U.S. universities offering psychology degrees outnumber those offering sales degrees by a factor of 6 to 1. Meanwhile, sales-related jobs outnumber psychology-related jobs 93 to 1. Most MBA programs offer no sales-related courses at all, and those that do offer a single course in sales management (which certainly doesn’t teach someone how to sell).
Each year, American universities churn out 350,000 bachelor’s degrees in business and 170,000 MBAs, and only a tiny fraction of those graduates have been taught anything about sales. In fact, the average salesperson has received 3 days of sales training in his/her career, and most of that was product-knowledge training. Meanwhile, a study found that 39 percent of B2B buyers select a vendor according to the skills of the salesperson rather than price, quality, or service.
Perhaps you are one of the fortunate few in this industry who was privileged to have a sales rock star as a mentor. Perhaps you’ve gleaned countless insights from the hundreds of sales-related books, magazines, and newsletters you’ve digested over the years. However, if neither of those descriptions fits you, now is your chance. The energy field is full of “accidental salespeople.” Some are actually quite good despite their lack of formal sales training. Some are not. The industry would be in a much better place if everyone in a sales or customer-facing role embraced professional sales training that increased confidence, efficiency, and effectiveness in targeting/closing projects and that’s available for the taking. Invest in yourself. You deserve it.
Happy New Year! We wish you much success and prosperity in 2019!
-Mark Jewell, Rachel Christenson, and the entire Selling Energy Team.