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Does sales have a place in the academic landscape?


Group of students sitting in a lecture theatre

Sales | Staff

By Sue Barrett

Today’s sales environment is so complex that the skills and capabilities required to be a successful salesperson are at the standard of high level University Business qualifications. However, sales hasn’t had a place in the academic agenda; only a few papers here and there.

Based on Barrett’s long standing involvement in sales and the development of sales professionalism, we wanted to know how people felt about selling not being studied at University and if having a tertiary qualification would improve the reputation of the profession of sales and the people in it.

Barrett conducted a survey of business professionals that was completed mostly by Australian based business owners and leaders, sales managers and sales professionals with the majority aged between 31 and 60 years old. Seventy percent of respondents have a Graduate Degree or above.

The overall findings of the survey were significantly in favour of sales and selling being studied at higher levels at University, with senior managers and business owners seeing a distinct advantage in developing and employing tertiary trained sales people. We also found that businesses understand the vital importance of sales as a function of success, sustained growth and profitability.

Another concern was the image and reputation of salespeople, that today is not the best. It is clear from the results that having tertiary qualifications would improve this perception.

Barrett believes that it is about time selling and sales step out from under the shadows of marketing and MBAs to be a qualification in its right.

The good news is that for the first time in Australia, selling is on the University Agenda: on Wednesday 8 August, partners Barrett and Swinburne University of Technology launched the Barrett Sales Essentials – Australia’s first VET accredited, University endorsed sales training and development program providing both a Diploma in Business and Certificate IV in Business Sales.

Through the Barrett Sales Essentials Program businesses now have the opportunity to tertiary qualify their salespeople, increase profit margins and employee retention and recruitment and promote their commitment to quality sales standards and ethical sales practices.

Salespeople, sales managers and business owners will significantly improve their sales strategies, planning, prospecting and sales approach and behaviours to create sustainable business practices and improve results.

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

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