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Evaluation of Perceptual Changes in an Engineering Sales Program

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Innovative IE Curricula

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.553.1 - 23.553.8



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Paper Authors


David Paul Sly Iowa State University

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Dr. Dave Sly is a Professor of Practice within the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department. He is a registered Professional Engineer with B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering, as well as an M.B.A. in Marketing from Iowa State University. In addition to teaching, Dr. Sly is president of Proplanner, an Industrial Engineering software company located in the ISU Research Park. For the past five years, Dr. Sly has worked extensively with business and academia on the development of a technical sales program for engineers.

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Daniel P Bumblauskas University of Missouri Harvard University

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Daniel "Dan" Bumblauskas, Ph.D., is an assistant teaching professor at the University of Missouri and Vice President of PFC Services, Inc. Bumblauskas researches and teaches courses in operations management, service operations management, production systems, six sigma, professional development, and international business. Prior to joining MU, Bumblauskas was a manager at ABB Inc., a global power and automation technology company based in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Adam R Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Adam R. Carberry, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Arizona State University in the College of Technology & Innovation’s Department of Engineering. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. Dr. Carberry was previously an employee of the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education & Outreach and manager of the Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP).

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Evaluation of Perceptual Changes in an Engineering Sales ProgramAbstractRoughly a half dozen schools offer programs in sales engineering or technical sales forengineers. In this study, we will present preliminary results for a study of learning outcomes forstudents taking one of two sales engineering courses offered as a minor in sales engineering at alarge land-grant, public, state university.The program of interest focuses on educating students in technical sales for engineers. Facultyand administrators reached out to an industrial advisory committee comprised of organizations todevelop the program with a vested interest in the program; specific organizations that hirestudents from the College of Engineering for career tracks in technical sales and marketing weresolicited.The instructor uses a combination of various sales techniques and strategies, from establishedtechnical sales programs to frame the syllabus for the course. This course has now been offeredfor five consecutive years, and surveys were taken of students at the beginning and end of thecourse since 2010. Assessment of the students has focused on their perceptions ranging frominterest and ability to helpfulness in learning specific technical sales skills.A paired-samples t-test analysis of students (N = 39; 54% industrial engineering majors) fromthree years of analysis uncovered statistically significant changes in student perceptionsregarding interest, need, and rank of current ability toward technical sales. Few differences wereseen when students were grouped based on enrollment in the sales minor and when students hadprevious sales experience. Differences included sales minors ranking their prior ability higherthan non-sales minors and sales minors or those with sales experience expressing higher initialinterest. A separate analysis of 20 technical sales skills at the end of the course also revealedgains ranging from helpful to very helpful. This paper will detail those results and seeks to drawconclusions on how the course is impacting student perceptions and attitudes, among variousstudent profiles, towards seeking a profession in technical sales.

Sly, D. P., & Bumblauskas, D. P., & Carberry, A. R. (2013, June), Evaluation of Perceptual Changes in an Engineering Sales Program Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19567

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