The Importance of “Sales Professionals”

SalesEveryone experiences multiple sales events every day via email, phone, TV, and direct mail in addition to billboards, placards, in-store signs, etc. Many students enter a sales related position, either by choice or circumstance, after completing their formal education. Have you noticed that many colleges and universities offer marketing programs but few offer programs focused on developing sales professionalism and effectiveness? Aside from construction workers and teachers, sales positions may be the top employment sector in the U.S. For example, in the U.S., almost 120 million workers make up the full-time labor force and over 3 million are sales professionals (in addition to those employed in customer service for large retail and fast food chains with many employed in these categories as part-time).

The largest sales professional occupational areas are “non-technical sales representatives”, “wholesale/manufacturing/pharmaceutical representatives”, “insurance sales” and “finance industry sales representatives”…these 4 areas account for about 70% of all sales occupation categories.

UCLA Extension is designing a new Sales Professional certificate program to improve sales effectiveness: sales tools, communications methods, presentation effectiveness, new media out-reach, “client first” behavior and more.

We encourage you to share your ideas for subjects and experiences we should include in our program design.


Roger L. Torneden, Ph.D., CFP®, CPCU
Department Director, UCLA Extension
Department of Business, Management and Legal Programs

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