidly gaining momentum. Mastering Sales: A Toolkit for Success debuted at the end of 2019, and is a 10-week, certificate-earning online course facilitated by program leaders trained by Craig. Throughout the online experience, participants build a 32-Tool Sales Toolkit to tackle any challenge they face. This is the most highly rated course on the Emeritus platform.
In 2016, Craig was clinical professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He designed, developed and taught the award-winning course Entrepreneurial Selling, recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 10 courses in the U.S. He also taught one of the core entrepreneurship courses, Building the New Venture, and developed Chicago Booth's Building Leadership Capital course, a four-day, in-depth executive leadership course for senior executives. Craig joined the Booth faculty in 2008.
Awards & Recognition Craig is an award-winning professor and course designer, having won multiple teaching awards at two of the top 10 business schools in the world; Chicago Booth and Kellogg.
In 2008, Craig's Entrepreneurial Selling MBA course was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 10 courses in the United States. In 2012, he was awarded the Faculty Excellence Award given by the Chicago Booth students to the one professor who had the greatest positive impact on them. For two consecutive years, in 2018 and again in 2019, Craig was awarded the Outstanding Professor Award given by Kellogg's Executive MBA students. In 2019, Craig was named one of Crain's Chicago Business' "Tech 50." In 2019, Craig received the Chicago Innovation "50 on Fire" Civic and Education Award. And for 2019-2020, Craig was awarded the Sidney J. Levy award for teaching excellence.
CEO/Entrepreneur Craig has been a salesperson and entrepreneur for more than 25 years. From IBM Corporation as the No. 2 performer in his year-long classical-style sales training class, to a Dean Witter company covering three-quarters of the country selling to large retailers, Craig is an expert in all things sales. After earning his MBA from Kellogg in 1995, Craig joined the Forum Corporation and quickly became the firm's new product launch and client recovery specialist.
Craig is a three-time entrepreneur and CEO. In 2000, Craig was recruited to be the CEO for startup WisdomTools, which he sold to a larger firm in 2008. Then venture backers behind the interactive marketing and web strategy firm ClearGauge sought Craig to become CEO while running his Sales Engine firm. Craig executed a turnaround by building a sales engine, cutting significant costs and developing a new web presence. ClearGauge was then acquired by a larger agency.
Author Craig is the author of What's Your Story?, Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful. His book helps leaders and sales professionals use stories to connect, engage and inspire. In his book, Craig developed a tool called the Story Matrix, designed to help people capture, distill and tell the right story at the right time. The Story Matrix, is now an app available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Investor Craig is an operating partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital, based in Chicago, helping the portfolio CEOs and CROs build and tune their sales engines to maximize growth. Craig is also an active angel investor, solely focused on companies that help people develop healthy habits.
Education Craig graduated from Kellogg in 1995 with an MBA in Marketing and Finance, obtained his "CPIM" Certification in Inventory and Production Management in 1992, and graduated Union College in 1988 with a degree in Political Science.
Sales Engine, Inc. Craig is the founder and CEO of Sales Engine, Inc., a tools and services firm now in its 12th year, based on the belief that a company should treat sales as the engine of their business. Craig and his team consult to the world's largest and most successful companies, as well as some of the world's fastest-growing entrepreneurial companies. His work centers around his teaching, tool-building and coaching such that companies develop the knowledge, skill and discipline necessary to build a successful sales engine.
Updated February 2021
Wortmann, Craig. "What's your Story?" : using stories to ignite performance and be more successful. Kaplan, 2006. Print.