Black-eyed Susans are blooming outside the Haworth College of Business

Career Pathway: Sales and business marketing

The sales and business marketing program will prepare you to excel in entry-level sales positions and provide the broader framework for future success in upper-level management. There are small class sizes and a hands-on, experiential learning philosophy. The sales and business marketing faculty all have real-world experience in sales and sales leadership.

If you choose to major in sales and business marketing at Western Michigan University, you will spend a significant amount of time in the Robert S. Kaiser Sales, Negotiation and Leadership Lab, one of the best university sales learning facilities in the nation. In this interactive lab, you will perform role-playing sales exercises in a realistic business setting.

  • Where do I start for a career pathway in sales and business marketing?

    Start by making an appointment with the Zhang Career Center, which can assist you in discovering your career interests and values. The sales and business marketing industry includes employees who tend to be conventional and enterprising. They value achievement, working conditions and working independence according to O*Net. Find out if your work preferences match careers in sales and business marketing by taking the Focus2 assessment.

    What is sales and business marketing?

  • What skills are sales and business marketing employers seeking?

    Technical skills are part of the proficiencies that are required for a job and may be developed in your major coursework. Sales and business marketing-oriented technical skills desired include customer relationship management software, ERP software, sales and marketing software, and business intelligence and analysis software.

    Interpersonal skills enable you to succeed and are often developed outside of the classroom. These skills include persuasion, active listening, negotiation, public speaking, social perceptiveness, service orientation, complex problem solving, critical thinking and time management.

    What careers involve these sales and business marketing skills?

  • How can I obtain an internship?

    There are many different ways to acquire an internship, online or in person. Visiting the Internship Catalog and the Career Outcomes Report can help you learn about the companies that have previously employed sales students.

    Handshake is WMU’s employment website. All students should set up an account and publish a resume. Resumes made public by the student are searchable by employers.

    Students use their Handshake accounts to view internship and full-time job opportunities posted by employers and sign up for on-campus interviews. For more information, visit the Zhang Career Center.

  • Student groups and supporting events at WMU Haworth

    Sales and business marketing student groups include Ad Club, American Marketing Association and Sales and Business Marketing Association (SBMA). Other groups include Business Association of Mentors, DECA at WMU, Delta Sigma Pi, Leadership and Business Strategy, Phi Chi Theta and Women's Business Network.

    Events supporting the sales and business marketing major include the following:

    • Marketing Career Night
    • Sales and Food Marketing Career Night
    • National Collegiate Sales Competition
    • National Sales Challenge
    • The State Farm Sales and Marketing Competition
  • NACE Career Readiness Competencies

    The Zhang Career Center at the Haworth College of Business empowers learners to launch successful business careers by engaging them in innovative programming focused on professional readiness, while developing partnerships with global, regional and local leaders who hire students. As pioneers in career readiness programs and experts in customer service, staff members in the career center strive to meet the needs of all students and employers.

    Career readiness competencies include:

    • Career and self-development
    • Communication
    • Critical thinking
    • Equity and inclusion
    • Leadership
    • Professionalism
    • Teamwork
    • Technology

    Visit the NACE competencies online to learn more.

Tasks and processes in sales and business marketing:

Account management, brand management, category management, competitive market analysis, consumer affairs, contract management and negotiations, customer retention, customer loyalty, customer service, market analysis, market research, market segmentation, marketing models, marketing plans, needs assessments, point-of-sale, portfolio management, product positioning and relationship building.

Careers in sales and business marketing:

Business-to-business (B2B) sales:

  • Account development manager
  • Account executive
  • Account manager
  • Channel sales director
  • Distribution sales manager
  • Inside sales representative
  • Sales director
  • Sales manager
  • Sales representative
  • Sales consultant
  • Outside sales
  • Sales director

Business-to-consumer (B2C) sales:

  • Customer assistant
  • Sales associate
  • Sales clerk
  • Sales consultant
  • Salesperson
  • Sales representative
  • Fulfillment representative
  • Inventory specialist
  • Order filler
  • Client manager
  • Registered representative
  • Relationship manager
  • Sales agent
  • Agent
  • Underwriting sales representative

Sales management:

  • District sales manager
  • National sales manager
  • Regional sales manager
  • Sales director
  • Sales manager
  • Sales representative
  • Sales supervisor
  • Sales vice president
  • Store manager

Business Externship opportunities

The Business Externship Program provides career exploration opportunities that connect students in Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business with mentors, many of whom are WMU alumni. Current sales and business marketing externship opportunities include Alro Steel, Coyote Logistics, Thomson Reuters, TQL and many more. Learn more about the program.

Major research tools

Book an appointment

To schedule an appointment, book with online portal or call (269) 387-2711 today.