If you put 100 professional chemists in a room, you’d probably have 100 chemistry degrees. If you put 100 salespeople in a room, you’re more likely to find another chemistry degree than someone who graduated Summa Cum Laude in sales. Now some of you might say, “but Perry, isn’t a business degree basically a sales degree?”. To that, I say “k”.
Perhaps a “Bachelors of Sales Sciences” is available somewhere but I haven’t heard of it. You may have heard people say sales is more art than science. Some may argue it’s more science than art. In my experience, I know the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. In the world of sales, there are proven methodologies that can help build successful relationships with customers. So it got me thinking about some of the classes I would have liked to take before starting my sales career.
Here are the three sales classes I wish I could have taken in school before my career in sales.
1. Morning Lecture
Sales Behaviour: Fundamentals of Getting Rejected
This course may be one that I unknowingly took at university, but I can’t say with confidence that it translated into my work. Cliche, yes, but getting rejected is part of the job. Not every lead is going to take the next steps, and that is okay.
Some mandatory reading for this course:
- Quit wasting your time and move on to the next one! By Probably the Professor
- Grind Culture: yes it’s stupid but you should still make one more phone call – Second Edition (no, last years edition will not work)
2. After Lunch Lab
Advanced Role Play: Why “now isn’t the right time” doesn’t actually mean what you think it means.
To any salesperson who thinks role play is ineffective, I fundamentally disagree with you. I won’t harp because I think the majority agrees with me. However, a class that would have taught people not to break character, get over feeling awkward, and how to pull off the perfect follow-up call would go a long way for any sales team. Final exam format in this class is obvious…
3. Evening Class
CRM 101: WTF is Salesforce and how do I make it work
I took two computer science classes at university. So for about one week after that class finished I could have designed you a website that would look good if it was the first one ever made. Technological transformation is part of today’s business landscape, whether you’re ready for it or not.
Unbeknownst to me, Salesforce was waiting – lurking behind every job application to devour me whole. Salesforce is the number one customer relationship management (CRM) software on the market. It’s the CRM of choice for over 20% of enterprises around the world so odds are you’ll have to know how to use it. So, the evening class teaches you the difference between a lead, account, contact, and opportunity. CRM 101 is a pre-requisite for CRM 200, where you can learn to build custom reports and dashboards. Baby steps. Extra credit if you actually take notes in this one…
These classes would be enough to keep me occupied for a semester, but there is no shortage of contemporary lessons that don’t have to be learned for the first time on the job. This also isn’t to say that a chemistry degree, or any other, wouldn’t be a great foundation to working in sales. It’s also never too late to learn something new. Most recently I’ve been learning how to help customers make smart business decisions by connecting their team with their own siloed data in Salesforce. You can too! Book a demo here – no course text required.