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Entrepreneurial Selling

Course code
EAI619
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
2,5
ECTS
5.0
Term
HS 2021
Language
Englisch
Lecturers
Prof. Dr. Ove Jensen
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

The course content is organized around five themes:

1) The Buying Proposition

  • Sales in the Business Model
  • Storyboarding a Compelling Buying Proposition*

2) The Sales Conversation

  • Always Be Closing? Phases of a Sales Conversation*
  • Adapting to Different Personalities
  • Need Identification Role-Play
  • Sales Presentation Role-Play
  • Sales Enablement Video Project

3) The Sales Channel

  • Matching buying proposition and targeting
  • It’s NOT All About Ads (Stephan Schubert Guest Lecture)

4) Selling to Enterprises

  • Pitfalls in Enterprise Selling*
  • Structured Enterprise Selling Methodology

5) Sourcing Leads

  • Lead Sources and Prospecting
  • CRM

(*) Three of the 15 sessions of the course (i.e., 20%, topics are indicated by *) include content from my WHU BSc course “Foundations of Sales”, depending on when you took that course. This is necessary to bring the diverse MSc group up to a common level.

Date Time
Friday, 03.09.2021 13:45 - 17:00
Thursday, 09.09.2021 11:30 - 15:15
Friday, 17.09.2021 11:30 - 15:15
Thursday, 23.09.2021 13:45 - 17:00
Wednesday, 29.09.2021 11:30 - 15:15
Tuesday, 05.10.2021 15:30 - 18:45
Friday, 08.10.2021 11:30 - 17:00
The course intends to enhance six 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),
  • understand the specifics and terminology of selling to consumers, small and medium businesses, and large enterprises.

2) In regard to conceptual knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • classify the varieties of sales models as part of business models,
  • evaluate value propositions and the uniqueness of selling propositions,
  • analyze the composition of a buying center,
  • organize the elements of a structured selling methodology,
  • remember legal constraints on managing sales data and on prospecting,
  • compare the costs of sales channels.

3) In regard to selling-specific procedural knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • apply a structured sales process and blueprint,
  • use databases to identify target customers,
  • evaluate and create prospecting scripts,
  • evaluate the needs of a customer through questions,
  • evaluate and create a compelling selling story,
  • apply objection handling, questioning, and closing techniques.

4) In regard to general business-relevant procedural knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • prepare for business meetings and internal committee sessions,
  • make the best out of a limited preparation time budget,
  • make concise contributions to meetings,
  • constructively build and comment on contributions by other participants in the meeting,
  • derive a course of action from a careful analysis of the situation and a structured evaluation of alternatives.

5) In regard to metacognitive knowledge, participants are enabled to

  • evaluate their own selling behavior,
  • create a skill profile for sales people.
There is no required textbook. We have not found a book that covers the range of topics discussed by this course. The learning material for this course includes presentation slides, copies of articles, case studies, role-plays, videos, and black board notes. These and further course-related information are available on the learning management system myWHUcourses (another name for it is “Moodle”).
The learning method in this course follows the ideas of problem-based learning and the “reversed classroom” (a.k.a. “flipped classroom”). The “reversed classroom” replaces classroom lectures (“Frontalunterricht”) with a blend of self-study at home and interactive discussions in the classroom. Problem-based learning reverses the passive learning sequence of “First hearing a concept. Then hearing problems that it could solve” to an active learning sequence: “First trying to solve a problem oneself. Then discussing solutions with the group, led by the professor. Finally, getting additional insight from the professor”. Using WHU’s hybrid teaching technology, online participants are integrated into the classroom via Zoom.

The learning method mix includes role-play sessions between students with joint debriefings, case-based discussions with concluding mini-lectures, interactive concept lectures, and managerial guest presentations. This video shows the style of case-based sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbNNsq1fC0A. The problem-based way of learning requires a great amount of energy, both from the student and from the teacher.

The course grade is based on individual performance and a team project. The course grade is composed as follows:
  • 30%: four class preparation notes (pdf, bullet points are enough, ca. 500-750 words)
  • 10%: two hands-on exercises
  • 10% learning-for-life reflection note (pdf, bullet points are enough, ca. 500-750 words)
  • 50%: sales enablement team project (40% concept + 10% rough mobile phone video)
Enrollment in this course is not limited by pre-experience prerequisites. In particular, it is not necessary to have taken my other courses in the program - this course stands alone. However, what you should be aware of before enrolling in this course is:
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