The other day, I researched some of the sites Google suggested would inform me of how sales managers think. I came upon an article that piqued my interest. The University of Texas Arlington was offering sales certifications. The certificate would become part of the University’s marketing department curriculum. However, it would not be mandatory for marketing majors.
Wanting more information, I contacted UTA Associate Professor of Marketing, Jorge Jaramillo.
“Approximately seventy percent of marketing students’ first jobs are in sales,” Jaramillo explained. “The best way to describe it is that there are far more sales jobs out there than there are students coming out of college having been trained for that. We think that if we provided that kind of training, it would make it easy for a lot of our students to find employment that way.”
I agree with Professor Jaramillo completely. Particularly, I agree that there are not enough students being trained for a job in sales. However, I would add one thing. There aren’t enough salespeople working today who have been properly trained for a sales job.
A Good Icebreaker
The article and my conversation with Professor Jaramillo actually reminded me of something. I used to run an exercise at the beginning of an Axiom Sales Kinetics training class. At first, I thought the exercise served as an icebreaker for a three-day program. However, the results of the exercise were revealing. Additionally, I realized it was indicative of a problem all sales organizations face. This is obviously a huge issue.
Here’s how it worked. A few minutes after participant introductions were made, I asked the group two questions. The first was this. “How many of you, while you were in college, planned on graduating and pursuing a career in sales?” Secondly, “How many of you, while you were in college, took even one course in sales?”
As you might imagine, very few hands were raised after either question. In fact, it was not uncommon that no hands were raised at all. And therein lies a problem for most sales managers. So how do you find qualified salespeople? It’s simple.
Sales Certifications: The Basics of the Craft
For almost any profession you can name, practitioners learn the basics of their craft in an educational environment. This translates to college, trade school, or technical institute. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of salespeople. Selling is one of the only professions for which there is little or no education available. Moreover, salespeople pick up a lot of bad habits.
So how can sales managers upgrade their sales force? Hire graduates of programs like Professor Jaramillo’s. And for sales professionals already plying their trade, don’t worry. Help is available.
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all salesforce development solution. However, AXIOM Sales Kinetics delivers outstanding results with clients seeking key qualities in their partners. Qualities include Customer-Focused Approach, Superior Process, Methodology, Coaching that Drives Change. Expert Consultants. and Instructors, and Customized Programs. Contact us today. We have over 30 years of top-level sales management experience. What’s more, we are here to help.