An Undergraduate Degree in Sales Leadership!
Attention Sales Leaders…Did you stumble into sales or was your sales career a decisive action that occurred early in your academic career? Most of the sales leaders whom I know accidentally found a sales career. Traditionally, the road to becoming a great sales warrior was the byproduct of more desirable doors being closed. Too I often hear, “I didn’t get the job that I really wanted so I took a job on an internal sales desk and the rest is history.”
Getting into sales, for many of us, is mostly an accident…until now. The Sales Education Foundation (SEF) is a non-profit organization who promotes the advancement of elevating the sales profession through university education.
Through the publication of SEF ANNUAL magazine’s “Top Universities” listing, SEF helps raise public awareness about the benefits of sales careers and provides data on sales programs worldwide.
Do you have a son or daughter who might benefit from learning concepts that took you years to acquire as on-the-job training?
I’m so bullish on this “sales as an undergraduate degree” path as there are multiple benefits. My favorite benefit is the idea of helping young people who are social igniters, great storytellers, strong connectors and verbal leaders understand there is a place, a great big place, for them in this marketplace. Many successful 40 - 50-year-old sales warriors struggled in school. Among other advantages, SALES is a career that rewards you for your gifts (like making friends easily) and allows you to outsource tasks that are challenging (like submitting expense reports).
What if you could replace your B.A in History with an undergraduate degree in Sales Leadership?
Imagine the immediate marketplace advantage you would have as a 22 year- old if you were part of a competitive sales team in college!? Imagine the impact on your deal flow a few years into your career if you engaged in one of the many programs across the United States that offered you training in CRM skills, negotiation skills, pipeline management, listening skills and offered learning opportunities of how to advance a client relationship and the sale simultaneously?
Professionally, I am so fascinated to see this closing gap between academia and professional selling. All of the successful salespeople who I know, work extremely hard at perfecting their pitch, territory management, relationship cultivation, and follow-up skills. At last, the universities are seeing the need.
Personally, I’m thrilled to see the professionalization of sales because these types of programs are a home run for my 16-year-old. I can see my boy selling software or an engineering solution in his future. He is a real tech-nerd and proud of it BUT, he is more social and verbal than he is techy. He is more of a salesman than an engineer. These professional sales programs will be perfect for Quinn.
I’m sharing a letter that I wrote to Marty Holmes, the Executive Director of the Sales Education Foundation. I love that academia is finally addressing the professional need of formal sales curriculum that many young people can benefit from. What a game changer in sales training and sales leadership development.
"Dear Marty, quick note to thank you for the Annual produced by the Sales Education Foundation. https://salesfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SEF1801-2018-Annual-Magazine_FINAL_DigitalDownload.pdf I stumbled onto this pdf after a client informed me about an outstanding intern that was graduating with an undergraduate degree in sales. Mind Blown! I had no idea that such a thing existed. I was thrilled to learn this as my 16-year-old son, Quinn, is beginning his college search and the SEF Annual has been a crucial part of his college search/application process.
"What an incredible sales tool that you created! We love the grid that outlines what each university offers and the program descriptions have been invaluable in Quinn’s college selection process. This pdf has all of the necessary information Quinn needs to drill down on his top choices. We took the SEF Annual and even used it to coordinate college visits anchored around the sales competitions hosted at various schools. Road trips are planned to Purdue and Indiana State University.
"As a parent, I’m very interested in helping to steer my son into an academic experience that will maximize our ROI. The SEF has been a crucial component in our decision-making process. The ads in the Annual are helpful as it’s a good indicator of university support, reach and program legacy. As a sales professional myself, I’m excited to see this bridge between academia and professional education/training.
"Congratulations to you and your team for creating such a valuable tool for high school students who are considering a career in sales. You cut down a huge portion of our research. Thank you for saving me time and money. You minimized my confusion and the information provided in the Annual mitigates our risk in making costly decisions. Thanks again, Beth"
You got this!
For more information on how to create sustainable and scalable mindset sales training, check out FINBAKER.com and the 30-Day Sales Surge.
Beth Finegan Reynolds is Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of FINBAKER.com