Missouri State University

Marketing Department

Sales Management

Sales is a person-to-person business activity in which a salesperson uncovers and attempts to satisfy the needs of both a buyer and their company, with the ultimate intent of establishing a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship. The sales profession has evolved in recent years to become an encompassing enterprise that includes helping customers identify problems, offering information about potential solutions and providing service after the sale to ensure long-term satisfaction of the customer and the firm. Selling is more than simply trying to “unload” merchandise and make a one-time sale. Good salespeople are customer-oriented, serving the functions of both consultant and relationship builder.

Sales/Sales management offers a very rewarding and lucrative career path, offering an unusual degree of freedom and flexibility in comparison with other business disciplines. The industry continues to grow, and sales employment in the United States is expected to increase eight percent by 2016. In 2007, top salespeople at Fortune 1000 companies had an average income of more than $150,000. Salespeople often find themselves as the main, and sometimes only, contact a buying firm may have with a selling firm.

Sales/Sales management includes all the activities, processes and decisions involved in productively managing a sales force. Sales/Sales management was ranked by CNN as eighth in the Top 100 "Best Jobs in America." Sales/Sales management is expected to experience a 15 percent increase in job growth over the next 10 years.


Key skills for sales/sales management major

  • Understanding of the steps in the selling process
  • Ability to uncover and satisfy the needs of buyers long-term
  • Ability to coach and mentor sales talent
  • Willingness to listen and communicate effectively
  • Understanding of key issues driving recruitment and selection of salespeople
  • Knowledge of how to design a salesperson compensation and incentive program