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FTMBA2019_II B2B Sales Management

Kurs ID
Art des Kurses
FS 2019
Prof. Dr. Ove Jensen
Bitte beachten Sie, dass AustauschstudentInnen im BSc-Programm der WHU eine höhere Anzahl an Credits erwerben als hier aufgeführt. Für weitere Informationen wenden Sie sich bitte direkt an das [International Relations Office].
Any business model basically has two sides: operations and sales. In most firms, the operations side is transparent and over-managed whereas the sales side is intransparent and under-managed. Many general managers perceive sales performance as a black box. This course discusses how to systematically manage sales performance. Your business education would be incomplete without sales knowledge.

B2B is larger than B2C. In B2B firms, sales and service are often the largest functions. In B2B, marketing is a part of sales, not vice versa. Most country subsidiaries of multinational enterprises are essentially sales organizations. Thus, becoming a master in business administration requires learning to lead the sales force.

The course content is organized around three themes:

  • Managing the B2B Selling Process
    - Basic techniques of personal selling (includes case: Scheel & Partners, WHU)
    - Demonstrating financial value (includes case: Atlantic Computers, HBS)
    - Assessing opportunities (includes case: Boise Automation, Ivey)
    - Inside sales and insight sales (includes case: InsideSales.com, HBS)
  • Managing B2B Pricing
    - Methods of professional B2B buyers
    - Calculating price-volume-cost compromises
    - Calculating and negotiating price-service bundles (includes role play: Windblades, WHU)
  • Managing the B2B Sales Force
    Territory alignment and sales force sizing (includes case: StepSmart, HBS)
    - Autonomous vs. algorithmic work (includes case: Parcel, Inc., WHU)
    - Pipeline management and forecasting (includes case: PackMach, WHU)
    - Creating high-commitment work cultures (includes case: DEC, WHU)
Date Time
Wednesday, 05.06.2019 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday, 06.06.2019 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday, 12.06.2019 09:00 - 17:00
The course intends to enhance five categories of competences. The practical orientation of the course shows in its emphasis on procedural knowledge:

1) In regard to factual knowledge, participants are enabled to apply salespeople jargon to discussing the status of a sale (such as the decision making unit, red flags, pipeline, RFQ, gatekeepers, and other idioms), to understand the specifics and terminology of sales management in various industry sectors, and to define sales performance indicators.

2) In regard to conceptual knowledge, participants are enabled to analyze the composition of a buying center, to classify the dimensions of sales performance management, and to evaluate sales performance KPIs.

3) In regard to selling-specific procedural knowledge, participants are enabled to apply a structured sales process and blueprint, to evaluate approaches for getting access to C-level decision makers, to evaluate the win probability of an opportunity and identify potential roadblocks, and to evaluate the needs of a customer through questions.

4) In regard to procedural knowledge of sales leadership, participants are enabled to provide constructive feedback on selling behavior of others, to conduct pipeline reviews, and to develop sales forecasts.

5) In regard to general business-relevant procedural knowledge, participants are enabled to prepare for business meetings and internal committee sessions, to make the best out of a limited preparation time budget, to make concise contributions to meetings, to constructively build and comment on contributions by other participants in the meeting, and to derive a course of action from a careful analysis of the situation and a structured evaluation of alternatives.

6) In regard to metacognitive knowledge, participants are enabled to evaluate their own selling behavior and skills, to evaluate the ethical dimension of a sales leadership situation, to create a skill profile for sales people, and to develop criteria of sales excellence.

There is no required textbook. We have not found a book that covers the range of topics discussed by this course. Instead, the learning material includes presentation slides, case studies, recommended readings, video links, and black board notes. These are available on the learning management system myWHUcourses/Moodle.
The overall learning method mix across all sessions of this course is:
  • 20% role-play sessions between students,
  • 60% case-based discussions with concluding mini-lectures, and
  • 20% interactive concept lectures.

One highlight of the course is a three-hour selling & negotiation role play with several participants on each side. Other learning methods include case-based discussions and interactive concept lectures. This video illustrates our case-based approach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbNNsq1fC0A

The grading policy rests on two key principles:
  • 100% individual performance. No team grades.
  • No sit-down, speed-writing exam under time pressure, no memorizing of PowerPoint slides, no black-out risk.

The course grade is composed as follows:

  • 20% (=4 x 5%): four class preparation notes (pdf, bullet points are enough, ca. 500-750 words)
  • 10%: two online quizzes
  • 20%: oral class participation (fostering of mutual learning in the classroom by display of a positive learning spirit and by connecting to classmates’ arguments with constructive, insightful comments)
  • 50%: one individual take-home paper (pdf, essay, ca. 2500-3000 words)
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