The vast majority of business graduates do not have the skills to sell effectively, research from a sales improvement consultancy revealed.
A study by Huthwaite International found of more than 300 business degrees and higher national diplomas available in the UK, just three currently offer a sales module.
Tony Hughes, managing director of Huthwaite International, said: "Sales skills provide the expertise to understand customer needs, be a good company ambassador and, of course, make money for the business.
"All these courses claim to equip students with the skills they will need for business success yet, by excluding sales, in the majority of cases this is simply not the case."
John Healey, who is a Treasury minister and former minister for adult skills at the Department for Education and Skills, said: "TV programmes such as the BBC's Dragons' Den and The Apprentice have pushed the need for sales skills up the national agenda, yet few people realise how many roles they touch throughout an organisation that are not typically regarded as sales-related.
"The UK's education institutions must recognise that such skills are essential if the UK is not to fall behind countries such as the US, where the ability to sell is more appreciated - and indeed celebrated."