Craig Wortmann

Featured Speaker

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

In-Person Fee Range
$20,001 to $50,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
Illinois, United States

Three-Time CEO, Author of What’s Your Story?, Clinical Professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Creator of the Sales Engine Toolkit

Craig Wortmann is a Clinical Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and is the Founder & Academic Director of the Kellogg Sales Institute. In 2018, 2019 and again in 2020, Craig won the “Outstanding Professor” distinction awarded by Kellogg’s Executive MBA students. Launched in 2019, his Mastering Sales: A Toolkit for Success online course is the highest rated course on the Emeritus platform, and Craig was recently called “the gold standard in remote learning” by Executive MBA students at Kellogg.


From 2008 to 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 Entrepreneurial Selling™ course, recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the “Top Ten” in the U.S. He also taught Building the New Venture and developed Chicago Booth’s four-day in-depth senior executive leadership course called Building Leadership Capital. Craig was the recipient of the 2012 Faculty Excellence Award, given to the professor who has the greatest positive impact on the students.

What’s Your Story

Craig is the author of What’s Your Story?, a book that helps people tell the right story at the right time for the right reasons. Craig launched The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process, a four-part Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Specialization with Coursera that has helped tens of thousands of people worldwide acquire critical selling skills and disciplines.


From IBM Corporation as the #2 performer in his year-long Sales School 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 in marketing and finance from Kellogg in 1995, Craig joined the Forum Corporation and quickly became the firm’s new product launch and client recovery specialist. In 2000, Craig was recruited to join startup WisdomTools as its CEO, and he then sold it to a larger firm in 2008.

Sales Engine

Craig is the Founder and CEO of Sales Engine, Inc., a tools and services firm based on the belief that a company should treat sales as the engine of their business. As a global speaker and virtual sales advisor, Craig helps companies develop the knowledge, skill and discipline necessary to build a successful sales engine. In 2009, the 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 and ClearGauge was then acquired by a larger agency.

Venture Capital

Craig serves as Operating Partner for Pritzker Group Venture Capital and helps grow the sales engines of its portfolio companies.

An Evanston, Illinois resident for more than 21 years, in his free time Craig enjoys reading and running the Lake Michigan path, and wakeboarding and practicing photography in Wisconsin with his family.

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.

Stories and motivation

The Stories and Motivation keynote speech looks at how leaders of all levels motivate and inspire those around them. This keynote can be quite a ride, as Craig shares different kinds of stories and examples of what causes people to become motivated and how great leaders inspire. This multimedia keynote demonstrates the true power of the human element of storytelling.

Stories and coaching

Stories and coaching... are you picking up on a theme? In this keynote, Craig looks at the usual ways we coach people and he helps leaders change their perspective on why coaching can be such a challenge. He looks at coaching from the perspective of the person receiving the coaching, and in this way helps leaders truly understand their challenge. The keynote then explores how to build stronger connections with people in order to open up more possibilities for coaching and building skill.

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.

Other Topics

Deliberate Practice, From Entrepreneurial Selling to Professional Selling, Building Your Sales Process, Virtual Reality - Selling in a Virtual World, The Power of Story, Your Personal Brand, Setting & Achieving Goals, Managing Virtually, Building a Strong, Positive & Powerful Sales Culture, Life Hacks, Generating Positive Energy, Articulating Your Point of View, Filter Your Targets, Stakeholder Mapping, Competitive Talking Points, Virtual Reality - Selling in a Virtual World, Proactive Pursuit, How to Build a Killer Prospecting Script, Why Bad Emails Happen to Good People, The Art of the Sales Conversation, Networking Like Your Wealth Depends On It, Don’t Let “CRM” Mean “Can’t Remember Much,” Creating Personas & Qualifying Fast, Asking the Right Questions, Running High-Impact Meetings, Telling Stories, Handling Objections

All Craig Wortmann Books

What’s Your Story?: Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful
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Recent Books

What’s Your Story?: Using Stories to Ignite Performance and Be More Successful
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