Building Sales People: Recommendations for the Development of a Professional Sales Mentorship Program
Department Name When Scholarship Produced
Management, Marketing, and International Business
Companies will constantly need people to sell something for them. As Grant Cardone, author of Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life, puts it, "Great salespeople are literally the engine of every economy in the world." This is evident as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 13.6 million Americans are in sales and related occupations.
Looking at specific industries; the real estate sector is projected to grow faster than any other sales sector over the next decade, according to the Department of Labor. With a 14 percent growth rate expected, this field is expected to hire around 75,000 agents and brokers over the next 10 years. The insurance sector is expected to see a 12 percent increase in jobs over the next decade. Due to its size, the retail sector is expected to gain about 375,000 jobs over the next 10 years —more than any other occupation. In the next decade, the sales engineering sector is expected to grow about nine percent, on average with the rest of the economy. With the technology sector growing quickly, companies such as software publishers and computer systems design firms will have the greatest demand for sales engineers with expertise in the field. The wholesale and manufacturing sectors are expected to add about 150,000 jobs over the next 10 years, a seven percent growth. Because the sector handles a variety of goods across the economy, the constant expansion of those goods will help drive the job growth of sales representatives.
The pervasiveness of sales is clear as more than 25 percent
of all college graduates across different majors will begin their careers in a sales-related job. Professional sales is the most common entry level position for marketing majors, with some institutions reporting rates as high as 70%.
Colleges and Universities are responding to the phenomenal growth of the sales sector. Currently, a sales education curriculum is offered at a total of 101 United States universities and colleges. At the undergraduate level, 32 offer a major, minor or concentration, while the remaining 69 provide some level of sales curriculum in their offerings, but not a degree. At the graduate level, 6 offer graduate degrees with a sales concentration (and 9 provide some level of sales curriculum in their offerings). Further, 22 institutions nationwide currently house sales focused centers or institutes and the University Sales Center Alliance (USCA), an organization whose mission is to advocate for the continuing advancement of the sales profession through teaching, research and outreach; currently has 21 member institutions.
Hopkins, K. H., & Hopkins, C. D. (2017). Building sales people: Recommendations for the development of a professional sales mentorship program. Refereed Proceedings of the Appalachian Research in Business Symposium. 46-51. Boone, NC.
Appalachian Research in Business Symposium (ARBS)