Edinburgh Napier University – Selling Point – New course puts sales skills at heart of curriculum
Edinburgh Napier University has launched a pioneering course which educates students in the science of selling.
Twenty undergraduates have signed up for the Professional Selling Skills and Sales Process module which expands on the traditional skills of the market stall or showroom and establishes sales as an important modern academic discipline.
The 15-week course, taught as an option for third year students at the business school, will introduce them to key selling skills and give them an insight into the sales process.
Sales specialists from the business world will join forces with Edinburgh Napier staff to teach sales strategies, buyer behaviour, ethical selling, sales responsibilities and selling in an international context.
The undergraduate course is launched this month(January), three months after four Edinburgh Napier masters students became the first in Scotland to graduate with a ‘sales’ element in the title of their degrees. All of them secured jobs in sales and marketing.
Scots-based recruitment companies say there are more unfilled sales vacancies than any other business or management discipline. These vacancies are often taken up by recruits with little or no sales skills, knowledge or experience.
Now Edinburgh Napier aims to work with industry partners to produce a steady stream of ‘sales-ready’ graduates.
Dr Tony Douglas, Director of the Sales Division at the University’s Edinburgh Institute, said: “It is the sales function that is most important to any organisation. It generates the revenue that sustains and grows the company. Nothing happens until someone sells something.”
Dr Douglas, who has a background in buying and selling, was keen to introduce ‘sales’ tuition into the mainstream curriculum and to bridge the gap between sales education and the workplace.
He said: “As any recruitment company will tell you, students with some sales knowledge, expertise and skills are invaluable to employers.”
The course is an optional module within BA Business Management programmes at the university, aimed at giving students an understanding of what is involved in a career in sales.
Kenneth Miller, a senior sales professional in the construction industry who will teach on the course, said: “I’m looking forward to working to develop the next generation of Scottish sales leaders.
“This is an exciting time in the development of selling as an academic pursuit, and an excellent opportunity for Scottish-based sales-driven firms to recruit top talent.
“In the USA, sales is well established as a credible degree subject and an excellent career option.
“For any business graduate, having a firm understanding of sales techniques will add value in many situations. The ability to build productive relationships, position products and services and possessing the confidence to close deals would set any graduate out from the crowd.”
For further information contact Dr Tony Douglas on 0131 455 4354.