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COURSE NAME: "Sales Management and Professional Selling - HONORS (This course carries 4 semester hours of credits. A minimum CUM GPA of 3.5 is required)"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021

INSTRUCTOR: Anna Fiorentino
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 10:00-11:15 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: MKT 301
OFFICE HOURS: Upon scheduling requested by students

The course will look at managing a professional sales force and optimizing the investments made in the organization’s interactions with its most important asset: customers. Sales is a mission critical function for all organizations. Considering the recent evolution of markets, characterized by stagnation, hyper-competition, shortening of product life cycles, difficulties in creating sustainable competitive advantages, sophistication of buyers, sales are becoming increasingly strategic and their management a sophisticated set of activities. According to this modern evolution of markets and consumer behaviors, companies are fundamentally rethinking the role, nature, strategy, objectives, structures and processes of sales management to face these competitive challenges. Sales organizations, especially in multinational companies, are characterized by deep sales transformation and sales excellence programs aimed at increasing the ability of sales organizations to manage the complexity of the markets and increase their productivity. Sales are now increasingly less art and more science: the natural talent and the de-structuring that characterized the commercial roles in the past are increasingly supported (sometimes replaced) by solid methodological foundations and analytical rigor for planning, conducting and monitoring commercial activities. 

The goal of Sales Management is to provide students with the knowledge and skills that businesses need to win customers and grow in this increasingly complex business environment. It will address the following key issues:

 - The role of the commercial function within the company, as a function and as specific roles, as it evolves towards an even greater contribution to the elaboration of the company's strategy, not just to its implementation

-  The design of a commercial structure, as its responsibilities are increasingly customer-centric and oriented towards creating value for the company and for the customer

-  The skills of commercial resources and their management, increasingly holistic and oriented towards building partnerships with customers rather than individual sales transactions

- The compensation systems, performance analysis and planning  cycle, increasingly based on precise measurements and sophisticated analytical and forecasting methods


At the end of the course, students will be able to:

 -        understand the market dynamics underlying the transformation of the role of sales as a function and for sales professionals

-        understand the role of sales in pursuing business and marketing objectives

-        know all the elements of a sales management system

-        specialize and size a sales force based on objectives and markets

-        map priority customers, identify and manage Key Accounts

-        plan and monitor a sales pipeline

-        identify the roles, the key competencies and the critical success factors of a sales force

-        articulate the consultative selling approach

-        understand the selling/buying process in a consultative selling approach

-        develop a sales performance incentive system

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Contemporary Selling: Building Relationships, Creating ValueG. Marshall, M. W. JohnstonRoutledge; 4 edition, 2013  For Honors course students only. Specific readings will be indicated during the course
Key Account Management: the Definitive GuideM. McDonald and D. WoodburnElsevier978–0–7506–6246–8 Available online. Selected chapters only
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
What is a Customer Success Manager?A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, S. LorimerHarvard Business Review, November 2019  Available online
Selling and Sales Management, 8th editionD. Jobber, G. LancasterPrentice Hall  -Available online: https://epdf.pub/queue/selling-and-sales-management.html

Mid-termWritten test - case study30%
Group Project final termTeams of 3-4 students will be asked to prepare a sales program for a consolidated business35%
Final examSolution of a business case35%
Class ParticipationActive participation in discussions, e.g., questions, observations, answers15%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.



Attendance is required for at least 80% of the course, given the interactive nature of the course based on discussions, exercises, skills drills. Most topics have an in-class exercise practicing the skills covered in the class.

 You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed.  

As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.





1: Course introduction and the call for transforming sales management

- Introduction to the course

- Market trends impacting the Sales function

- The role of Sales in pursuing corporate and marketing objectives


2: The Sales Management system

- The “Design, Manage and Monitor” Sales Management approach


3: Designing a sales force

- Sales force specialization

- Sizing a sales force


4: Strategic customer mapping

- The ABC model for customer portfolio analysis

- The Key Account map


5: Key Account Management

- Key Account Management basics


6: Key competencies and key activities of a sales force

- Key competencies in sales

- The Sales Funnel


7: Mid-Term exam

- Case study

everything discussed
in 1-6

8: Roles in Sales and key performance metrics

- Direct and indirect sales forces

- Key performance indicators



9: Professional selling theory and approaches

- The consultative selling model: creating value in seller/buyer interactions

- The selling/buying process: discovery of and alignment with customer’s needs, presentation of solutions, overcoming objections and gaining agreement in buyer-seller relationships


10: Professional selling theory and approaches cont’d

- Communicating the message, negotiating for win-win solutions, closing the sale


11: Simulating sales conversations

- Practicing sales conversations through role plays


12: Sales force motivation and monitoring
Deadline to submit project works

- Sales force compensation and incentive systems

- Sales performance monitoring: CRM systems and dashboards


13: Group project work presentation

- Group project work presentations

Teams of 3-4 students will be asked to prepare a written essay on a sales program

14: Final Exam

Solution of a business case