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Want Multiple Fortune 500 Offers?

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We all get told that accounting is the gravy train of business. Want a great job with a solid future in business? You will be told to study accounting. Don't like accounting? The current rage is big data and analytics. But there is one field where demand will always exceed supply. Not only is it a field you probably haven’t considered, it is also likely to be the one field that most business schools have limited courses to prepare you for. But if you choose to be a trained competent sales professional, you will not only obtain multiple offers upon graduation, you will be able to determine the appropriate company, culture and fit for your personality and life plans.

But sales? Most business school students will usually say, “I didn’t go to business school just to get a sales job!” Students had to sell for fundraisers when they were kids. They have been sold to in their apartments at college, and they have experienced or heard the horror stories of buying a used car. They have dated or met the “sales type” at college, the overbearing personality who bulldozes everyone to get their way. So naturally, those students think, “I am not cut out for sales,” and/or “I don’t want to ever do that.”

Some Hard Facts You May Want to Consider:

According to Daniel Pink’s book To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others (Riverhead Books, New York, 2012) one out of nine people makes a living in what we would call traditional sales roles. But the premise of Dan’s book is that the economy has changed in such a way that the other eight people must sell in today's economy. If you want resources, you will need to develop skills to obtain resources in all that you do in life (See Dan’s video.) Who could argue with that logic? .So why not get some training while you are still in school?

So, you say, “I'll take at least one sales class, but I’m not going into sales!”

Well, according to Sales Education Foundation research, more than 60 percent of business school students will obtain their first post-college job in sales. For marketing students, over 80 percent will be in sales for their first job after college. As a business professor, over the past 10 years, I would agree with these statistics. The highly focused and well-connected students in any field have a higher likelihood of landing a job in that field of study. But the vast majority of students will get their first job in sales.

If according to Dan Pink, everybody sells, and if you have a high probability of being in sales: Would you be more determined about getting ready for your business career by getting trained as a sales professional? Most business schools have at least one class in sales. But if you want to become a true sales professional, you should explore programs offered by B-schools that are part of the University Sales Center Alliance. These programs offer certificates and degrees in professional sales. They offer multiple courses in sales so that you come of out the program ready to make an impact in the corporate world.

Given these statistics, perhaps it is time for more top business schools to make sales part of their curriculums. Three years ago, the Naveen Jindal School of Management started that journey. We started with only one class in both the undergraduate and graduate program. Today, we have eight sales-focused courses equally distributed between our graduate and undergraduate programs. Students in the business administration and marketing degree programs can choose a sales emphasis. Any student at UT Dallas can obtain a USCA sales certificate by taking just four sales classes. The students from our program often are courted by many of the Fortune 500 and have an opportunity to choose which company provides the best culture and fit for their future plans and lifestyle.

Now that you have this knowledge:, Are you ready to get trained in Pro Sales?

If you are, or if you are curious and want to know more, contact me.

Howard Dover

Dr. Dover is a marketing and sales professor at the Naveen Jindal School of Management. As the director of the Center for Professional Sales at JSOM, he has a real passion for coaching students and helping them reach their goals. Read more articles

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