College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Center for sales leadership + education

Because of their vital role in business, professional salespeople are often among a company's best-paid employees. In fact, more people make $100k+ in sales than any other profession in the United States. These positions also lead to advancement in upper management in many Fortune 500 companies. The knowledge, expertise, and experience of sales is essential for most CEO's to lead their corporations. In today's competitive business environment, sales training is essential.

At the Center for Sales Leadership and Education, we create opportunities for University of Minnesota students to further their sales education, develop practical skills, provide applied business experience, and create sales leaders through education, partnerships, and research. In addition, we advance the sales profession at large through academic education, outreach, partnerships, and impactful research.

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some of our corporate partners

Some of our corporate partners

some of our corporate partners

Become a partner

The Center for Sales Leadership + Education would not exist without our corporate partners' generous support. Our partners receive direct access to highly-qualified students early on in their university experience, providing an advanced opportunity to identify and recruit students that best fit their hiring needs and company culture. Other benefits include opportunities to:

  • Build your brand around campus
  • Reduce recruiting, training, and turnover costs
  • Access networking opportunities with students
  • Make a positive difference in the lives of the next generation of sales professionals who may one day make significant contributions to your company

For information on establishing a partnership with us, contact the Executive Director Michael Oster:

Meet the team

michael oster

Michael Oster

Director |

Michael is responsible for helping to better prepare students for a variety of sales and marketing career opportunities, and to teach the newest and most relevant topics in the sales profession. Previously, Michael was a high school teacher, and spent over twenty years in various sales and sales management roles from large Fortune 500 Companies to a local privately held firm.

abby wilfe

Abby Wilfert

Graduate Assistant |

Abby completed an MBA at the University of North Dakota before returning to the Twin Cities to start a PhD in OLPD with an emphasis in Higher Education. She brings experience in career services, marketing communications, and entrepreneurship. Her current research pertains to career and leadership development through real-world practice, and she now helps to coordinate sales role play competitions and spread word about the CSLE.

Gopher sales team

Contact Michael Oster, CSLE Director, to get involved:

Collegiate sales competitions provide an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in pursuing a career in professional sales to develop their communication and presentation skills in a highly competitive environment. These events also enable students to network with recruiters and peers from across North America.

External competitions give students an opportunity to apply classroom theory in a real world selling scenario. This competitive aspect of our program is a critical part of the total learning experience and coincides with our teaching mission.

Within the competition, students engage in role plays with business executives. The role play is evaluated and scored on various aspects of the sales call — including approach, overall communication effectiveness, the ability to gather information, identify needs, provide information, present solutions, resolve concerns, and gain a commitment. The Gopher Sales Team will practice in the Sales Labs at CSLE. They will be coached by University of Minnesota faculty and executives of our corporate partners.

Students who participate on the Gopher Sales Team sharpen their selling skills, improve their ability to adapt to changing environments, network with top employers, and have fun competing against peers at rival schools. Throughout the weeks leading up to the sales competitions, students benefit from coaching sessions that prepare them not only for the upcoming competitions, but also to succeed in a sales career. Students who participate in national competitions often receive employment offers from corporations attending competitions.