The Rise Of The Sales University (Again)

The year was 1916, and the new "Bureau of Salesmanship Research" at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon) was launched in order to isolate and define the characteristics of successful salespeople. Founded by psychologist Walter Dill Scott, the bureau focused on identifying the training methods, processes, and personal characteristics necessary to sell complex products like insurance and financial services. Underwriting the organization were well-known names like Burroughs, Ford, Heinz, and Westinghouse. There, at the bureau, Scott went about the business of compiling what he could learn about improving "human efficiency." His work on compensation, loyalty, competition, imitation, and even "love of the game" led to a book on the subject that's now in the public domain (thanks, University of Virginia).

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