WVU ranked in top 60 North American sales
schools for professional sales education

June 29, 2012

The art and science of sales touches our lives every day, so to be recognized for being very good at it is, well, a "big deal."

The University Sales Education Foundation (USEF) has named West Virginia University a 2012 Top University for Professional Sales Education, according to recently released USEF rankings. WVU's Professional Sales Institute, part of the College of Business and Economics (B&E), is ranked in the USEF Top North American Sales Schools.

"This is a great honor for the College because it recognizes that we have a tremendous strength in the area of sales, a skill that many people in the business world in many different jobs use every day," said Dr. Jose Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean, WVU College of Business and Economics. "In fact, a former boss of mine always reminded me that at the top of every Profit and Loss Statement is Sales. That's where it all starts."

"Our outstanding resources were actually 'pooled' about a year ago, when we created the Professional Sales Institute at West Virginia University," added Sartarelli. "This ranking shows that our students are highly proficient with these invaluable skills."

USEF does not rank the order of the schools, but simply lists the top 60 in North America.

Dr. Andy Wood, chair of the Department of Marketing at B&E, said the Professional Sales Institute was officially founded in July 2011 as the result of a very interesting statistic — half of all B&E graduates had taken a sales position as their first job out of college.

"Our research showed that between 2004 and 2008, half of our graduates took a sales position as their first job," Wood said. "We wanted to serve both the student and the employer by increasing sales education. That is what led directly to the creation of the Professional Sales Institute at WVU."

Since the creation of the sales institute, Wood said, there has been a marked increase in Fortune 500 companies coming to WVU to recruit students for sales positions upon graduation. Additionally, Wood believes it will also serve to recruit top-notch faculty.

"We have a distinct set of priorities we have outlined for the further growth and development of the College," Sartarelli said. "The Professional Sales Institute is helping us in two very important areas, those being recruiting outstanding faculty and attracting more Fortune 500 companies to visit us. This is important because it shows us that when we excel, the College benefits overall. In this case, we benefit in student skills, student recruitment, graduate placement and faculty recruitment. All of that is critical to the growth of the College."

Wood said the business school's sales education was center stage during the 2011-12 World Collegiate Sales Open, in which nine WVU students participated. Of those, three advanced to the quarter finals.

The mission of USEF is to promote the profession of sales and its role as the driving force to the economy. "Today, more college graduates will become salespeople than all other careers combined," USEF stated. "Yet fewer than a dozen of the more than four thousand colleges and universities in the United States have established a formal sales program. The overall mission of the University Sales Education Foundation is to promote the profession of sales and its role as the driving force to the global economy."