The Professional Sales Institute in the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University has earned a ranking as one of the top sales schools in North America for the third-straight year, as announced by the Sales Education Foundation in its “Top Universities for Professional Sales Education.”

The ranking is the result of the 2014 listing in the Foundation’s annual magazine. The list of 83 U.S. and 11 international universities does not provide a numerical ranking for each school.

“This ranking speaks to the level of commitment by our faculty and students to the area of sales education,” said Jose ‘Zito’ Sartarelli. “Our ranking for the third-consecutive year demonstrates the level of excellence we demand of ourselves, but also the value we place on making sure our students have these important and functional skills that will set them apart in the employment marketplace.”

He has a Ph.D. in Business Administration and over 30 years of experience in the field, including working with three Fortune 500 companies. According to Sartarelli, those top-tier firms are increasingly recruiting WVU’s business students, whose sales education skills appeal to employers.

“Companies and organizations look at the quality of the professional sales graduates that come from B&E and they are impressed,” Sartarelli said. “These graduates are prepared to assist in one of the most important functions of any enterprise — sales. And they do not forget that a P&L (profit and loss statement) starts with sales.”

Dr. Richard McFarland, professor of Marketing and Director of Research for the Professional Sales Institute, said WVU students are prepared.

“A student team from B&E won the Taziki’s Marketing Challenge in a field of 32 collegiate teams this year,” McFarland said. “Our student teams have also done very well in the World Collegiate Sales Open and other respected competitions. Our students have been successful and our job placement rate is very high.

“The Professional Sales Institute is an associate member of the University Sales Center Alliance, and we are speeding toward full membership,” said McFarland. “USCA membership is highly valuable to WVU and B&E, as it connects university faculty members with a variety of resources and areas of expertise. I believe our ranking is a reflection of all we’ve done to raise the level of excellence in this area of study.”

Sales Education Foundation statistics indicate that approximately 50 percent of all graduates with a business degree will enter the work force in a sales-oriented role. The Foundation also said students who come from sales programs average 2.8 job offers prior to graduation, and that top sales programs average over 92 percent job placement for their students within three months of graduation.

“With a proven track record for producing top sales talent,” said Sally Stevens, Executive Director of the Sales Education Foundation, “the future of university sales education is brighter than ever.”

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



CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics

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