• Course Introduction

        • Time: 22 hours
        • Free Certificate
        This course examines communication practices in the professional sales occupation and will help you enhance your success in many facets of the business profession. It describes the sales field and discusses the communication skills needed to support your professional sales practice.

        We begin by exploring various relationships in professional sales, the kinds of work salespeople do, and the skills you need to communicate effectively in business. We explore the critical role ethics plays in being an effective salesperson and business leader. Finally, we discuss communication skills in development, public speaking, and working as a part of a sales team.

        • Course Syllabus

          First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

        • Unit 1: Sales Relationships

          A career in sales presents a range of professional possibilities. As you think about the type of sales you want to pursue, focus on broader considerations rather than the varieties of products or services you might sell. For example, will you be required to make frequent, multiple, one-time sales to your customers, or will you be asked to create a long-term relationship with clients you will contact regularly? Will you be asked to find customers and clients, or will your customers come to you? Should you pursue an inside or outside sales position?

          These requirements result from various selling needs that make up different sales relationships. To communicate effectively in your role as a salesperson, you need to understand the sales relationship in which you find yourself. The relationship you have with your customers will shape the strategies you use. In some contexts, quick, positive, and efficient communication is preferred. But in other types of sales positions, you must develop a relationship with your current and prospective clients built on trust. In this unit, we explore the various contexts in which you engage others!

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

        • Unit 2: Ethics in Professional Sales

          The sales profession can invite deception and unethical tactics because it is based on communication between individuals that involves a vital element of persuasion. We frequently ask our friends, coworkers, and trusted sources for recommendations on products and services and avoid buying equipment or services from individuals or companies that seem deceptive or unethical. We usually take our business elsewhere if a sales item or service fails to meet our needs or expectations. Most successful sales professionals recognize the importance of developing a solid relationship with their clients based on honesty and trust.

          As a sales professional, consider your ethical standards and reputation and those of the organization or industry where you work. Your credibility and integrity often determine your success or failure, whether your position involves quick transactions or prolonged negotiations. In this unit, we explore ethical expectations and how to communicate ethically with your customers.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

        • Unit 3: Relationship Development and Management

          This unit centers on developing and maintaining customer relationships. As we have noted, relationships are a critical component of a sales practice. There are relationship development skills that you can use to help build positive and productive relationships with your customers.

          Before jumping into the key elements of building solid customer relationships, we need to discuss how to make your initial connections. We begin with exploring sales territories and what you can expect from the type of sales you are doing. Then let's take a moment to complete an audience analysis (your customers) – a key element in preparing an effective presentation, which we detail in Unit 4 – by taking some time to understand buyers (our customers). In the last two segments of this unit, we shift our attention to listening skills and the basics of relationship development.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

        • Unit 4: Making a Sales Presentation

          This unit provides an overview of preparing and presenting a compelling sales presentation. Sales professionals should begin by researching their prospective clients (their audience). You have learned how to identify the essential features of your sales territory: Who is your target audience? Where are they located? What do they need? And you have learned how to connect with them purposefully and meaningfully. This information will help you tailor your sales pitch to meet the specific needs of your customer base. Successful salespeople make the sale by curating an honest and persuasive presentation that encourages prospective clients to purchase their product or service.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 8 hours.

        • Unit 5: Sales Teams

          It may be helpful to look at your career from a team member and sales management perspective. At most companies, sales staff are part of a team. A hiring manager probably recruited you to work in your new position, and you will likely participate in sales training. Management will use various motivational approaches to engage you in the team. Before you begin your sales career, you should understand these dynamics that will likely guide your work efforts.

          Eventually, you may be interested in accepting a sales management position. In this unit, we explore how to be a good team member and how to lead a sales team. We present some ideas of the skills you need and the roles you will fill in a leadership position.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

        • Course Feedback Survey

          Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

          If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org.

        • Certificate Final Exam

          Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

          To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt.

          Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.