WSU Center for Sales Excellence

Established in December 2013, the Winona State University Center for Sales Excellence offers students leading edge instruction that prepares them for successful careers in sales. The core curriculum offers three courses: Professional Selling, Sales Account Management and Advanced Professional Selling. There are currently 41 Professional Selling minors in the program, with 70-100 students enrolled each semester. Director Marianne Collins noted that, “our emphasis is on equipping new sales professionals with the content and skills that are directly relevant to today’s business needs.”

Placing Top Talent

The Sales Education Foundation (SEF), located in Dayton, OH, recently recognized Winona State University as a top University Sales Program for its efforts in preparing and placing top talent in professional selling roles. While employment rates are up slightly for recent college graduates, Winona State students graduating within the last year with a minor in Professional Selling averaged over two job offers and 100% have accepted professional employment since graduation. The program has also been recently accepted as an Associate Member of the University Sales Center Alliance, which will enable WSU to network and share teaching and research ideas with faculty in sales centers throughout the US and Europe.

Sally Stevens, Executive Director of the SEF, noted that companies have an increased focus on partnering with university sales programs “with a proven track record for producing top sales talent.” Sales education carries many benefits for the business community. Companies are able to invest in the sales profession as a whole, and reduce their training costs and experience less turnover. Research has proven that new hires from university sales programs significantly outperformed other new hires and have higher levels of organizational commitment.

New Training Facility

To build on the program’s success, the Center for Sales Excellence will be opening a new training facility in the fall of 2015. This facility will include role play rooms designed and equipped specifically for teaching fundamental communication skills necessary throughout business. Sales students also have the opportunity to experience hands-on involvement in the sales process through internships and national sales competitions. The WSU Sales Team recently competed at the International Collegiate Sales Competition at Florida State University and placed in the top 25%.

For information on partnerships with the Center for Sales Excellence at Winona State University contact Center for Sales Excellence Director Marianne Collins at or Chair of the Marketing Department Dr. Robert Newberry at