February 26, 2018
Since Fall 2016, the Darla Moore School of Business' Center for Sales Success (CSS) has been building partnerships and putting students through the Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP) program in preparation for the center's official launch on March 1 of this year. The first board meeting will be held that day, followed by a student networking event and panel discussion featuring executives from the partner companies.
On March 2, 50 to 60 students will have the opportunity to participate in a sales boot camp that will take them through the five phases of the selling process — from building rapport to effective closing. Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end.
"We know that seven out of ten students will launch careers in sales, so we are offering more opportunities for students to develop and practice selling skills," says Beth Renninger, CSS director. "This will help us get a lot of students on the same page in terms of understanding the sales process and give partners a unique opportunity to engage with students in the learning process by providing coaching and feedback on their performance."
The CSS now has five corporate partners: Red Ventures, JEAR Logistics, Signature Consultants, Townsquare Interactive and Gartner. Each will be providing insight and ideas as to what should be included in the Moore School's sales curriculum and how students should prepare for sales careers after graduation.
"Hearing from alumni that what we're teaching is relevant and valuable is encouraging and exciting," Renninger says.
Last fall, a second class earned their CPSP credentials, sponsored by the National Association of Sales Professionals, bringing the total number of students certified through the sales center up to 30. This second class also had the advantage of using the new technology installed in the sales lab, giving them a space to work through the sales training videos for the course.
In addition to the completion of the second certification class, the CSS also supported the launch of the student-run Carolina Sales Club in anticipation of participating in sales case competitions this coming fall. Amid all this progress, Renninger says the purpose really boils down to three things: student discovery, myth-busting and job placement.
"Students are discovering what sales really means," she says. "As they learn more about the sales process, they learn more about listening to understand a customer's problems so they can more effectively position themselves and their products to be the solutions. Sales isn't about pushing: It's about influencing."
For more information about joining the Carolina Sales Club, participating in the sales boot camp, earning your CPSP credential or partnering with the CSS, contact Beth Renninger.
By Madeleine Vath