The emerging FCB sales program

Posted: Sunday, May 17th 2015 at 10:20 AM

The W. A. Franke College of Business is moving ahead with plans to establish strong programs in professional sales. Dr. Craig Van Slyke, dean of the college, believes more business students should consider a career in professional sales. Professional sales can be a satisfying, lucrative career. “Even if students don’t make a career in professional sales, the skills they gain from sales experience will serve them well in virtually any career,” Van Slyke said. 

Inside the Classroom

Since Spring 2014, the marketing major’s curricula has been extensively reviewed and revised. As part of the new curriculum, two concentrations were designed. In addition to a “Services and Societal Marketing” concentration, a concentration in “Sales and Sales Management” was developed in response to market demand from a wide variety of businesses for students with those skills and knowledge base. In addition to the current sales course, two new courses have been approved and will be added for the academic year 2016–2017: Sales Management, and Sales Strategy & Technology. Currently, nineteen percent of business students have chosen marketing as their major. 

Beyond the Classroom

Throughout the Spring 2014 semester, a Professional Sales Series featured four presentations showcasing outside sales professionals. The presentations held were: Jump Start Your Career Today; Empower Your Career: Women in Professional Sales; Launch Your Professional Sales Career: The First Five Years; and Doing Well While Doing Good, which focused on the non-profit sector.

To further expose the students to the hands-on aspect of sales, in March 2015, the 1st Annual Fastenal Sales Competition was hosted by the FCB. Students from all business majors were welcome to participate and test their sales skills.

Ten teams worked with Fastenal – Phoenix/Northern Arizona district manager C. W. Brock. The students went on a live sales call with Brock to observe his interview style of fact finding and analysis-related questions. The students took that information along with what they learned about Fastenal and presented their sales call. Tim Kraft, Fastenal regional vice president, and Blake Suedekum (also a Fastenal district manager) served as judges, choosing the team with the best proposal. Brock said, “Our goal behind the 1st Annual Fastenal/NAU Sales Competition was to give the students a real world experience in both sales and going into sales as a career.”

The winning team consisted of senior management majors Chris Snowden-Santi and Karl Shilhanek who then had the opportunity to go to Fastenal’s Supplier Expo in Nashville, Tenn. from April 7– 9, 2015. Shilhanek said, “Along with the information sessions beforehand, I thought we had a good look at how to combine products, customer service, and reputation into a value proposition for the customer.”


In April 2015, the FCB was recognized by the Sales Education Foundation (SEF) as a ‘notable’ program in SEF’s just-released 2015 ANNUAL magazine’s Top Universities for Professional Sales Education. “Notable programs are recognized for building university sales education programs that prepare students for future sales roles,” said SEF representative Marty Holmes. 

Marketing professor Kevin Trainor has been watching the program evolve and is confident the emerging FCB Sales Program will move into the listing of top universities after the new courses launch in 2016.

Find more information about the NAU-FCB Professional Selling Program HERE.

“Elevating the sales profession through university education”

Categories: fbn nbn flagstaff business news nau business news fbn may issue 2015 spring 2015 2015 faculty fcb sales program kevin trainor fastenal sales competition sef sales education foundation dean craig van slyke the emerging fcb sales program