There is a common misconception that earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Sales Leadership prepares students solely for working in sales. Yes, the success of a business depends on its sales. So, sales and marketing are extremely important. Effective sales professionals are valued highly and compensated well through base salaries, cash bonuses, and profit and commission sharing. But a comprehensive MBA program in this field readies students for far more than sales jobs, giving them more job flexibility and growth potential than evident at first glance.
A prime example is the online MBA program with a concentration in Sales Leadership from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). Offering a combination of foundational business management skills, leadership skill development, and focused sales, marketing, and customer relationship studies, this program prepares students for a range of positions of leadership. In fact, senior business executives and managers often ascend through the ranks based on this very combination of sales experience and leadership aptitude.
How Does an MBA Prepare Me for Positions of Leadership in Sales and Beyond?
Sales leaders need a thorough understanding of good business management and practices to be successful. The sales profession is built on business strategy, information systems management and application, financial management, sales and marketing strategy, and strong leadership and people skills. All of these aspects of sales leadership are interdependent. So, a sales leader’s effectiveness is a function of their competence across a wide spectrum of business expertise and abilities.
UL Lafayette’s online MBA with a concentration in Sales Leadership provides a rigorous education in the essentials of effective business administration, sales and leadership. Students can apply the knowledge and skills developed through this degree program to most any business leadership job. The flexibility of this degree enables professionals to pursue and to be successful in many different career paths. Moreover, many companies hire from within — employees in sales and marketing move up into positions of leadership and management. The following are some career possibilities of an MBA with a concentration in Sales Leadership.
Sales leaders integrate many aspects of business management, negotiations, strategy and leadership into their day-to-day operations. It falls to sales leaders to understand and utilize the vast amounts of marketing, consumer and financial data available. They apply data insights to sales strategy planning, with the goal of increasing profits. Sales leaders manage and motivate their sales associates. They also develop and maintain relationships with consumers, creating long-lasting customer satisfaction and positive brand awareness.
Qualified professionals in sales leadership positions command good salaries. For instance, Glassdoor reported that annual salaries for IBM sales leaders range from $144,000 to $228,000. Commissions, profit sharing and stock bonuses can make a substantial difference to total compensation.
Business marketing is intertwined with sales. Marketing is the basis of sales, generating targeted interest and exposure upon which sales are built. Sales-specialized MBA grads with knowledge of marketing strategy, methods and implementation, as well as the leadership and management practices necessary for directing a department hold an edge in the job market. This knowledge makes the slight pivot toward a career in marketing management a logical possibility. The American Marketing Association reports that marketing managers make an average of around $140,000 per year.
Executives in Sales and Marketing
The wide scope of sales-focused MBA programs can help students develop expertise in leadership, business practices, and strategy to tackle even the highest levels of leadership in sales along with other branches of a company. Even in positions such as vice president of sales and marketing, executives are still generally tasked with developing and closing the biggest deals, as well as managing the performance of their subordinates. Glassdoor reports executives who make upwards of $270,000 annually.
The above examples are three of the most obvious career paths for those who hold an MBA with a concentration in Sales Leadership. A comprehensive education in all aspects of business administration, leadership, sales and marketing can prepare you for many different, lucrative positions within the leadership structure of a company.
Earning a specialized MBA creates concrete opportunities in the area of specialization as well as broad career possibilities for the creative, determined sales professional.
Learn more about the UL Lafayette online MBA with a concentration in Sales Leadership program.