FCB named in Sales Education Foundation’s 2016 “Top Universities for Professional Sales Education”
FCB Dean Van Slyke had the vision to encourage business students to consider a career in professional sales. He put the vision into action in Spring 2014 with a series of presentations and events showcasing professional sales. That same year, the marketing major’s curricula was extensively revised and a new “Sales and Sales Management” concentration was approved. Two new courses were added for the academic year 2016–2017, Sales Management and Sales Strategy & Technology. In addition to this concentration for marketing majors, a certificate in professional selling was created for non-marketing students.
In April 2015, the FCB was recognized by the Sales Education Foundation (SEF) as a ‘notable’ program in SEF’s 2015 ANNUAL magazine’s “Top Universities for Professional Sales Education.” Since the program was not fully implemented at that time, the FCB fell into this category as a rising star to be watched by the SEF.
Marketing professor Kevin Trainor was confident the emerging Sales Program would move into the listing of top universities recognized by the SEF after the new courses launched in 2016. He was correct.
In April 2016, Trainor was notified by the SEF that the FCB was being recognized as one of their “Top Universities for Professional Sales Education” in their SEF 2016 ANNUAL magazine [pg. 12].
“We are thrilled to be recognized by the SEF as a top university sales program. We have accomplished a lot with the sales program in a relatively short period of time…we will continue to grow the program and enhance the sales education experience for our students. We appreciate the SEF’s efforts to elevate the sales profession in higher education,” said Trainor.
In addition to the revised curriculum, sales students benefit from several other program features that help prepare them for their careers. In Fall 2015, a Sales Lab was launched to support the video capture of role play interactions and presentations. The technology lets students review their performances and gives instructors a platform to provide feedback to students.
To further expose the students to the hands-on aspect of sales and connect them with sales professionals, several events have been held outside of the classroom. In Spring 2015, the FCB hosted the Fastenal Sales Competition. Ten teams worked with Fastenal’s Phoenix/Northern Arizona’s district manager on a live sales call. The students took that information along with what they learned about Fastenal and presented their sales call to Fastenal judges. The winning team won an all-expense paid trip to Fastenal’s Supplier Expo in Nashville, Tenn.
A fun and entertaining networking event for students was held in Fall 2015 to practice valuable skills directly from professionals in the trade. Fifteen companies and almost 100 students attended. The event began with a spot-on presentation given by Jana Carpenter, a sales and marketing professional who has held senior management positions with ADP, Arthur Anderson, and FTI Consulting.
In Spring 2016, FCB students were able to put their training to the test at the Arizona Collegiate Sales Competition (ACSC) hosted by Arizona State University. Leading up to the ACSC, contestants attended practice sessions for more than a month, practicing with veteran salespeople including Carpenter and Palmer Nackard, food service manager for the Nackard Companies. Students made a good showing for NAU with one of the students taking third place over all in a field of 25 competitors.
Van Slyke sees tremendous value being added to a student’s resume. “Professional selling requires skills in listening, analyzing, problem solving, and persuasion, among others. All of these are useful in virtually any profession. Students who go through FCB’s professional selling program will have a real advantage throughout their careers, whether in sales or another profession,” he concluded.
A Win-Win for Corporate Partners and Students Alike
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,” she said.
Two companies have partnered with the professional selling program, Fastenal, a Fortune 500 industrial supplier with a strong local presence, and Nackard Companies, a regional Pepsi bottler and wholesale distributor covering 82% of the state of Arizona. These partnerships provide both students and sponsors with valuable resources, a win-win for all involved.
To learn more about the growing sales education space, contact the Sales Education Foundation at 800.776.4436 or visit www.salesfoundation.org.
“Elevating the sales profession through university education”
Categories: sales education foundation top universities for professional sales education professional selling spring 2016 2016 kevin trainor craig van slyke sef