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The Center for Sales Excellence

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About Us

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to have a positive impact on the sales profession through education, research and service.

Our vision is to continually enhance the relationship shared between national companies and Georgia Southern University students interested in sales.

The Center for Sales Excellence was established in 2007 to support and promote our students pursuing careers in sales. The Center is in the College of Business Administration and offers a B.B.A. in Marketing with an emphasis in Sales and Sales Management. Through the Center, students gain experience with sales role-play in our dedicated labs and many go on to compete at the National level in competitions. The Center also works to bring students together with companies in the industry who are looking to hire.

Please check our links for Students and Corporate Sponsorship for more information. You are also welcome to contact the Center Directors personally under the Contact Us link.

Faculty

lmullenLinda Mullen, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Sales Excellence
Associate Professor of Marketing
Phone: 912.478.5437
Email: lgmullen@georgiasouthern.edu
Office: COBA 3316
View full profile here

 

llarsonLindsay Larson, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Center for Sales Excellence
Assistant Professor of Marketing & Sales
Phone: 912.478.0513
Email: lindsaylarson@georgiasouthern.edu
Office: COBA 2209
View full profile here

 

jrandallJim Randall, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing
Phone: 912.478.6625
Email: jrandall@georgiasouthern.edu
Office: COBA 2236
View full profile here

 

 

dshepherdDavid Shepherd, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing
Phone: 912.478.1961
Email: dshepherd@georgiasouthern.edu
View full profile here

 

 

Facilities

Due to the growth of the Marketing with an Emphasis in Sales and Sales Management major at Georgia Southern University, the Center has developed lab facilities that include 2 role-play offices, a conference room, and several classrooms spread throughout the College of Business Administration (COBA) building. The purpose of the facilities is to improve our ability to prepare our students for successful careers in professional selling and sales management. Individuals can improve their selling and overall communication skills.

Advisory Board

Advisory board is being updated

Research

Sales Center faculty are continually engaged in research in the fields of sales and sales management. Their work has been published in some of the top academic and peer reviewed journals.

Topic: eWOM Watchdogs: Ego-Threatening Product Domains and the Policing of Positive Online Reviews
Author: Lindsay Larson and Trey Denton (2014)
Publication: Journal of Psychology & Marketing, Vol. 31, Issue 9, p801-811

Topic: The Effect of Antecedent Mood on Customer Loyalty Intentions: A Mood by Gender Interaction
Author: Michael Thomas, Lindsay Larson, & Linda Mullen (2014)
Publication: Journal of Applied Marketing Theory, Vol. 5, No. 1, p14-30

Topic: Audubon Hill: A Relationship Marketing Case Study
Author: Dora Schmit and Lindsay Larson (2013)
Publication: Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, Vol. 19, Issue 7, p55

Topic: Mental Modes: Priming of Expertise-Based Dispositions in Expertise-Unrelated Contexts
Author: Lindsay Larson, Ezequiel Morsella, & John Bargh (2012)
Publication: Psicologica: International Journal of Methodology and Experimental Psychology Vol. 33, No. 2, p305-317 

Topic: Designing Process-Oriented Guided-Inquiry Activities: A New Innovation for Marketing Classes
Author: Dena Hale and Linda Mullen (2009)
Publication: Marketing Education Review, Vol. 19, Issue 1, p73-80

Students
Curriculum

A BBA in Marketing with an Emphasis in Sales and Sales Management is for the student interested in sales as an entry-level marketing position or in sales as a career.

Detailed course requirements and descriptions for the Sales and Sales Management Emphasis can be found below:

MKTG 3131: Principles of Marketing – A basic survey of the field of marketing with emphasis upon the problems of policy determination and marketing management. Consideration is given to the international and ethical aspects of marketing decisions.

MKTG 3133: Professional Selling – A study of methods of selling. Topics covered include analysis of prospects, knowledge of merchandise and its uses, preparation of sales presentations, methods of handling objections and closing sales, with emphasis on relationship selling. Videotaped role playing required.

MKTG 3134: Business Marketing – A study of business to business marketing as a subset of the overall discipline of marketing.

MKTG 4133: Sales Management – Management of sales force activities. Emphasis is on organization, territory design, leadership skills, motivation, and cost analysis.

MKTG 4232: Advanced Selling – An advanced course that integrates and extends concepts encountered in other selling and sales- elated courses. Particular emphasis is placed on negotiating skills and customer relationship management (CRM), as well as general sales-related topics including sales automation and time/territory management. Students will be required to spend time in the field with professional salespeople and to prepare and deliver several effective sales presentations.

MKTG 4890: Sales Competition in U.S. – Independent study and research in selected areas of Marketing under supervision of a member of the Marketing faculty.

BBA Sales Emphasis Advising Worksheet

Internships

An internship is defined as a fixed term work experience with clear learning objectives. It provides the opportunity to apply concepts and theories learned in the classroom to practical situations and problems under the supervision and guidance of a practicing professional. Internships may be full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, and for-credit or not-for-credit. Academic credit may be awarded for successful completion of an internship provided the guidelines specified by the College of Business Administration (COBA), the Department of Marketing, and the academic requirements stated in the University catalog have been met.

Advisor for Sales Internships:

Dr. Michael L. Thomas

mthomas@georgiasouthern.edu

For more information on Internship Opportunities, please click here.

Certifications in Sales

SPIN

After the completion of our Advanced Sales classes you will receive SPIN Certification. Georgia Southern University offers an academic certificate in Huthwaite skills-based program that teaches sales students in advanced classes, how to sell more successfully using the proven SPIN® model of sales effectiveness. You will learn how to:

  • Plan for a successful sales call that moves the sale forward
  • Ask the right questions during each phase of the selling process
  • Turn implied needs into the kind of pain that motivates your customer to buy
  • Create real value – not just communicate it – for your clients
  • Avoid objections by offering true needs-based solutions
  • Build stronger customer relationships and close more business!

 

University Sales Center Alliance Certification

The purpose of the Certified Sales Student program is to offer university students the opportunity to receive recognition for going beyond minimal course requirements in preparing themselves for successful sales jobs and careers. Completing the process required to receive this certification helps participants to differentiate themselves from other students in the sales employment market. Similarly, by denoting exceptional commitment and achievement, the program assists employers in identifying the best candidates for sales positions nationwide and around the world.

For more information, please click here

Competitions

Students can gain real-world experience by competing in sales competitions. High-level role play scenarios teach students how to deal with challenges in business-to-business and business-to-consumer selling situations while developing their sales skills. Students also have the opportunity to interact with business professionals from various industries.”

Georgia Southern Sales students regularly compete in the following National and International Competitions each year:

National Collegiate Sales Competition

International Collegiate Sales Competition

More information and a full list of sales competitions can be found at the University Sales Center Alliance webpage.

Current Partners

Current Partners are being updated

Prospective Sponsors and Partners

There are many opportunities for businesses to sponsor or become involved with our Center and students.

sponsorbrochure

 

Download the Sponsorship Opportunities Brochure

Contact Us

To learn more about becoming a corporate sponsor or partner, contract Dr. Linda Mullen directly at (912) 478-5437 or lgmullen@georgiasouthern.edu.

Alumni

Are you an Alumni of Georgia Southern’s Sales Program? Please contact us with an update, we’d love to hear from you!

News & Events

 

Belk Meet & Greet

Oct. 22, 2014, 11:15am – 1:15pmMeet with representatives from the company and enjoy a free lunch, while it lasts!

College of Business Administration, Room 3319

Executives in Residence

Oct. 22, 2014, 5:00pm – 5:50pm

Mr. Rodger Herndon, Deloitte and Touche, and Mrs. Paula Mooney, Bethany Home, Inc., are the featured executives this year. Their topic is “How Two Professionals Have Achieved Work-Life Balance Throughout Their Successful Careers.” A Q&A session will follow. This program is relevant to ALL majors.

Performance Arts Center (PAC)

The Great Northwoods Sales Warm-Up

Oct. 23-25, 2014

This 2 ½ day sales competition focuses on student development. Student participants deliver two 20-minute sales presentations – one for an actual product and one for an actual service – to professional buyers. Calls are evaluated by a panel of sales professionals. Professional development activities (including a job fair) and social events provide multiple opportunities for participant networking. Awards of over $5,000 are given to the overall highest scores. All meals, lodging and travel expenses are covered by sponsors.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI

Eagle Expo Career Fair

Oct. 29, 2014, 12:00pm – 4:00pm

The largest career fair at Georgia Southern University, this event is open to all employers in all industries hiring for co-ops, internships and full-time positions.

Recreation Activity Center (RAC)

International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC)

Nov. 7-9, 2014

The ICSC combines challenges in the 3 most sought after selling skills – selling business-to-business, selling direct to consumer, and using the latest video conferencing technology to present solutions o international decision makers. The event includes a job fair sponsored by over 25 Fortune 500 companies, along with mini educational seminars.  Over $10,000 in prizes will be awarded to students and faculty coaches.

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Russ Berrie Institute National Sales Challenge (RBI)

Nov. 19-21, 2014

At this 3 day event, top sales students from across the country meet with representatives from major corporations and participate in three separate competitive events: sales call role-plays, speed selling, and in-basket sales experience. The competition delivers students the opportunity to make connections, receive valuable selling knowledge, and perfect their sales skills.

William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

Mock Interview Day

Feb. 24, 2014, 9:00am – 8:00pm

Open to all employers and students, Mock Interview Day provides employers with the opportunity to conduct one-on-one practice interviews with students.

Union Ballroom

Eagle Expo Career Fair

Feb. 25, 2014, 12:00pm – 4:00pm

The largest career fair at Georgia Southern University, this event is open to all employers in all industries hiring for co-ops, internships and full-time positions.

Recreation Activity Center (RAC)

National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC)

Mar. 29-31, 2015

Competitors make sales calls to fictional businesses in a 20-minute role-play with Corporate Sponsors playing the students’ prospects; their goals range from getting a second appointment to making the sale. The focus is on the sales skills exhibited rather than the outcome of the call. Awards are handed out to individual participants and teams.

Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

Last Chance Career Fair

Apr. 30, 2014, 2:00pm – 5:00pm

This is the last career fair of the year allowing employers one more opportunity before summer to connect in person with students regarding internships, co-ops and full-time career opportunities.

Union Ballroom

Research Shows that Sales Center Education Makes a Substantial Difference in Student Performance After Graduation.

Sept. 15, 2014

A summary of FSU Sales Institute research recently published by Willy Bolander, Leff Bonney, and Cinthia Satornino, in the Journal of Marketing Education.

Labor statistics point to an increase in sales as a key occupation in the present and future workforce. In his recent book, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink points out the number of sales people in the United States outnumbers the entire federal government workforce by five to one. He goes on to cite labor statistics that show changing workforce dynamics where some companies may lose as much as 40% of their sales talent by 2016. Yet the same changing dynamics are expected to create two million new sales jobs by 2020, increasing the demand for professional salespeople.

The news of an ever-expanding demand for salespeople in the U.S. workforce is not lost on the faculty working in business schools, especially in marketing departments. Professional selling has long been a common path for business school graduates entering the workforce. Studies show that professional selling is one of the most common job types for students graduating with a degree in business. Some studies put the percentage of marketing majors accepting a job in sales as high as 88% and as high as 60% for all other business majors.

As a result of these facts, business schools are embracing professional selling as a formal area of study. Between 2007 and 2011, sales as a significant area of study grew from 45 schools in 2007 to 101 schools in 2011 (Fogel et al. 2012). Likewise, 34 schools have formal sales centers recognized by the University Sales Center Alliance (USCA), a 300% gain since the USCA’s founding. The Sales Education Foundation also reports that the number of universities offering sales education programs is growing at rapid rate. However, even with a growing need for, and supply of, business graduates with formal sales education, a key question remains: does a student’s participation in a sales education program impact his or her performance after graduating and entering the workforce?

This is exactly the question that researchers at the FSU Sales Institute wanted to answer with their latest research project. To do this, the research team at FSU administered a survey to recently hired sales reps of one of its long-standing corporate partners. The survey identified which reps had participated in a collegiate sales programs and then went on to ask about key selling behaviors that the reps use in their day-to-day selling activities. These survey responses were then matched to actual sales performance data for each rep.

The results of the study were quite interesting. While the entire study can be retrieved from www.fsusalesinstitute.com, some specific points of interest include:

1) Sales reps hired from sales programs significantly outperformed other new hires.
While some have anecdotally suggested this to be the case in the past, this research is the first peer reviewed study that uses actual sales performance data to support this claim.

2) Sales program graduates reported significantly higher levels of organizational commitment.
Given the high cost and prevalence of salesperson turnover, it is useful to know that, empirically, sales program graduates exhibit higher levels of commitment.

3) Sales program graduates are more likely to use certain selling tactics in their persuasion attempts.
For example, sales program graduates do a better job of making effective presentations and making personal connections with potential customers. This, in part, is what helps them outperform other newly hired sales reps.

Those interested are welcome to visit the FSU Sales Institute website to read the entire article, along with other pieces of valuable sales and sales management research.

Check out the full article here!

Contact Us

Please contact us using the information below:

Dr. Linda Mullen & Dr. Lindsay Larson
Directors, The Center for Sales Excellence
College of Business Administration
P.O. Box 8154
Statesboro, GA 30458
(912) 478-5437 or (912) 478-0513
lgmullen@georgiasouthern.edu
lindsaylarson@georgiasouthern.edu

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College of Business Administration • P.O. Box 8002 • Statesboro, Georgia • (912) 478-2622