It has always baffled me why business schools (both undergrad and graduate) avoid courses and training on sales. In my years running and investing in businesses sales has been the most crucial element to success. When I looked at making an investment in a business I would focus on the team’s ability to execute, particularly its sales team and strategy. The company’s ability to sell is obviously a key factor to success. Most business schools have majors for Finance, Marketing, Supply Chain, HR, Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and general management. How many do you see with programs in Sales? Not many.
I think most academics raise their nose at sales because they don’t see sales as data, systems, and process driven, therefore, not worthy of study. I think Sales is misunderstood. The best salespeople and sales teams are successful because of the factors below:
- They are data and results driven
- They adhere to strict systems and process
- They study market and sales data to set strategy
- They understand human nature and the buying process
Good sales results do not come naturally or by accident, they come through study and application of principles and processes over an extended period of time just like becoming expert at any other activity in life. The key is both study and application. I wonder if most academics avoid teaching sales because the application part of sales is difficult in traditional academic settings. I think it would be extremely valuable to students looking for jobs and corporations hiring to have business schools give more emphasis on sales and find a way to implement both the study and application of sales theory in their programs.