Why an MBA May Be a Good Move for Sales Professionals

Sales professionals are becoming a go-to source to fill management positions

Every year, business schools introduce more Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs with sales components, and for good reason: Companies need that expertise. The sales team is integral to every company, but the work is demanding and has led to high turnover rates and a constant need for new educated workers.

Adapting to Changing Needs

Robust internship opportunities and wide-scale collaboration between MBA programs and corporate America have created a wealth of opportunities for MBA graduates with an interest in sales. In fact, according to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), 61% of recruiters agree in 2021 that business school graduates will have a fast track to upper-level positions in their industries, and there is a projected 37% increase in global demand for MBA graduates in the next five years.

Furthermore, the changing nature of new business, from fledgling startups to fast-growing Internet companies, has made sales teams a go-to source to fill management positions — making the sales pathway an attractive one to follow.

Leaders Pave the Way

Consider the daily responsibilities of company executives and how a large portion of their job revolves around sales in addition to business administration. Much of what they do, from planning new products to projecting growth and identifying new markets, relies on combining sales experience with business knowledge.

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, joined the company’s sales department during its startup phase after receiving his MBA. Chambers was able to track his team’s milestones and share results, overseeing the company’s growth from annual revenues of $70 million to more than $40 billion between 1991 and 2015. Sales professionals of all levels produce quantitative results every day, but their potential growth within the organization depends largely on the company needs and salesmanship skills to meet those needs.

A Positive Culture

Obtaining an MBA is a great way for sales professionals to acquire more skills and to better apply what they know. While sales professionals with business knowledge can help grow a business economically, they can also contribute to a positive company culture and encourage lower customer turnover. Sales professionals with a solid business understanding are more likely to find purpose in their role. Plus, a good customer service and sales reputation helps an organization build trust with consumers.

A Sea of Options

Business school, however, can be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost for those who believe that an MBA is right for their goals. Some schools have begun creating online MBA programs to offer the same curriculum to prospective students looking for flexibility. For full-time sales professionals, an online MBA program may be a great way to get an advanced degree while still maintaining a career.

Despite the changing nature of business over the last several decades, the need for a powerful sales team has remained constant. The result has been a greater number of business schools offering an MBA for sales professionals interested in following in the footsteps of others who moved up the corporate ladder.

Learn more about the Boise State University online MBA program.

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