Sales program joins prominent organization

March 25, 2011

Bradley’s sales program just became a little more prestigious.

Bradley University is now a member of the University Sales Center Alliance (USCA), a national organization that promotes the study of sales in universities. USCA members network with one another and share ideas about effective teaching methods and research results.

The USCA represents the top 15 universities in the nation that offer quality sales programs. Sales students in USCA schools must receive instruction that is relevant to work done in professional sales organizations.

Most members of the USCA are also connected with sales competitions around the United States, which provide opportunities for students to hone their skills.

Bradley participates annually in the National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC), a tournament-style contest that evaluates students’ sales techniques in terms of interacting with clients, identifying their needs, presenting ideas to them, handling objections, and closing a sale.

Bradley has had the best overall record at the NCSC competition over the past six years.

Dr. Mark Johlke, associate professor of marketing, leads the USCA program here at Bradley. He makes sure that Bradley meets and exceeds the standards of USCA membership. This includes making sure Bradley offers specific sales courses, employs qualified faculty, establishes facilities that allow students to do multiple role-play exercises in class and restricts class sizes.

“You can’t have these monster class sections where students don’t get to work with the professor,” Johlke said. “Students aren’t going to get the opportunity to have these in-depth role-play exercises unless you have a smaller class.”

Dr. Ed Bond, chairman of Bradley’s marketing department, believes this USCA recognition helps put Bradley students a cut above the rest.

“USCA recognition is one more indicator that we are doing great work in the Professional Sales Program.” Bond said. “Graduates of other programs have to move at double-time just to keep up with our graduates.”

Students who have gone through a USCA program are heavily recruited, according to the USCA website. Because of this, Johlke thinks Bradley’s USCA membership is especially relevant to prospective students.

“If they’re interested in Bradley University, if they’re interested in a sales career, then they know that they can come here, to one of the very finest top programs available.”