I am considering hiring an intern for this upcoming summer. This intern would be responsible for primarily cold-calling potential customers and trying to drive sales. I don't know much about pure sales representatives. I feel like cold-calling is the least desirable role. However, that is the need of my business and I would like to provide a college student an opportunity to get some "real-world" experience to help them down the road.
This position would be paid and have commissions associated with it. My question is, what major(s) would be a right fit for a sales position? Its easy to say "any" especially since its primarily cold-calling. However, if the student is a good fit, I would like them to grow into sales leadership within my organization. Because of that, I would like to find someone with an education to complement their skill set. With that in mind:
1) What major(s) should I target?
2) How / who do I get in touch with at a university to help find potential candidates?
I started an internship program once. To determine which majors would be best, I interviewed other members in the organization and compiled a list of what knowledge, skills, and abilities would best suit the position. Then I mapped those attributes to college majors. For sales, you may want someone with a marketing or business administration background.
Look up every college and university within a 10-15 mile radius. Narrow your list based on which schools have internship programs. Target only 2-3 schools, because you want to develop relationships with them. Don't cast a wide net for the sake of getting more applicants. Next reach out to the internship program coordinators. They will help you find candidates.
Instead of looking at majors, look for people that were the president of their fraternity or sorority. This usually means people liked them, and liking is 50% of sales.
If you are selling a technical product I would get someone from that major and make sure that the he candidate has people skills.
Lets say you have a SAAS web product. Now you can hire students from a Computer Science background. Remember no Computer Science student would want Cold Calling on their resume as their main role during their internship. So i recommend changing job requirements from 100% cold calling to 50% cold calling and the rest being a mix of development, administration, prototyping, product development and/or Business Requirement gathering etc.