Students at the College of Business Administration have a new opportunity to master the art of selling through pitching ideas and sharpening their communication skills with the opening of the Center for Sales Excellence at CBA. The center was made possible by a major gift of $1.5 million from National Research Corporation (NRC) which also established a distinguished chair to provide permanent support for the program.
Dr. Ravi Sohi, executive director of the Center for Sales Excellence, knows regardless of their career path students need a focused understanding of sales skills in today’s business environment.
“There is some form of selling in every aspect of daily life. Sales is more than just selling a product, it’s selling an idea or achieving buy-in from people,” Sohi said. “The sales center teaches students to look at things in a broader perspective and to communicate their ideas to people. Whether they want to be a partner in an accounting firm or run a successful business as a musician, students see the value of learning the different facets of sales and putting the theory they learn in class into practice in the new sales center.”
The sales program is open to both business and non-business major students. Students earn a certificate in professional selling by completing 13 credit hours of required coursework. An advanced certificate can be earned by completing an additional three credit hours.
Sean Endersbe, a senior business administration major from Eagan, Minnesota, is one of the first students at CBA to pursue the certificate.
“The first sales course I took last year had me on the edge of my seat the whole time,” Endersbe said. “I like the personal relationship side of things so when I heard they were doing this program I was enthused to try it. I’ve already learned a lot about sales and it’s definitely the route I want to take.”
He has also taken advantage of the new facilities which allow students to videotape themselves doing their sales role playing assignments.
“The new technology is fantastic. It’s nice to watch yourself on video later and see little things like hand gestures or voice inflections you could do better the next time,” he said.