• Rob Simpson

Business School + Sales = Huh?

An article in the July-August 2012  Harvard Business Review revealed that of the 479 accredited business programs at universities in the U.S., only 101 have a sales curriculum (21%), and a mere 15 offer either an MBA or some sort of sales-oriented graduate curriculum (3%).

Amazing and typical at the same time. The article goes on to explain that most business school curricula were created when the vast majority of students had been in the working world and were coming back to school to earn MBA’s to round out their professional skills. The boom in MBA programs led to more and more students going directly to graduate school. The rise of marketing as a discipline made an MBA in marketing much more attractive (and vague) than learning how to directly sell something. Talk about generals fighting the last war.

This translates into the real world in those who are excellent in their professions but have no expertise in developing business. The Accountant that strikes out on his or her own and the Attorney who worked 80 hours a week to become a partner only to realize they now have rainmaker responsibilities are but two examples.

Many years ago a company I was working for brought in a very successful college baseball coach who began his presentation by reminding us that everyone in the audience was the result of a sale. It made sense then and it makes more sense now.

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