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BBA in Professional Sales

Begin your management career in the fast-growing professional sales industry

The Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in professional sales is designed for students who want to pursue a business undergraduate degree with a specialization in sales and retail. The program is designed to provide students with the skills and competencies they need to develop processes and provide sales of products and services within the modern professional sales industry. The curriculum is designed to increase and expand the knowledge needed to be an effective sales manager.

Why Earn Your BBA in Professional Sales?

With the boom in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers - companies like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Amazon Web Services - and the increasing reliance of top companies on cloud computing and other non-native hardware and software, the demand for business-to-business (B2B) salespeople has dramatically grown. Businesses, however, struggle to find qualified entry-level salespeople, most notably because there are only approximately 80 colleges in the United States who have a sales department on their campus. Furthermore, sales education is often outdated or purely theoretical. As a result, the majority of the companies we have spoken to are intensely focused on finding college graduates that have practiced skills in professional sales.

Professional sales, however, is not just a professional skill that will lead to a good job. In many ways, it is a liberal art in its own right. Sales teaches empathy, compassion, listening skills, and lateral thinking - all vital hallmarks of a liberal arts education. And sales in and of itself is an immensely valuable skill for students to have. Over 40% of jobs and countless daily activities - deciding where to go to dinner, for example - have some component of sales built in. Thus, in completing our program in professional sales, students will attain skills that are valuable both professionally and personally.

Turn "getting along" into "getting a job"

 

 

About the Program

Our Professional Sales major seeks to provide students with relevant, project-based learning, allowing them to develop one of the most sought-after skills in both Fortune 500 companies and fast-growing technology firms. This track features a heavy focus on relationship-driven selling, which is vital to ensuring long-term customer commitments in B2B sales. Additionally, all of our sales classes place an emphasis on hands-on learning, requiring students to practice selling with their peers and professors. Our goal is to provide students with valuable practical experience that will prepare them for the positions they ultimately end up filling once they graduate.

Our offering is not intended as a stand-alone major. Instead, it is intended to integrate with existing business majors, either replacing select upper division courses in a more specialized business major or replacing elective requirements in a more standard major in business administration.

This Professional Sales major was developed by Dr. Lukas Forbes of Western Kentucky University in collaboration with multiple Fortune 500 companies and our Curriculum Development Team. Dr. Forbes' role as the Director of the WKU Center For Professional Selling, one of 20 Fully Certified Sales Programs in the United States, made him an ideal partner to develop this curriculum.

Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Lukas Forbes, Western Kentucky University - Dr. Forbes is the chair of the marketing department of Western Kentucky University. He also serves as the director of the nationally recognized WKU Center for Professional Selling, one of only 20 Fully Certified Sales Programs in the United States. Forbes is also a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Selling and previously served on the review board for the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. His research has appeared in journals including the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, the Journal of Selling, and the Journal of Services Marketing. Forbes earned a B.S. from United States Military Academy at West Point and formally served in the US Army before earning a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.

Professional Advisors

In addition to working extensively with Forbes, we sought feedback from two major Fortune 500 companies - one insurance company and one technology company, both of which employ over 5,000 salespeople - to ensure that the proper learning outcomes were being achieved. These companies have also compared this Professional Sales major to their own internal training procedures to ensure that students are receiving a sales education that focuses on the most vital areas from an industry standpoint. Both companies have concluded that any student that graduates from this program will have a leg up in the job application and interview process upon graduating.

Curriculum Committee

We've incorporated insights from industry professionals through video transcripts and mentorship conversations, providing students with practical, real-life examples of sales strategies and ethical decision-making. Assignments have been restructured to offer a clear narrative arc, guiding students through a progressive learning journey. This structure ensures each week builds upon the last, culminating in a comprehensive understanding of relationship-driven professional sales. The introduction of detailed, level-based rubrics provides clearer guidelines and expectations, helping students understand precisely how to excel in each assignment and which areas need improvement.

Curriculum Committee Membership

Member

Organization

Notes

Lukas Forbes

Western Kentucky University

Academic representative

Robert Braathe

Braathe Enterprises

Industry representative

Charlie Anastasi

Rize Education

Industry representative

Meredith Williams

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

Academic representative

 

While selling is a highly interpersonal skill set, most companies also rely heavily on tools - such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software - and replicable processes to greatly improve the efficiencies of their sales cycle.

To that end, the Professional Sales major includes the following certifications, which will give students a competitive advantage over others applying to entry level roles within companies' sales organizations.

  • MGMT 366 - Relationship-Driven Professional Selling
  • Hubspot - Sales Software Certification
  • Note: While Salesforce is more widely adopted than Hubspot, skills are largely transferable between most CRM software, and Hubspot makes a better platform for students to learn CRM best practices for a variety of reasons, including quality of educational resources, greater ease of use, more clearly identifiable best practices and more.
  • MGMT 368 - Sales Leadership
  • Hubspot - Sales Management Training and Certification
  • MGMT 369 - Advanced Relationship-Driven Professional Selling
  • Hubspot - Inbound Sales Certification

  • Students will be able to apply the principles of relationship-driven selling to sales activities.
  • Students will be able to choose the correct approach to manage sales teams.
  • Students will be able to provide critical feedback about the selling practices of others.

Sales students average +90% job placement at graduation

Why should prospective students choose SXU for their degree?

  • The online courses, developed by top management academics and sales professionals, deliver in-demand professional sales knowledge and skills.
  • Small class sizes allow for close interaction with your professors and student colleagues.
  • You will develop the habit of lifelong learning and be ready to manage in the growing sales industry.
  • Saint Xavier University’s core values of service, integrity, and excellence, critically important in the sales industry, support your development as an asset to your employer and community.

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