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UWRF named a 2014 Top American Sales School

November 21, 2014

The Sales Education Foundation (SEF) has named the UW-River Falls College of Business and Economics (CBE) a “2014 Top North American Sales School.”

This is the first time CBE has been named a 2014 Top North American Sales School in the “Sales Education Annual,” a review of all the top sales schools each year, according to CBE Associate Professor Ozcan Kilic.

The success is due to a new professional sales program that launched this year. The program is offered as an emphasis within the business administration-marketing major in the marketing and management department, according to the UWRF website.

Kilic initiated and led the development of the program with help from businesses, SEF, sales professionals and top-ranking sales programs in the nation.

The program includes a new “Sales Lab,” located in South Hall, that allows students to record, watch and critique their work to help them improve their skills.

It also includes required courses such as relationship selling, sales analytics, advanced selling techniques, and negotiation techniques.

Other opportunities in the program include hands-on activities, collegiate sales competitions, and sales internships, according to the UWRF website.

The new program helps students go directly from graduation to getting well-paid jobs in the field; sales graduates get three-times more job offers while they are a student in the program and have a higher starting salary, according to Kilic.

“I did some research and I went to different conferences, to workshops, and I talked to our dean, the advisory board, businesses, and other sales programs about the idea of establishing a curriculum that would fit the needs for businesses and for students,” Kilic said.

Kilic said his research showed him that roughly 82 percent of marketing majors and 66 percent of business graduates are going to be working in jobs related to sales.

“Companies, what they report, is, those students who don’t take sales classes, it takes them longer to be ready to do some sales and usually during their first three months of employment they see or realize that sales is not for them and they quit their job,” Kilic said.

It costs companies roughly $1,000 to recruit and train students for sales positions, only to learn that it isn’t worth it because they quit. For this reason, businesses are happy to support and invest in the new sales program at UWRF, according to Kilic.

The self-sufficient program officially starts this spring semester but it unofficially began this fall and students are beginning to see the benefits of it.

According to the UWRF website, Kayla Java, a senior in business administration-management, said that she is ecstatic to hear about the new sales courses being offered and loved the class she has already taken and would recommend that people who aren’t majoring in sales take the classes because they are relatable and help students develop useful skills that can be applied to any career choice.

The recognition will hopefully help grow the program and increase retention rates at UWRF, according to Kilic. He said he has plans to improve the program within the next two or more years as enrollment in the program increases.

“We are in the process of increasing our partners,” Kilic said.

For information about the program contact Kilic at 715-425-3335.

To learn more about the partnerships and support opportunities, or to learn more about the growing sales education space, contact the SEF at 800-776-4436 or visit www.salesfoundation.org.