Education Requirements For A Sales Career

Few reputable firms in any industry accept anything less than a four-year degree from an accredited university. It is rare to find a business-to-business (B2B) sales position with a GPA below 3.1.

For some business-to-consumer (B2C) sales jobs, an accredited degree is not required.

Still, sometimes industry regulations, such as those in insurance, real estate and finance, require standardized tests such as the Series 63.

B2B sales is substantially different than selling directly to the consumer.

Whereas each consumer varies in background, most C-level executives a salesperson interacts with boast impressive educational backgrounds.

MBA degrees hold little to no weight when pursuing a sales career. Our firm has seen many resumes of Ivy League graduates overlooked because success in sales and having a fancy MBA are mutually exclusive. MBAs, out of just about all verticals, are the least potent degrees in the sales world.

A specialised undergraduate degree, e.g. a chemistry degree, is more marketable than a Master of Business Administration.

Niche sales representatives are rare and therefore heavily recruited by competing firms.

What if You Don’t Have Your Degree and You’re Going Back to College?

Be extremely over-prepared for sales job interviews. Stay optimistic, but expect an invitation to intern prior to full employment with salary and benefits. Keep in mind that it may be best to bring a writing sample and a PowerPoint presentation to the interview.

Since such a big portion of sales is done over email these days, great writing skills are a must in any kind of sales. Grammatical or spelling mistakes are embarrassing and if you make them frequently enough you can lose clients.

For a PowerPoint, concentrate more on looks than content. PowerPoint is a necessary tool for salespeople. A skillfully done presentation keeps the audience engaged during a sales meeting.

To this end, investment in a course or two on PowerPoint and any important software specific to a certain sales position is never a bad idea.


 Ken runs KAS Placement sales recruitment executive search a recruiting firm in NYC helping job seekers in the U.S. including Chicago sales recruiters 

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