Craig Wortmann

Craig Wortmann

Serial Entrepreneur, Three-Time CEO, Clinical Professor, Top Sales Speaker and Author

Speaker Categories: Sales | Best Practices | Business Leader, CEO | Entrepreneurship | University Professor | Small Business

Travels From: NC, United States.

Speaker Fee Range: $40,001 or greater*

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Craig Wortmann Bio
Speaker Topics

Serial Entrepreneur, Three-Time CEO,
Clinical Professor, Top Sales Speaker, and Author

Craig Wortmann is a Clinical Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI).  He has been a professional salesperson, CEO, founder, entrepreneur and investor.  In all of his speaking, Craig attempts to create immersive experiences that help people develop into magnetic leaders who drive predictably consistent high growth, for themselves and their organizations.

Kellog Sales Institute

Craig Wortmann is the Founder and Executive 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 future 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 a new future for their companies and customers by activating the habits of high-impact salespeople so that they can make progress in their lives.

Sales Engine

As Founder and CEO of Sales Engine, Craig and his team help firms build and tune their sales engine. Craig’s firm works with teams all over the world to develop their knowledge, skill and discipline, and translate those key assets into higher performance.


When he was Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Craig designed, developed, and teaches the award-winning course called Entrepreneurial Selling, recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the “Top Ten” courses in the country. He also teaches Building the New Venture and a course on leadership called Personal Leadership Insights for the executive education program. He is the recipient of the 2012 Faculty Excellence Award for teaching. In his capacity with Booth, Craig travels the globe teaching and motivating leaders, business executives, and alumni about the nuances and core competencies of each of his classes.


Craig is also the author of What’s Your Story? a book that looks at how leaders and sales professionals use stories to connect, inspire, and overachieve. In his book, Craig demonstrates the powerful impact stories have on the three most common performance challenges – leadership, strategic selling, and motivation.

Early Career

Craig has been a sales person and entrepreneur for more than 20 years. He spent his first year in sales being trained by IBM Corporation in the classical selling style and was the #2 performer in his year-long sales school class. Post-IBM, Craig covered three-quarters of the country selling to large retailers for a division of Dean Witter. After earning his MBA from Kellogg, Craig joined a midsize consulting firm called the Forum Corporation and quickly became the firm’s new product launch and client recovery specialist.


In 2000, Craig was recruited to join a start-up company called WisdomTools as its CEO. Craig ran and grew WisdomTools and then successfully sold the company to a larger firm in 2008. After founding Sales Engine, the venture backer’s of ClearGauge, an interactive marketing and web strategy firm recruited Craig to become the CEO. Craig executed a turnaround of ClearGauge by immediately building a sales engine and developing a new web presence as well as cutting significant costs. He then sold the company at a high valuation to a much larger agency.

Sales Expert

From $250,000 computer systems to $1,500,000 consulting projects and from $20 books to entire companies, Craig has been a consistent high-performer selling products and services across the B2B and B2C spectrum.

Stories and Selling

The Stories and Selling keynote speech looks at how sales professionals differentiate themselves through stories. Craig calls on his days as an IBM salesperson to outline the new challenges that salespeople face, and how they can cut through all of the “noise in the channel.” With plenty of stories and humor, Craig helps sales professionals distinguish themselves by going beyond “features and benefits” to build stronger relationships with clients.

Entrepreneurial Selling

Entrepreneurial Selling is a distinct form of business development that entrepreneurs, corporations and foundations alike are embracing. In this keynote speech, Craig explores what makes "entrepreneurial selling" different from "professional selling" and how our behaviors must change to drive performance. Based on his Chicago Booth course (rated Top Ten in the country by Inc. Magazine), this talk looks at the combination of knowledge, skills and discipline required to make an impact in a market that is fragmented and noisy. Great entrepreneurial stories combined with immediately actionable frameworks underlie this powerful talk.

The Power of Story

The Power of Story keynote speech helps leaders enhance their leadership performance by looking at their everyday communications differently. Using a series of powerful stories, anecdotes, visual examples and his story tools, Craig describes unique challenges we face trying to communicate effectively and demonstrates how leaders create strong connections with people and with the organization's strategy. He discusses the importance of capturing and telling the right kinds of stories and why stories are the most effective method for enhancing performance.

  • What's Your Story?: Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful
    What's Your Story?: Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful Purchase Book

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Recent Books

  • What's Your Story?: Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful
    What's Your Story?: Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful Purchase Book
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