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COURSE NAME: "Sales Management and Professional Selling"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Anna Fiorentino
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 10:00 AM 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 and Professional Selling is to provide students with the knowledge and skills that businesses need to win customers and grow in an increasingly complex business environment. It will address the following key issues:

 - The role of the commercial function within the company, as it evolves towards an increasingly strategic function

-  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 sales people 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 measurements, analysis and forecasting methods.

- The sales pipeline: and essential tool for managing sales professionally and reach sales targets

- Strategy and tactics of Key Account Management - the "heart and soul" of professional selling

- Principles of negotiations: how to win a deal?

- The buying/selling process: what happens in a sales process on the customer's and the seller's side?


A particular focus will be put on quantitative methodologies to assess customer and prospect potential and to salesforce sizing and pipeline management. In today's complex business environments, fact- and data-driven decision making is key; particularly in sales.


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 negotiation and the selling/buying process in a consultative selling approach

-        develop a sales performance incentive system

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
Selling and Sales Management 8th editionD. Jobber, G. LancasterPrentice Hall0273720651     
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Instructor's slidesAnna Fiorentino--  

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
What is a Customer Success Manager?A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, S. LorimerHarvard Business Review, November 201   
Mid-term examIndividual, paper-based written test - 4 open-ended questions25%
Case study analysisIndividual, paper-based resolution of a short case study. No pc/phones allowed, only calculator.20%
Final case studyTeams will be asked to prepare a paper and a presentation on a case study35%
Class participation throughout the courseActive participation in class discussions, e.g., with questions, observations, reflections, further readings, etc20%

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.

After 2 unexcused absences, the student will lose 2 percentage points on final grade. After 4 unexcused absences, the student will not be able to sit in the final exam and will lose all related points in the final grade.

 You cannot miss a graded assessment 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.


Please note: On October 31 the class will be held remotely as we will have a guest speaker connected from remote

Week 1: Sept 5 & 7


Session 1

- Introduction to the course

- What is Sales; Trends changing the Commercial function

Session 2

- The Sales Function and the relationship between Marketing and Sales

- Sales enablement



Week 2: Sept 12, 14 & 15


Session 1

- Cachy case discussion

-Intro to the "Design, Manage and Monitor” Sales Management approach

Session 2

- Deep dive on sales roles and responsibilities

- Read&discuss: the "Diversion Tactic"

Session 3

- Sales force specialization



Week 3: Sept 29 & 21

Session 1

- Sizing a sales force - methodologies

Session 2

- Direct and Indirect Sales Force



Week 4: Sept 27 & 29

Session 1

- The "Pronto Espresso" case: resolution and discussion in class

Session 2

- The Sales Pipeline


Week 5: Oct 3 & 5


Session 1

-Exercises on sizing a sales force and on the sales pipeline in class

Session 2

-In-class graded assignment: Datapower case



Week 6: Oct 10 & 12

Session 1

- Strategic Customer Mapping: ABC models, Key Account Model, Scoring Models

-Scoring models: case study analysis and discussion in class



Week 7: Oct 17 & 19


Session 1

- Key Account Management - core concepts

Session 2

-The process of Key Account Management



Week 8: Oct 23 & 26

Session 1

- The 4 competency areas of a sales person: teach to learn exercise

Session 2

-Mid-term exam



Week 9: Oct 31 & Nov 2


Session 1

-Guest Speaker: Fabio Molinaro, VP Commercial Operations, Hu-Friedy (a Fortune 500 Company) -remote (all cameras on!)

Session 2

-Sales force evaluation process



Week 10: Nov 7 & 9


Session 1

- Sales force compensation and incentives

Session 2

- Qualitative and quantitative models for sales forecasting



Week 11: Nov 14 & 16


Session 1

- Budgeting and sales monitoring;- Assignment: test - discover your negotiation style

Session 2

- Principles of negotiation


Week 12: Nov 21

Session 1

- The Assael Matrix and the buying/selling process + briefing on the final exam, the Miller Case


Week 13: Nov 28 & 30

Session 1

- The "Salsa" model for sales dialogues; role-play initial sales conversations

Session 2

- Role-play sales conversations - part 2; key take-aways from the course



Week 14: Dec 5 & 7

Session 1

- Final exam: presentation of the Miller case (1st batch of teams)

Session 2

- Final exam: presentation of the Miller case (2nd batch of teams)