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Sales Force Strategies and Management: MBA 698

Summer II 2006Instructor:Dr. Mark Leach
Office:Hilton 315
Phone:(310) 338-1896

Course Objectives:
• To examine the linkages among management of the sales function, personal selling activities, and the marketing area. • To gain an understanding of the role of the sales force in achieving of the firm's marketing objectives. • To develop an understanding of sales practices through the analysis of numerous case-based sales management issues, including hiring, firing, training, motivating, compensating, and evaluating sales personnel. • To develop decision-making skills and analytic capabilities around the development and management of both the sales function and salespeople.

Overview of Course Components and Topical Areas
The Context of Sales Management: This first module of the course offers insights into how the personal selling process works from both the seller’s and the buyer’s perspective. The recent emergence of sales management as a “boardroom issue” is also examined. Also overviewed are the three distinct types of “sales” which occur in today’s marketplace, and the different type of “selling” and customer account management which each requires. Finally, selected ethical dimensions concerned with managing the sales force are also examined.

Marketing Strategy & Top-Level Management of the Sales Force: In this section we examine how an organization’s sales force strategy is inherently linked to its overall marketing strategy and approach-to-market. In addition, cases and materials examine the concept of “relationship marketing” and how the firm should best organize its sales force to best cater to its specific customers. The last topic we examine is a pervasive one in today’s business environment – or why frictions and conflict exists between the sales and marketing functions in the firm, and what can be done to manage this.

Sales Force Deployment – Options, Strategies, & Issues: One of the greatest challenges which faces sales managers and marketing executives is determining how to structure their sales force – in other words, how to “deploy” their salespeople. In module 3, the common methods and issues which emerge when deploying salespeople are overviewed. We also examine emerging deployment modes, including “team selling” and “telesales”.

Sales Force Programs, Policies & Procedures: The focus is on many of the key issues and “decision levers” that sales managers and senior sales executives must grapple with. Issues pertaining to sales force recruitment, selection, training, compensation, motivation, incentives & contests, and evaluation are all considered.

The First-Level Sales Manager – Implementing the Sales Program in the Field: This final module deals with the role and importance of the first-level field sales manager and some of the challenges faced by a person in this position. It also examines various management styles which may be effective in dealing with salespeople.

Class Method
This course will employ a number of complementary methods, but for the most part this is a case-based learning course. Cases are often supplemented with one or more short articles drawn from a number of sources. These articles relate to the key themes inherent in the case and / or the topic(s) being explored in that class session. If you miss a class, you are responsible for the pool of material for that class (i.e., case(s) and all supplemental articles).

Cases and Supplemental Reading – It is the student’s responsibility to carefully read and analyze the case(s) and / or article(s) assigned for each class before each class session. Class sessions will be spent reviewing key concepts and issues in the assigned material and more carefully reviewing particularly difficult or troublesome material.

Team-Based Learning and Group Case Analysis / Presentations – Sales...
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