While there are many characteristics that make a person well-suited for a career in sales - for example, a natural talent for negotiation, strong interpersonal skills, and a hard-working nature - today, there is increasing demand for entry-level sales pros to have a post-secondary education. While having a degree or diploma may not be necessary for all sales positions, it is for many, and where it’s not required, being in possession of the right qualifications will make you stand out from the crowd. Here are some college/university programs to consider if you want to build a strong career in sales.
Business Administration Programs
There’s so much in a Business Administration Diploma or a Bachelor in Business Administration program that will help you build a strong career in sales. What you’ll learn will vary depending on the program and level but generally, you’ll cover management of key areas of a business such as finance, marketing, compliance, strategic planning, and human resources. Not only will learning about these different aspects help you in your career as a sales rep, but they’ll also put you on track for a role in leadership sooner rather than later.
Sales and Marketing have always been closely linked and today with “Smarketing” becoming more and more common, studying marketing at college or university is a great idea. Understanding target markets, branding, and pricing strategies will help you understand your products and customers all the better.
Bachelors in Finance or Business Finance Programs
Everything in sales comes back to the bottom line. That’s why a degree in finance can go a long way in a sales career, as can a shorter business finance program. To be successful in sales, you must be able to position your product or service as the perfect solution to your customer’s business pain. Having a background in finance will help you understand and demonstrate the positive financial impact your product or service can have on their bottom line. Additionally, when it comes to more complex transactions, your finance education will be an undeniable asset, for example when it comes to explaining ROI (Return on Investment) and depreciation schedules.
Liberal Arts Degrees
A degree in liberal arts provides a well-rounded education and lets you take a variety of classes that would be beneficial to a career in sales. Most programs cover standard academic areas - English, fine arts, math, science, and social science - but also allow you to take specialised courses in things such as business management, finance, marketing, and even sales.
Professional Sales Training Programs
Sales certifications and training are one of the best ways students can start working to build a strong career in sales. The CPSA Institute’s Sales Certificate program is a student program that will prepare you to excel in your future career. You’ll build your skills, knowledge, and confidence in key areas like business acumen, account management, communication, consultative selling, relationship building, product and technical knowledge, and more. Several colleges and universities across Canada offer the Sales Certificate program. Learn more.