Press release from Sacred Heart University:
Sept. 18, 2020
The Jack Welch College of Business & Technology (WCBT) at Sacred Heart University has added sales management as a new minor. This addition to the curriculum places SHU among a group of fewer than 30 universities that offers such programs.
This program is for students seeking careers in sales or who want to gain an understanding of how companies structure their sales divisions. The minor also would appeal to students outside the business school, since many careers involve sales, be it a product or an idea.
In 2018, sales representatives earned a median salary of $69,480, according to U.S. News & World Report. Roughly 25% of SHU management majors begin their careers in sales or related fields. In fact, most executives have worked in a sales role at some point throughout their careers. “Having an understanding of sales is an extremely beneficial skill set,” said Martha Crawford, WCBT dean. “Every company has something to sell; sales is an area our students are guaranteed to come across wherever they find themselves working.”
The minor aims to inform students about the importance of focusing on their prospects or customers—solving their problems, fulfilling their needs and helping them better their lives. It also aims to improve sellers’ interactions with buyers. “The most effective salespeople can combine product knowledge with the technical skills of selling, including communication, problem-solving and the ability to negotiate and create long-term, sustainable, ‘win-win’ relationships,” said Anthony Macari, clinical assistant professor of management at the WCBT.
Sales is an integral function in nearly all companies, as it drives revenue. Selling skills are increasingly important these days, when buyers make 85% of their purchase decisions before speaking with a sales representative.
The professional selling minor has two required courses: an introduction to customer-centric selling and sales force leadership and management. The first is a sales approach that focuses on customers’ specific needs and interests. Companies that use this methodology include LinkedIn, OtterBox, Cisco and Brainshark. The second course “will focus on how to incentivize, compensate, train and structure an effective sales team,” said Macari. There are several electives for students who wish to fulfill this minor.
This press release was produced by Sacred Heart University. The views expressed here are the author’s own.