Salesmanship: Why the process matters as much as the talent

Assumption College Undergraduate

Business students learn salesmanship skills Ever thought of turning your business degree into a career in sales?

Whether it’s passion, people skills, or persuasiveness, the characteristics that make a great salesperson can range widely depending on source. And while personal traits may be a significant factor in determining one’s talent for salesmanship, today’s businesses may be inclined to look beyond their talent pool to boost sales.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Frank Cespedes, a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and Jacco van der Kooij, founder and CEO of Winning by Design make the case for why companies must do more than simply rely on their top sales talent to improve the overall sales performance.

For one, top performers are generally a much smaller group of the sales team. And while recruiting more talent may seem like a solution on the surface, the chances are that other companies are just as eager to hire from the same talent pool, making recruitment more competitive. Even if a company manages to hire more top performers, the value is only incremental when compared to the possibility of improving sales performance across the entire sales team. And to do so, Cespedes and Kooij argue that the answer lies in improving the sales process.

For this reason and more, Assumption College bachelor’s in business students can take MKT 312 Sales Management. This course goes beyond the individual factors that contribute to sales success and explores topics such as the selling process, sales force recruitment and selection, motivation and compensation.

Robert Finnegan ‘15, who received a bachelor’s degree in business started his career as a Sales Representative at 3D Asset Management. While earning his bachelors in business, Finnegan took sales management with Professor David Hoyle.

“I learned how to conduct sales meetings and the strategies that go into being a successful sales representative. I also really enjoyed the mock business meetings,” said Finnegan.

Students interested in pursuing careers in sales after graduation can also benefit from other business course offerings including MKT 310 Advertising, MKT 314 Services Marketing and MKT 322 Business-to-Business Marketing.

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