It is well recognized in the business world that "nothing happens until somebody sells something." In most companies the sales function is the engine that generates the revenue that enables the company or organization to operate. Sales professionals account for nearly 10 percent of U.S. employment and many of the jobs available to marketing majors upon graduation are in sales related positions. Moreover, a sales position is often used as a stepping stone to a management career in marketing or as an outstanding foundation for future entrepreneurs.
In response to this demand for highly trained sales professionals, the SDSU Marketing department has developed an undergraduate specialization within the Marketing major in Professional Selling and Sales Management (PSSM). The objective of the PSSM specialization is to provide students with specific skills needed for entry-level positions in sales as well as careers in sales and/or sales management. These include analytical and critical thinking skills that will help them assess complex situations and make appropriate decisions that are reflective of strong ethical reasoning. The PSSM specialization is also designed to help students develop the communication and presentation skills that are needed to be successful in marketing and sales.
Marketing majors choosing the PSSM specialization will be better prepared for sales positions and careers and can differentiate themselves from other students. A number of major companies recruit marketing majors from San Diego State for sales related positions including 3-M, Xerox, AMN Health Care, E&J Gallo, Black and Decker, GEICO, Kohl’s Department Stores, PepsiCo, Sherwin Williams, Target Stores and Wal-Mart. Students pursuing the PSSM specialization will be better preparing themselves to become prime candidates for sales positions with these and other fine companies.
Undergraduate marketing majors choosing the PSSM specialization will take the courses required for the Marketing major including MKTG. 371, MKTG. 470, and MKTG. 479 as well as courses that are more focused on providing the skills needed to succeed as a sales professional. The requirements for the specialization will include MKTG.377 (Selling Strategy and Practices) and MKTG. 473 (Sales Management) as well as eight units of electives that can be selected from the following courses: MKTG. 372 (Retail Marketing Methods), MKTG. 474 (Business Marketing), and MKTG. 376 (Global Marketing Strategy).
Focuses on providing students with professional selling skills needed for sales positions. This course covers areas such as the development of sales presentations, consultative selling, presentation skills, systems selling, and other areas that are important for entry-level sales positions.
Focuses on managerial aspects of sales including recruitment, training, motivation, and compensation of the sales force as well as territorial management, key account management and evaluation and control of sales personnel.
Focuses on various areas related to the operation of retail stores including different types of retail formats, purchasing, inventory management, promotion, merchandising, and control methods and retail marketing strategies. This course will provide students with an understanding of how retail stores operate and developments affecting the retailing sector.
Focuses on marketing practices and strategies designed for enterprise customers including business and government institutions. The course examines the purchasing process and practices of enterprise customers and the development of sales and marketing programs designed to sell to them.
Provides students with a global perspective and helps them better understand international markets and the changes in selling strategies that must be made to enter these markets as well as to compete successfully in them.
San Diego State is one of 14 universities in the country to be selected as a partner school in the 3M Frontline Sales Initiative program. 3M's sponsorship includes student internships, faculty fellowship and research grants, funds for course development and an annual academic conference for students and faculty on sales related issues.
Students in the PSSM specialization will also have the opportunity to participate in and travel to national sales case competitions sponsored by 3M as well as the annual Sales for Social Impact program which focuses on how business can be a contributor for social good by developing marketing and sales strategies to enhance the living conditions of those individuals residing near or at the base of the socioeconomic pyramid. Students participating in this program will have the opportunity to develop a sales-focused business plan designed to deliver social and economic benefit to an impoverished region.