Choptank, university create academic sales program

Choptank, university create academic sales program

From left: Courtney Clopper, sales recruiter Choptank Transport; Steve Covey, executive vice-president, Choptank; Dr Olivier Roche, associate dean, Perdue School of Business/Salisbury University; Dr Amit Poddar, associate professor of marketing, Perdue School of Business; Geoff Turner, president/CEO, Choptank; and Pam Hutchinson, director of human resources, Choptank.

Choptank Transport Inc and Salisbury University’s Franklin P Perdue School of Business are partnering to launch the Choptank Transport Annual Sales Program, a pioneering initiative by SU’s new Mid-Atlantic Sales and Marketing Institute (MASMI).
With Choptank’s financial support, the university will offer a specifically sales-focused academic program, which is expected to complement the Perdue School’s current marketing curriculum. This may eventually allow SU to offer a minor in sales to accompany its degree programs, according to Dr Amit Poddar, chair of the Management and Marketing Department.
“We have worked closely with the Perdue School over the last several years and feel it has been a great investment,” said Geoff Turner, chief executive officer of Choptank and former  Transportation Intermediaries Association chair. “The caliber of talent we have realized from the school has been well worth it.”
Many people entering the sales workforce come to it from a more general marketing-degree background, as opposed to the more focused sales-oriented program the Management and Marketing Department will offer. Surveys have shown that sales program graduates ramp up 50% faster than their non-sales-educated counterparts. They also experience 30% less turnover. Sales graduates are prepared for their roles through highly specialized education and real-world, hands-on opportunities.
Creation of the new Choptank Transport Annual Sales Program “will allow the Perdue School of Business to meet the needs of employers in the mid-Atlantic, especially on the Eastern Shore,” said Poddar, adding that the program will “allow the department to better meet the needs of our students who are looking for sales positions.”
Choptank sees the new partnership as a win-win. The Preston MD-based logistics company has seen exponential growth over the past five years. A lot of that growth has been reliant on new sales positions. An academic program such as MASMI is offering should help fill the needs of Choptank and other regional firms for dynamic, well-trained sales staff ready to enter the workforce.
“A solid sales education gives students an edge in the job market,” said Pam Hutchinson, director of human resources at Choptank. “Successful companies know that having a trained and aggressive sales force is the key to growth. Choptank Transport is, in fact, expanding the Preston location to add 100 new jobs, the majority of which will be in sales.  This program will equip Salisbury University students with the skills they need to not only land jobs like this, but also to hit the ground running as soon as they start.”
Choptank specializes in shipping truckload freight, both temperature-controlled and dry van; flatbed; and refrigerated LTL. Intermodal capabilities and warehousing round out its service offerings. Go to www.choptanktransport.com for further information.

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