By Katie Quaranta
Ohio University's Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre is one of a handful of college programs that provide vital training to help sales students succeed even amid a changing business landscape, according to BNET, a business Web site that is part of CBS News Interactive.
The BNET article cites the changing role of salespeople from repositories of basic facts about a product -- information that is now easily available on the Internet -- to experts with in-depth knowledge about an industry, advanced problem-solving skills and a strong foundation in the fundamentals of business, all factors that have increased the value of a university sales education.
The article also states that students with training in college adapt more quickly and have a lower turnover rate in sales positions compared with students with no formal instruction before entering the work world. Those attributes make them more attractive to employers who can’t afford to lose sales during tough economic times.
"We believe that the students from here will hit the ground running," said Kenneth Hartung, executive director of the Sales Centre. "That's what we hear from students who have left here ... They are two steps ahead."
The Sales Centre is an academic program in the College of Business that offers students certificates in selling upon completion of a 28-credit-hour sales curriculum. Students from all majors at Ohio University are eligible to apply for the program, which offers six types of certificates.
According to Hartung, the approach allows students to learn valuable sales techniques while also gaining the detailed industry knowledge that employers want.
"You come with the basic knowledge, what I would consider to be hard skills, and then you also have the soft skills related to sales," he said. "They get sales education and their great education at Ohio University. That's a win-win situation."