The Professional Sales Institute at West Virginia University has been named to the 2016 “Top Universities for Professional Sales Education” listing for the fifth consecutive year by the Sales Education Foundation. WVU appeared on the yearly list published in the SEF annual magazine recognizing top sales schools in North America and internationally.
In its recognition as a top sales school, the SEF ranking shows that WVU has a specialty area in professional sales at B&E, is a sales competition participant and provides a sales internship program. WVU’s Professional Sales Institute operates in the College of Business and Economics.
“It’s an honor to be recognized as a top sales education school for the fifth year in a row,” said Nancy McIntyre, B&E interim dean. “Our faculty and students have shown commitment and passion in sales education, and they have worked to establish sales skills that can be used in a number of career areas. And the B&E Center for Career Development does a great job of matching companies and organizations that need these skills with our highly talented, job-ready sales students. It is a concerted effort.”
The 2016 SEF listing recognized 108 North American and 15 international sales schools, and does not provide a numerical ranking for each school.
Dr. Michael Walsh, chair and associate professor of Marketing, said a commitment to learning both inside and outside the classroom has yielded highly successful results at WVU.
“A key component of our sales program is experiential education. WVU B&E sales students ‘learn by doing’ and take concepts learned in the classroom and apply them to the real world,” Walsh said. “Students have the opportunity to participate in sales competitions, internships and can earn a Professional Sales Certification offered by the University Sales Center Alliance.”
Professional Sales is one of three areas of emphasis for marketing majors at B&E. The WVU professional sales track offers course work in personal selling, sales management and selling with digital media. The College of Business and Economics recently hired two additional faculty members specializing in sales, and had a 100 percent job placement rate this past academic year for those students pursuing a sales career.
Sally Stevens, executive director of the Sales Education Foundation, noted that companies should have an increased focus on partnering with university sales programs.
“Top sales organizations should take note of the programs featured in our listing and consider developing partnerships with these innovators, who are educating the next generation of professional sales people,” Stevens said.
Sales Education Foundation statistics indicate that students from such programs average 2.8 job offers prior to graduation, ramp up 50 percent faster and turn over 30 percent less than their non-sales educated peers, and report a career satisfaction rate of more than 77 percent.