I’ve always wondered why the sales profession was never an option growing up. As a kid I grew up eBay buying and selling (flea markets and yard sales are still gold mines today!) and walking door to door selling god-knows what to my neighbors (okay, so yes, I sold the classic landscaping, newspaper subscriptions, and candy). I thought after my teens, those skills weren’t valuable or were worth pursuing. In fact, they weren’t even seen as positive – they were more commonly looked at as forms of desperation to make a buck than anything else.
Although there were entrepreneurial elements, it was more sales. When I got to college, “entrepreneurship was respected,” but “salesmanship” was a career you wind up in rather than chose to be in.
After realizing sales and prospecting is actually a deep passion of mine, I decided to pursue it after a few years of listening to Steven Covey’s advice. When I looked deep, I couldn’t deny this quote:
When you engage in work … that taps your talent and fuels your passion – that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet – therein lies your voice, your soul’s code.
WOW. That hits you hard.
So, when I started a business based around cold call outsourcing and prospecting technique and strategy, there was nothing about it that wasn’t me. It was the essence of my skills and passions thus far. I hadn’t even started it on a Gallup study research analysis with data that it would be needed in the digital age. That part I have been lucky in. However, the “conversation that connects humans to products and services” is NOW a scarce resource that not many are versed in. Digital marketing is a commodity (sorry). Person-to-person sales communication skills are now on the verge of a gold rush, as well as prodigy, coder, engineer, and programmer-like demand.
I was just reading the most current issue of Top Sales Magazine. What’s crazy is over the last couple years or so, it has been a growing interest of mine as to why I haven’t been able to ascertain a masters level degree in sales, let alone an undergrad degree in the subject. I live in a major city, and the best I can find locally is a double major in marketing and communications, with a few additional concentrations and minors in entrepreneurship and possibly negotiating to get close to a sales degree.
Why do we have to learn the philosophies behind CRM’s and ERP’s on the job? Why is our first cold call done our 2nd day of work after 4 years of collegiate book reading (not hating on reading).
Currently, at Pereus Marketing (RPMC), I am trying to fix the problem. Not only are we meeting a need in the marketplace now for cold calling, telemarketing, and outbound appointment setting for companies across the world, we are also simultaneously creating an incubator for sales professionals. 4 of my staff are very talented college freshman. Too young you say? First of all I don’t care and could outperform your inside sales team :). But actually, does Barcelona FC or Real Madrid wait until their players are 25 to hire them as soccer professionals? No, they are brought up in a professional system from an age younger than 18 years old.
Why isn’t it the same for US sales professions? Why not work on young professionals early enough so in a couple years, they are top closers among all professionals?
In the most recent issue of Top Sales Magazine, I found the problem is real and many others are seeking the development of the sales profession. Here is a quote by Leff Bonney, PhD, MBA Associate Professor of Marketing at Florida State University. Fortunately, sales programs are on the rise!:
..in 2008, there were roughly 30 universities where sales was a formal area of study. Fast forward to 2018 and there are almost 75 universities with formal sales programs with another 50 in the early stages of program development.
Wow! Now that’s impressive, albeit a feeble attempt at most thus far. Based on my calculations, this means less than 3% of all colleges in the US have sales degrees! Eek!
That’s okay though.
But now you see the need. Sales is a passion for quite a few, but can become a profession for many more. I’m not really sure how to participate, but an end goal for me would be to teach sales classes on sales philosophy in the 21st Century, prospecting, CRM’s, closing techniques, personal branding, building teams, sales management, and more. Know how to do this?
I’d love to hear your contributions and how I can help you.