Students who want to study sales at the master's-degree level usually choose a master's degree in marketing and sales. They may also choose a master's degree in advertising and public relations, which are essential aspects of sales. These programs cover two fundamental skill sets: how to attract potential customers (marketing) and how to convert those leads into transactions (sales). Students can expect to learn how to analyze market trends and consumer behavior and use this information to maximize sales. Other topics of study include building a 'yes' ladder, deciphering the needs of a customer, feature-benefit selling, up-selling, and closing. In addition to coursework, many programs require students to conduct independent research.
In order to apply students must hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in business, and submit a college transcript, standardized test scores, letter of recommendation and a personal essay. Most programs take at least two years to complete.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Merchandising and Buying
- Merchandising Marketing, Sales, and Distribution
- Retail Operations Management
- Sales Operations
Master's Degree in Sales
Coursework in these programs is often a combination of lectures and hands-on learning. Students commonly participate in sales role-play, collaborative marketing projects and simulations. Example courses include:
- Consumer behavior and psychology
- Market analysis
- Public relations
- International marketing
- Innovation and new product development
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted employment for sales managers to grow 5% between 2014 and 2024, which is about as fast as average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for sales managers was $113,860 in May 2015, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Ph.D. programs in marketing are available through business schools, though the study of sales is just one part of a doctoral curriculum. Ph.D. students apply advanced concepts like mathematical modeling to anticipate consumer choices. After completing a doctorate in marketing, graduates typically pursue positions in research and academia.
In summary, a master's degree in a sales-related field can provide students with the advanced business and marketing knowledge they need for management positions or further graduate studies.