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Pitt Business Professional Sales Academy

The Pitt Business Professional Sales Academy

Professional sales are integral to every industry. They are the building blocks of all new business opportunities and are the glue that holds existing business relationships together. Try imagining a business world without sales. You can’t. It doesn’t exist.

About the Academy

The Pitt Business Professional Sales Academy is a co-curricular experience designed to educate business and engineering students on the theory and best practices of effective sales practices and techniques. The academy consists of five workshops, as well as access to guest lecturers from leading industries. Upon completion of the academy, students will receive the credential of Certificate of Completion.

What You Learn

Students will learn both the art and the science of sales, and will develop the confidence needed to close deals and build sustainable networks. These skills are useful whether students are entering a career in engineering, or in marketing, accounting, finance, human resources management, supply chain management, or global management.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to network with leading industry partners sponsoring the academy.  These relationships are useful for job and internship opportunities.

About Our Partners

The Pitt Business Professional Sales Academy is offered in conjunction with Solutions 21, a leading Pittsburgh sales-training and strategic consulting agency. Solutions 21 has built custom content for the academy, and senior company representatives teach each workshop. 

The Pitt Business Professional Sales Academy is supported by the following partner organizations. Representatives from these organizations will participate in lectures by adding professional context and will be available to our students.

Sales Academy Workshop Schedule

Workshops are held monthly from October through February. Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are held from 2 - 4 p.m. in Sennott 2400.

  • Demystifying Professional Sales
    October 13, 2017
    2 - 4 p.m.
    Sennott 2400

    This session will discuss the common misconceptions of professional sales, as well as some of the primary positives and perks that come with a career in sales. Discussion will include what makes salespeople tick? What inspires them? What are their leading stressors? The session will also discuss the emotion-based aspects to sales that are fundamental to success.
  • World-Class Sales Performance
    November 17, 2017
    2 - 4 p.m.
    Sennott 2400

    All world-class performers study performance feedback or game film. Every day is a performance. The DiSC personality profile test provides you with invaluable “game film.” You can uncover your unconscious tendencies and become more aware of intuitive behaviors that feel right. This tool will help you discover new strategies for stretching beyond your natural preferences to make the selling process more productive and successful—regardless of the customer’s unique buying style.
  • Intergenerational Sales
    December 8, 2017
    2 - 4 p.m.
    Sennott 2400

    Effective sales leaders integrate four generations of "bread winners" into their sales efforts and adapt their approach in order to connect with each generation. Different styles and generations communicate differently, both in sending and in receiving information. Good sales leaders not only understand this truism, they also adapt their message so the listener is receiving the information in a way that allows them to “hear and understand” the message.
  • Solutions-Focused Sales
    January 19, 2018
    2 - 4 p.m.

    Sennott 2400

    Sales leaders must understand the “what” and “how” of selling to others. This requires communicating clear and compelling messages in a style that meets the needs of others. This session teaches this strategy by using the analogy of a jury consultant. Just as attorneys use “people-reading” to present the evidence in a compelling way, so must sales leaders read their audience. In this content, what is said is less important than what is “heard and understood.” 

  • Knowledge-Based Sales
    February 9, 2018
    2 - 4 p.m.

    Sennott 2200

    This session ties everything taught in the previous discussion through a discussion of the evolution of business and the keys to 21st Century Prospecting. Topics covered include the following:

    Looking at the past to understand the present
    Understanding the changing decision makers
    The new paradigm and its effect on decision makers
    Making adjustments in dealing with the changes
    Proactive positioning 21st Century Prospecting
    Understanding the decision makers most valuable resources
    Becoming a knowledge source
    Exceeding the expectations of clients and prospects
    Positioning yourself as a resource throughout a long sales cycle
  • Completion Ceremony
    Date/Location TBD

    Students who have completed all workshops will be honored at the Completion Ceremony. 


If you have any questions about the Pitt Business Professional Sales Academy Program, please contact Dr. Fredrick O. Kendrick, director of the Career Development Office.

About the Pitt Business Professional Academy Program

The Professional Sales Academy is one of several Pitt Business Academies. The academies are designed to equip students with industry-specific professional skills that can complement their academic major, certificates, and minors.

The Pitt Business Real Estate Finance Academy is another option available to students. Additional academies are currently under development.