Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
Page Course Terms of Use
1.1.1: Transactional Sales URL Customer Relationships and Selling Strategies

This section gives an overview of the types of selling with highlights on transactional and relational sales. Ask yourself if you think you would be able to form these types of business relationships, as they will be important to your career.

1.1.2: Relational Sales URL Following the Script: How Drug Reps Make Friends and Influence Doctors

This article discusses how relational sales is used by those in the pharmaceutical sales industry. While this article deals with pharmaceutical sales, relational sales comes into play in many venues. The need to establish and maintain relationships with prospects and clients is often a key to a successful sales career.

URL The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to Work

This chapter elaborates on the importance of relationship development in sales. Some of the items addressed in this chapter will be revisited later in this course. Also, make use of the very helpful links to additional materials within the text.

1.1.3: Comparisons between Transactional and Relational Sales URL What Does It Take to be In Sales, and Where You Can Put Your Selling Skills to Work?

Read sections 2.1 and 2.2. These sections provide a comprehensive overview of skills needed in a sales profession and how to best utilize those skills. These sections will help you assess your own skills and what you need to develop to be successful in a sales career. The accompanying videos also offer useful insights from a wide range of experts, which you should find helpful.

1.1.4: Inside and Outside Sales URL Inside Sales vs. Outside Sales – Which One Is for You?

Real estate expert William Cook's commentary is designed for those in the real estate industry; however, it provides useful distinctions about general principles in inside and outside sales. This information will be helpful in determining which types of sales careers you will find most appealing.

URL Advantages of Outside Jobs

This article provides helpful and specific insight into the pragmatics of an outside sales career.

1.2.1: Entry Sales Positions URL SALES103 Discussion Forum

Read the instructions below and post and respond to the following topics on the course discussion board. If you have not done so already, you will need to create a free account at the link above to participate in these discussions.

To begin, go to any job search website or listing in a newspaper and view the range of "Sales" or "Entry Level Sales" positions available in the general area where you live. Identify three to five positions that most appeal to you.

  1. Post a listing of the positions and their descriptions in the discussion forum.
  2. Identify why the positions appeal to you (e.g., income, product or service, territory, etc.).
  3. Explain what you know or can infer regarding the sales positions in terms of being transactional versus relational and inside versus outside.
  4. Report what you know about sales positions others have posted in the discussion forum that you believe might be helpful to them.

URL Managing the Sales Force: Motivating and Compensating Salespeople

Read the section of this page titled, Motivating and Compensating Salespeople, regarding compensation for sales professionals. Now that you have read about sales positions that would suit your interests and the salary that might be expected, it is useful to read about a wider range of issues involved in compensation.

URL Best Ways to Interview for Almost Any Job in Sales

This article offers helpful advice for job interviews for sales positions. Balzano is a sales expert with several publications to his credit. He specializes in software sales.

1.2.2: Professional Sales Positions Salary Ranges and Averages URL New Business or Sales People – Commission or Salary?

In this blog post, Paul Gumbinner raises an essential question about sales professional compensation with commissions and salaries. Be sure to also read the responses to his post and query.

1.2.3: Sales Management Salary Levels URL Sales Manager Job or Sales Management Job – Which Are Better?

This brief article provides an argument for why you might consider a sales manager job over a sales management position. Basic but clear distinctions are offered in the article.

2.1: Ethics and Trust in Communication URL Ethics in Public Speaking

This section provides specific guidance on how to ensure that you are not unknowingly misleading your audience. It also touches on the importance of ethical communication and the long-term consequences of violating the audience's trust in you.

2.2: Professional Sales Ethics URL Professionalism in the Sales Ranks. Are You There?

In this podcast, moderators Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale discuss characteristics of professionalism in sales. Caskey and Neale are the regular moderators of the podcast, and they have extensive professional sales backgrounds. You can skip through the first four minutes of the podcast as the promotional information is not essential to this course.

2.3: Relationship Management URL Exploring the Relationship between Ethical Sales Behavior, Relationship Quality, and Customer Loyalty

This journal article explores the connections between ethical sales behavior, relationships, and customer loyalty. Ethics in the sales profession is essential to long-term success. As you read this article, consider yourself in a sales career for five or more years and how an ethical approach to the business would serve your professional growth.

3.1.1: Sales Territories URL Sales Territory

As you read through this brief article on sales territories, try to define a territory where you live for selling a product or service with which you are familiar.

3.1.2: Audience Analysis URL Audience Analysis

This chapter addresses audience analysis from a general perspective. As you read, think of yourself preparing for a sales presentation to a group of prospects or clients. Think of the questions you would have to ask yourself and research you would have to do in order to identify the characteristics of your likely audience members.

3.2.1: Persuasive Sales Strategies URL Persuasive Strategies

This section deals specifically with persuasive strategies. As you read, consider how you could implement the strategies discussed in a sales situation.

3.2.2: Overcoming Objections URL How to Turn Client Objections into New Sales

In this podcast, John Doerr addresses how to respond when a client has objections or slows down the sales process.

3.2.3: Feature vs. Benefit Distinctions URL Features vs. Benefits – Making the Complex Simple

This article gives a clear and useful explanation of the differences between a feature and a benefit. Think of items you own and pretend you are going to sell them. Identify the features and benefits of the items and decide how you would promote them.

3.3.1: Sales Speech Structure URL The Preapproach – The Power of Preparation

This chapter will introduce you to the "Four Ps" of presentation development. This concept will be helpful in sales and all speaking situations.

3.3.2: Presentation Considerations URL The Presentation – The Power of Solving Problems

This is an extensive chapter with video support that thoroughly addresses the topic of preparing for a sales presentation. The author goes into great detail about considerations to be made, ranging from your appearance to room set up to materials you should make available. The SPIN technique will come into play and this information will be helpful later in the course.

3.3.3: The Close URL Closing the Sale – The Power of Negotiating to Win

This is an extensive chapter with video support that thoroughly addresses the topic of closing the sale. The chapter offers a number of narratives and illustrations that clearly explain the process of closing a sale.

3.4: Sample Presentation and Student Created Sales Presentation Page Sales Presentation Example

Watch this sample sales presentation.

4.1: Building a Sales Team URL Managing the Sales Force – Recruiting and Selecting Salespeople

Read the section of this page titled, Recruiting and Selecting Salespeople, regarding the basic means for recruiting sales professionals. This information can be helpful both as you seek a sales position and later if you find yourself in a management position. For now, consider how this article can help you find that first sales position.

URL How to Pay Commission to Your Sales Staff

Read this article regarding how you should compensate a sales staff through salary. This information will give you some guidance as to what level of compensation you could expect in the sales positions you consider.

URL Sales Managers' Performance and Social Capital – The Impact of an Advice Network

This article offers the suggestion that managers help foster social networks among their sales staff. Consider the benefits you might garner by working in a sales team that features these types of relationships.

URL Treat Your Sales People like Customers

In this article, Chris Stiehl provides insight into his research regarding sales staff motivation. Which of these methods might work for you?

4.2: Evaluating Sales Professionals URL Want Better Sales Results from Your Sales Staff? Stop the Pain! Check the Sales Process

This brief article provides a synopsis of McKinnis' research and publications on sales management practices. Rod McKinnis is the author of Sales Is Simple: From Luck to Leverage. He provides a slightly different overview of how to help others find success in sales.

Course Feedback Survey URL Course Feedback Survey