The field of sales involves interpersonal interaction with customers or potential customers in order to sell a product or service. Bachelor's candidates in professional sales programs develop customer service, bargaining, and decision-making skills while studying sales theories and techniques. Market-potential analysis, supply chain, and territory determination topics are covered in the curricula. In order to develop selling skills and self-confidence, most bachelor's degree programs in sales require completion of numerous presentations and real-world projects, including an internship.
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Bachelor's Degree in Sales
Those interested in a bachelor's-level professional sales program need only a high school diploma or GED with strong SAT scores to apply. The curricula usually blends general business courses, such as accounting, marketing, and statistics, with courses directly related to sales, like persuasion and presentation skills, negotiation methods, and prospecting techniques. The hours of an internship and applicable credits can vary, but they are usually fulfilled at a business or organization near the student's home. Specific classes often cover:
- Purchasing policies and procedures
- Sales forecasting
- Global business sales
- Professional selling methods
- Direct response marketing
- Sales management
Popular Career Options
Bachelor's degree programs with a professional sales emphasis allow students to pursue careers in business and marketing areas, as well as manufacturing, technology, and wholesaling industries; this may involve talking to customers over the phone, traveling to clients' sites, and setting up meetings with potential customers. Possible job options include:
- Insurance sales agent
- Financial services sales agent
- Manufacturing trade representative
- Pharmaceutical sales representative
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that, from 2014 to 2024, job openings in the overall sales field would increase by 7%. Within this field, insurance sales agents were expected to see 9% job growth, and financial services sales agents were projected to see growth of 10%. The median salary for insurance sales agents was $48,200 as of May 2015, and financial services sales agents earned a median of $71,550, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Students who earn a bachelor's degree in professional sales may choose to continue their higher education by pursuing graduate studies in a sales-related field; Master of Business Administration (MBA) and marketing management master's degree programs are relevant. While most entry-level sales jobs do not require a master's degree, completion of a graduate program may afford candidates - particularly those in securities or financial services sales - job advancement opportunities.
A bachelor's degree in sales can prepare students for a variety of jobs relating to selling a product or service to a consumer. In addition to employment, students can enter a master's degree to improve their employability.