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Online Education (masters Degree In Sales Management)

By Expert Author: John Srob

Master's Degrees in Sales and Marketing

Master's degrees specifically in sales are rare. More common is a master's degree in sales and marketing. Such degree programs teach two fundamental skill sets, including how to attract potential customers (marketing) and how to convert those leads into transactions (sales). One important skill students learn is how to analyze market trends and consumer behavior and use this information to maximize sales.

Many programs also offer training in public relations, which is often an essential part of marketing and relationship-building among a business' customer base. Salesmanship, too, is a major emphasis for most programs. Sales courses might teach techniques like building a 'yes' ladder, deciphering the needs of a customer, feature-benefit selling, up-selling and closing. Like many graduate programs, master's degree programs in business often incorporate research into the curriculum.

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission to a master's degree program in sales and marketing, and many programs require students to have a bachelor's degree in business. Standardized test scores, college transcripts, a personal essay and letters of recommendation are also required most of the time. Some programs that focus heavily on sales may require an interview as part of the admissions process.

Program Coursework

Coursework in these programs is often a combination of didactic learning and hands-on learning. Students commonly participate in sales role-play, collaborative marketing projects and simulations. The following are examples of class topics that might appear in the curriculum:

Consumer behavior and psychology
Market analysis
Public relations
International marketing
Innovation and new product development

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups advertising, promotions, marketing and sales managers together. The BLS predicted that the employment rate for these professions would increase 13% between 2008 and 2018 due to an increasing number of products.

Continuing Education Information

Ph.D. programs in marketing are available through business schools, though the study of sales is just one part of a doctoral curriculum. Ph.D. students apply advanced concepts like mathematical modeling to anticipate consumer choices. Most graduates with a doctorate in marketing pursue positions in research and academia..
How Distance Learning Sales and Marketing Management Master's Degree Programs Work
Students may be required to take courses in a specified sequence. In some distance learning sales and marketing management master's degree programs, participants are grouped into cohorts; cohort members take the same classes in the same order and remain together for the duration of the program. Students collaborate with each other and instructors through course management systems to complete projects and discuss problems and issues from their workplaces.
Common Courses in a Distance Learning Sales and Marketing Management Master's Degree Program
Sales and marketing management courses cover several areas of business and related topics, including finance, research methods, consumer behavior, advertising and promotions. Students enrolled in distance learning sales and marketing management master's degree programs may specialize in certain business sectors, including technology and health care.
Marketing Management
Students taking courses in this area learn to create, implement and evaluate sales and marketing projects. Candidates become familiar with tools and strategies to manage marketing projects.
Marketing Strategies and Techniques
Courses covering strategies and techniques typically emphasize marketing metrics and data mining techniques. Internet marketing strategies are also reviewed.
Marketing Research
Marketing research is a core course in sales and marketing management master's degree programs. Students focus on research concepts, including market segmentation and target marketing. Students also learn how to conduct research and interpret results.
Consumer Communication
Students review strategies to reach customers through advertising, direct marketing, promotions, public relations and the Internet. Distance learning instructors also cover consumer responses to various communication methods.
Customer Behavior
Courses in customer behavior explore how consumers make purchasing decisions. Topics include the impact of various sales and marketing strategies on consumer buying behavior.
Sales Management
Candidates learn to hire, manage and motivate sales teams. Students in this distance learning course review classic sales strategies.
International Marketing
Distance learning courses in this area emphasize methods for creating global marketing strategies. Students consider the impact of cultural, political and economic differences on international marketing.
Online Marketing
Instructors cover marketing through websites, blogs and online communities. Depending on the course, students may design online marketing programs.
Promotions and Advertising
Students learn to create, implement and evaluate basic advertising and promotional campaigns. Students examine the role of the campaigns as part of overall sales and marketing strategy.

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