Professional Selling

Why Professional Selling?

Selling whether it is a product, service or an idea, is an essential function in all organizations. The Professional Selling concentration provides business and non-business majors who may consider a career in business, whether it be in a for-profit or not-for-profit organization, the sales expertise needed to succeed.

Marketing- Professional Selling, BSBA

The professional selling program prepares students to begin careers with a foundation in business and specialized knowledge in sales and marketing. Students learn to drive industry initiatives that develop customer satisfaction, generate company revenues, and build connections with suppliers, distributors, and the community. 

Minor in Professional Selling for Business Majors/Minor in Sales for Non-Business Majors

Business majors not majoring in marketing with a sales concentration, may earn a minor in professional selling (this minor is not available to non-business majors)

2019 ICSCEngagement Outside the Classroom 

Appalachian's professional selling students frequently compete in regional and national events, including the National and International Collegiate Sales Competitions, as well as several others. 

Students featured enter sales careers with Mary Kay, Wells Fargo, Hershey, Hilti, Tom James, and TekSystems.

Alumni Testimonials 

Stephen Machanic, Northwestern Mutual 

By far the most valuable class at App State is Professional Selling. It set a great foundation for my Wealth Management practice! 

Morgan Coleman, E&J Gallo 

I started as a sales representative for E&J Gallo Winery through Windham Distributing Company in Wilmington. Everything I learned in the Professional Selling Program related completely to my job day to day. I had to do an extensive amount of online training for my position, and I had already learned about almost everything (minus the wine knowledge) from the program. 

Mike Moret, United Rentals

The Professional Selling class was a game changer for my sales career- I've become the top sales performer in my company program. It all comes so naturally after taking the course. 

Michael Lewis, The Premier Team at Re/Max Charlotte

The role-playing we did in class is helping me so much right now as I start to develop a client base and get to know more people, so I am grateful for everything I was taught. 

Satisfied Employers

Listing of satisfied employers included below, but not limited to: 

  • Aerotek
  • Neill TSP/Avayda
  • E&J Gallo
  • Ferguson
  • Hershey
  • Hilti
  • memoryBlue
  • Red Ventures
  • Sanofi Pasteur
  • TekSystems
  • Total Quality Logistics
  • Travelers Insurance 

Karl Ham, Senior Sales Leader- Tom James Clothiers

The students at Appalachian are enthusiastic as to learning and applying the skills of great salesmanship. I have been very impressed with the high caliber students in this curriculum. 

Tom Wirtz, Director of Talent Acquisition- Herc Rentals 

I just watched a presentation to the Sr. Leadership Team, and it was pure perfection. The COO turns to me and says... "Can you please find me 20 of her?" It was such a defining moment for our Early Careers Program. Thank you for caring so much about your students and the program in general, it certainly shows. 

Mentor & Sales Advisory Board Member Statements 

Rachel Clifton, National Director/Specialty Sales- CVS Health 

I have been in numerous corporate sales training programs over the course of my career, and I can tell you this- what's being done here is better than most of what I've experienced. 

Carol Sommer- Advanced Realty 

Thank you for giving your students real hands-on experience interacting with sales professionals. I was very impressed with what I saw on the day of final role plays... we ALL benefited from the experience. 

Kathy Trotta- Wyndham Capital Mortgage

I must say, I have been very impressed with the level of real life experience provided to students. Every aspect of this course has been very much in line with the type of training we afford our new hires. 

Advantages of a Professional Selling education 

According to the Sales Education Foundation: 

  • Over 50% of college graduates, regardless of their major, take their first job in a sales role. 
  • Fewer than 200 universities in the US provide formalized professional selling education (2021 SEF Annual Magazine) 
  • Students who graduate from formal university professional sales programs tend to: 
    • Ramp up 50% faster than their non-sales educated peers 
    • Turn over 30% less than their counterparts 
    • Save an employer over $200,000 within the first 12 months of employment 
    • Job placement for sales graduates is significantly higher than overall placement 

After Graduation- Job Placement Statistics 

  • Starting compensation packages typically range from $30k-$60k base salary plus commission, bonuses, and other incentives/paid expenses.
  • Starting salaries of students who recently graduated having taken the Advanced Sales Techniques class ranged between $45k-$70k base salary plus commission, bonuses, and incentives. 
  • Universities report that placement rates for sales program graduates average +90% job placement at graduation (2021 SEF Annual Survey)
  • Job predictions indicate continued growth in the sophisticated sales space (US Bureau of Labor Statistics for years 2018-2028)