What is Professional Sales?

Demand for sales talent is extremely high. As Daniel Pink states in his book To Sell is Human, “if the nation’s salespeople lived in a single state, that state would be the fifth-largest in the United States.”  The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that nearly two million new sales jobs will be created by 2020. As such, professional selling is one of the most common jobs for students graduating with business degrees. Recent studies have indicated that over 80 percent of marketing majors accept a job in sales and up to 60% of all other business majors start out in sales (Stevens & Kinni 2007).

While more than 15 million people work in sales (US Bureau of Labor Statistics), the rest of the population is also selling—not just objects, but ideas and techniques as well. In fact, recent research has shown that people spend 40 percent of their work time selling something, regardless of their profession (Pink 2012)!

The Elon Professional Sales Focus

Our sales curriculum gives students access to specialized training that focuses on sales concepts combined with real-world sales techniques. The courses allow students to improve communication and selling/persuasion skills, which are key skills today’s employers across all professions desire.

Elon students focusing in professional sales will:

  • Develop the skills needed to understand business-to-business selling.
  • Learn how to better communicate with customers, including how to uncover their unique needs.
  • Hone critical thinking skills to provide creative solutions.
  • Adapt to the changing selling environment.
  • Learn to overcome objections and close the sale.
  • Sharpen these skills in realistic sales scenarios, using state of the art technology in the Chandler Family Professional Sales Center.

Students have demonstrated more than 90 percent placement in sales jobs after graduation. Examples of such placements include national companies such as NetSuite Oracle, Dell EMC, ADP, CEB Global, Amica, Staples, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, athenahealth, and UPS Capital.

The Chandler Family Professional Sales Center has been named one of the top sales programs in the country and adheres to the high standards set by the University Sales Center Alliance.

Professional Sales Resources

For more information about the Professional Sales Focus, contact Dr. Nawar Chaker, assistant professor of marketing, at nchaker@elon.edu.