National Strategic Selling Institute

The National Strategic Selling Institute is a newly formed entity in the College of Business Administration which focuses on the study and practice of relationship selling encompassing the domains of front-line organizational members involved in professional selling, retail selling, services marketing, and B2B interfaces. The mission of the National Strategic Selling Institute is to advance the relationship selling profession through leadership in interdisciplinary academic education, highly impactful research, and valued outreach activity. The program has made the university be named one of the Top Universities for Professional Sales Education by the Sales Education Foundation in 2013 and 2012. 

 
Activities of the National Strategic Selling Institute include the following

Educational Activities
Provide an interdisciplinary curriculum of sales courses for K-State students including the offering of a relationship selling certificate through the college.Develop a campus wide relationship-selling minor. Provide students with sales related internship opportunities. Provide opportunities for students to gain experience in selling through role playing. Provide sales-related mentorship opportunities for our students with alumni and community members and firms. Provide student scholarships. Encourage and support student attendance at relationship sales conferences. Develop a relationship selling distinguished speaker series. Facilitate company visits with a focus on sales. Actively participate in national collegiate sales contests.

Research and Faculty Support
Host academic and practitioner oriented sales conferences on the Manhattan and Olathe campuses.Provide summer research grants for faculty interested in relationship selling topics.Support faculty sales focused conference travel.Develop a white paper series in the area of relationship selling.Coordinate company visits for faculty.Develop relationships with firms for data collection opportunities.

Outreach Activities
Develop an external relationship selling advisory board.Develop and implement executive training seminars in relationship selling utilizing the Manhattan and Olathe campuses.Facilitate sales related consulting activities.

Professional Development & Programming

Although much learning goes on within our curriculum, the NSSI also looks for ways to supplement students’ education by offering professional development activities outside the bounds of the classroom. Activities include:

Edward Jones Sales Competition

Ready, Set, Sell!

K-State Sales Week

NSSI Auction

This is no ordinary auction! Held at the historic Wareham Opera House, the auction is a semi-formal affair featuring fine-dining, musical entertainment, and the auction services of The Canny Team of Johnson, Kansas.

The NSSI Benefit Auction allows our Advanced Sales students to learn about territory management, prospecting, phone sales, and the sales process in a real-world setting! The students are working together to find items for the auction and sell the tickets to the event. All funds go towards programming for students, including our equipment for our innovative sales labs, professional development programming, and travel for the K-State Sales Team.

To develop our future sales stars, the NSSI utilizes an innovative curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities, and professional development activities, combined with real-world experiences. Realistic experiences such as the NSSI Benefit Auction allow our students to hit the ground running once hired. In fact, research has shown that students graduating from university sales programs tend to stay in their first sales job longer and produce more revenue faster than their peers who have not graduated from these programs. The NSSI seeks to provide our students with an outstanding sales education and businesses with outstanding sales recruits.

For more information, please contact Dr. Dawn Deeter.

University Sales Center Alliance (USCA)

The Kansas State University NSSI is proud to be a full-member of the prestigious University Sales Center Alliance (USCA), a consortium of sales centers established in 2002 and devoted to quality and innovation in sales education and the advancement of the sales profession.

In order to become a full member of USCA, a university must (1) be a distinct entity within the college or university and recognized as such; and (2) pass the strict criteria established by the USCA with respect to faculty, structure, curriculum, affiliation, and quality.  Kansas State University is one of nineteen full members in the USCA.

Certificate in Professional Strategic Selling

What is the Certificate in Professional Strategic Selling?

The Certificate in Professional Strategic Selling (PSS) provides Kansas State University students with an opportunity to prepare for careers in sales. The certificate exposes students to the fundamentals of sales and, through our innovative curriculum and sales labs, allows them to develop the skills needed to be successful. The certificate is open to all majors within the university; sales positions are available in all fields, and as such a sales certificate is a natural add-on for any major.

What can the PSS Certificate Do for You?

The PSS Certificate will allows you to distinguish yourself by demonstrating professionalism and competency in selling skills. Additionally, the PSS Certificate allows you to participate in the many activities of the NSSI, including professional development events and sales competitions. Finally, the PSS Certificate makes you attractive to employers seeking qualified sales professionals!

What are the course requirements?

The PSS Certificate consists of 15 credit hours:

Professional Strategic Selling Certificate Core Courses (Non-Marketing Majors):

  • MKTG 400. Principles of Marketing (3)
  • MKTG 542. Professional Selling (3)
  • MKTG 560. Sales Management (3)
  • MKTG 570. Advanced Sales (3)

Professional Strategic Selling Certificate Core Courses (Marketing Majors):

  • MKTG 542. Professional Selling (3)
  • MKTG 560. Sales Management (3)
  • MKTG 570. Advanced Sales (3)

Elective Courses in Professional Strategic Selling (Non-Marketing Majors choose one of the following courses; Marketing Majors choose two of the following courses -- cannot include MKTG 550):

  • MKTG 550. Business Marketing (3)
  • MANGT 662. Procurement, Logistics & Supply Chain Design (3)
  • COMM 323. Nonverbal Communication (3)
  • COMM 526. Persuasion 

For a more complete review of the sales core courses and our sales labs, please see the descriptions below.

Interested in earning your PSS Certificate?

Entry into the PSS Certificate program is competitive. Applications are reviewed in October and March of each year. To apply, go to http://tinyurl.com/NSSIApplySales or contact Dr. Dawn Deeter at ddeeter@k-state.edu. Take the first step to becoming a qualified and valued sales professional!

MKTG 542 Professional Selling:

The Professional Selling course focuses on interpersonal communications between buyers and sellers, both oral and written; along with the mechanics and intricacies of professional sales presentations. Students learn the skills and then put them into practice via at least one interactive role play with a buyer.

MKTG 560 Sales Management:

The Sales Management course covers the management of the sales force in non-retail settings.  Topics covered include hiring, training, organizing, motivating, supervising, and evaluating sales representatives.  We also focus on further developing students’ sales skills, with an emphasis on sales leadership and use of social media and CRM. Students participate in at least three role plays: an interview role play (hiring a new sales representative); a joint sales call role play (sales manager accompanies sales person on first call); and a coaching role play (sales manager coaching salesperson on the joint sale call). The role plays utilize one product in a realistic scenario.

MKTG 570 Advanced Sales:

The Advanced Sales course provides students the opportunity to enhance their professional selling skills through advanced instruction and skill development, making extensive use of sales role plays and a role play competition combined with a live sales event.  Content covered includes building relationships, negotiating, adaptive selling, and understanding communication styles in a sales context.  Students engage in prospecting and telephone sales for the NSSI Benefit Auction, an event held in April each year. Each student completes at least 50 sales calls to find items for the auction and/or to sell tickets to the auction.

The Sales Labs

The Sales Labs were integrated into the College of Business with the welcoming of the National Strategic Selling Institute. The labs support two live role plays on closed-circuit monitors that relay the video feed to the judges board room. These labs are instrumental for the college in being able to hold on-site competitions.

K-State Sales Cat Sales Team

The K-State Sales Team represents the university at numerous regional and national competitions. Competitions allow our students to practice their selling skills in a realistic environment, participating in a 20-minute “sales call” as a representative of a product chosen by the competition sponsor. All “sales calls” are judged by sales professionals, with students receiving feedback from the judges.

Students also have the opportunity to hone their networking skills by interacting with students and faculty from other universities, as well as with the multitudes of business people in attendance.  Finally, students attend numerous professional development events and a career fair. Most of our Sales Cats have obtained internships and job offers from their participation in the sales competition career fairs.

Marketing 570 class

The Sales Cat will be participating in six competitions in the coming year: The National Team Selling Competition at Indiana University; The International Collegiate Sales Competition at Florida State University; The Great Northwoods Sales Warm-up at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; The RBI Sales Challenge at William Paterson University; the World Collegiate Sales Open hosted by Northern Illinois University; and the National Collegiate Sales Competition at Kennesaw State University.

Many students indicate that attending a sales competition is the highlight of their college experience.  Our goal is to share this experience with as many of our students as possible; more resources will make this possible.

Students – Interested in becoming a Sales Cat and travelling to competitions (all expenses paid)? Be sure to compete in the Edward Jones Sales Competition in October; winners of this competition automatically become Sales Cats.  Also, check out Pi Sigma Epsilon, our co-ed sales and marketing fraternity; PSE members have the opportunity to compete as a Sales Cat!

Pi Sigma Epsilon

Pi Sigma Epsilon is a national co-ed fraternity for students in marketing, sales and management. As a member or Pi Sigma Epsilon you will compete nationally in competitions involving Public Relations, Marketing Research, Management, Project Management and Sales. Pi Sigma Epsilon's corporate sponsors offer job and internship placement to many students at competition career fairs.

Giving to NSSI

The Marketing Department and our NSSI Advisory Board have developed strategies to strengthen and improve the program. Still, implementing these strategies and achieving our long-term goal of becoming one of the top universities for sales education requires ongoing resources.  Maintaining and expanding these resources relies on the contributions of alumni and friends of the program.

Below are four areas where we are actively seeking support. Your support can help us further leverage the impact of the NSSI on the personal and professional lives of our students. We invite you to join us in defining the future of the NSSI by making an online gift. To learn about other ways to give, please contact Tim Grant, director of development, or Angela Deines, development officer.

Below are the areas where you can help.

Student Scholarships and Awards
With sufficient resources, the NSSI would like to establish a series of scholarships and awards for sales students. Students can use scholarships and awards to offset the cost of their education. Such awards might allow students to accept a sales internship in another city, for example, that might offer greater experience but at a higher cost.

Technology Needs: NSSI Sales Labs
The Sales Labs, home to the NSSI, represent the heart of our sales programs. The labs are set up like an office, albeit an office equipped with recording equipment.  In our labs, students can go on mock sales calls that are recorded; the feedback received on their performances allows our students to improve and further develop their sales skills. The Sales Labs require state-of-the-art recording equipment. Currently we have two labs, but as the program grows the number of offices needed expands.

NSSI Advisory Board

The mission of the National Strategic Selling Institute Sales Advisory Board is to build a strong foundation for student support and communication between the academic and private sector to promote hiring and success for our graduates.  The Board plays a fundamental role in developing credibility and confidence in our NSSI program, instilling credibility and confidence in our graduates as they move into the workplace.  As respected leaders in the selling community, our Board will work to improve visibility for academic and on-site training programs through NSSI so our graduates achieve relevance and prominence in their chosen careers.

The NSSI Sales Advisory Board is comprised of sales professionals and business executives who provide advice and counsel on curriculum and institute strategy. Many of our Sales Advisory Board members serve as mentors in the College of Business Administration Executive Mentor Program, and all offer valuable networking and interactive learning experiences for our students.

The NSSI Sales Advisory Board meets twice a year in October and April. The October meeting takes place at the Manhattan Campus, with the April meeting occurring at the K-State Olathe campus. Advisory Board members are appointed by NSSI Director Dr. Dawn Deeter-Schmelz to assist in the pursuit of the national prominence in the academic and business communities. We value their support of our students!

Sales Advisory Board Members

Kurt Auleta, Vice President: Internal Sales and Distribution Operations, Security Benefit Corporation

Claire Barker, Manager, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.

Ted Bauer, Frito Lay District Sales Leader, Pepsico

Andy Beckman, National Sales Manager, Garmin

Nate Blevins, Account Representative, Ethos Group

Clyde Bouler, Managing Director, Modis

Michelle Canny, Auctioneer, The Canny Team

Tom Clark, Sales and Business Development Professional, Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group

Matt Cook, CEO, The Salesforce GroupNora Elmanzalawy, University Relations, Victaulic

Louie DeLeon, Mid-Continent Division Manager, Consolidated Electrical Distributors

Janell Farabi, Vice President, Enterprise Account Development – Retired, Oce North America

Todd Feighner, Regional Sales Manager, Sprint

Mark Franklin, Director, College Recruiting, Multiview

D.C. Hackerott, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

Lee Kahler, National Account Manager, QualServ Corporation

Larry Kendall, Chairman Emeritus, Author/Teacher, The Group Inc., Ninja Selling

Gustav Kincaid, Corporate Account Manager, Kimberly-Clark Healthcare

Thomas Kovacik, Director of Sales, Central Region, Essex Brownell

Robert Lindstrom, Security & Safety Consultant, Safemart

Colt McArthur, Account Manager, Modern Business Interiors

Christopher McDonald, Independent Agent

Jeff Parker, Vice-President, Market Management and Supply Chain Strategies, VHA Mid-America

John Richenburg, Owner, JPR Sales

Danielle Runnebaum, Sales Manager, Manhattan Broadcasting Company, Inc

Alex Sayago, Director, Corporate Business Division and Government Sales, John Deere Ag & Turf Division

Jason Schaffer, Director of Business Operations, TEK Systems

Dan Schierling, District Sales Manager, 3M

Bryon Schlosser, President, Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair American Homes

Jim Schnefke, Director, Project Development, McCownGordon Construction

Dave Slain, Sr. Vice President and COO, Inland Label and Marketing Services

David Stancliffe, Area Manager, Hormel Food Sales, LLC

Ramon Villarreal, Account Representative, Ethos Group

Steve Voss, Sales Engineer, McQueeny Group

Dave Warner, Director, Business Development, Ryan

Steve J. Wood, Agency Manager, Country Financial

Corporate Partners

Become a Corporate Partner

Please Visit Us!

We invite you to visit the NSSI on our Manhattan campus. Whether you are on campus for a career fair, an interview, or just visiting, we hope you will stop by to see what we have to offer! Please contact Dawn Deeter to arrange a tour of our Sales Labs and learn more about our program.

Dawn Deeter

Dawn Deeter-Schmelz, director
National Strategic Selling Institute

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