The majority of business professionals believe that being skilled in sales is a crucial part of everyday life. Don’t think so? Try going a day without selling a product, idea, viewpoint or philosophy to someone.

That makes the achievement by the Professional Sales Institute at West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics (B&E) even more special, as WVU has again received national recognition for its sales education program. For the second consecutive year, the Sales Education Foundation (SEF) has published its magazine listing the Top Universities for Professional Sales Education and has ranked WVU in its Top North American Sales Schools list. By including WVU in its Top Sales Universities, B&E was identified as one of the top 68 schools in North America for sales education.

“It is truly a great honor to have been named as one of the Top Universities for Professional Sales Education in North America for two consecutive years,” said Dr. Jose Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean, WVU College of Business and Economics. “The Professional Sales Institute was only formally created in the past couple of years, and we believe we have made great strides in that short amount of time.”

SEF does not rank the order of the schools, but simply lists the top 68 sales universities in North America.

Sartarelli, who has a PhD in marketing, was a successful pharmaceutical executive with three Fortune 500 companies over a 30-year career. He retired from Johnson & Johnson in 2010 as pharmaceutical group chairman for Asia-Pacific, Japan and Latin America, overseeing a business of more than $3 billion in annual sales spread over more than 50 countries, supported by more than 9,000 employees. Needless to say, this business school dean sees the professional value in sales education.

“Our commitment to sales education has yielded graduates that are even more valuable to the companies and organizations where they go to work,” Sartarelli said. “Our student teams have been very competitive in national sales competitions. These invaluable skills help our students immensely in a multitude of ways across several areas of study, helping to attract even more Fortune 500 companies to the WVU campus for recruitment.”

Dr. Andy Wood, chair of the Department of Marketing at B&E, 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. We also strongly believe that students who have a background with sales education bring valuable skills to the table that are quite attractive in today’s job market.”

Sartarelli said the College has outlined priorities for future growth and development, and the sales institute helps recruit and attract.

“The Professional Sales Institute helps us in two important areas — recruiting outstanding faculty and attracting more Fortune 500 companies to visit us. Our designation by the Sales Education Foundation actually helps the entire school advance — we benefit in student skills, student recruitment, graduate placement and faculty recruitment.”

Wood said student teams have recently participated in events such as the World Collegiate Sales Open, where two WVU students made it to the finals, and the Taziki’s Collegiate Marketing Challenge, where WVU placed second out of 24 teams in the national competition.

Sally Stevens, executive director of the Sales Education Foundation, indicated that increased focus on sales and services causes companies to pay more attention to sales program graduates.

“With a track record for producing top sales talent,” said Stevens, “it’s no wonder that sales students have a job placement rate at graduation of 90 percent in their field, compared to approximately 45 percent in other graduate fields.”

Programs listed in the magazine’s Top Universities for Professional Sales Education offer a minimum requirement of three sales-specific courses, university recognition for individuals completing their program, and the opportunity for internships.

The Sales Education Foundation ranking report may be found at . For further information on the WVU College of Business and Economics, please visit .

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CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, College of Business and Economics

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