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Foundations of Sales, Group A

Course code
Course type
BSc Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2019
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 has three parts:

A. Managing the Sales Process

A.1 Setting and Getting Prices (price negotiation, price-volume-cost-terms calculations): Sessions 01-02

A.2 Selling Value (value proposition, value-in-use calculation, personal selling techniques): Sessions 03-04

A.3 Building Relationships (opportunity management, networking, key account management): Sessions 05-06

B. Managing the Sales Force

(sales force deployment, forecasting and pipeline management, compliance): Sessions 07-09)

C. Managing Sales Channels

(demand generation process, selling through distributors, future of consumer goods sales and retailing): Sessions 10-12.

Date Time
Tuesday, 08.01.2019 11:30 - 15:15
Tuesday, 05.02.2019 15:30 - 18:45
The course intends to enhance your factual, conceptual, and procedural knowledge:
  • In regard to factual knowledge, the participants are enabled to apply salespeople jargon to discussing the status of a sale (such as the “buying center”, “red flags”, “pipeline”, “RFQ”, “gatekeepers”, and other idioms) and a price negotiation (such as “BATNA”, “ZOPA”, “walk-away price”, “non-offer offer”). They are enabled to understand the specific terminology of sales management in various industry sectors (FMCG, engineering, IT, professional services, medical and electrical equipment, trade).
  • In regard to conceptual knowledge, the participants are enabled to analyze the composition of a buying center, to evaluate the fit of the sales process with organizational structure, to apply methods for sizing the sales force, to compute trade-offs between price and other profit drivers, and to explain the typical strategic and selling challenges in a variety of industry contexts.
  • In regard to selling-specific procedural knowledge, the participants are enabled to apply a structured sales process and negotiation blueprint, to evaluate the win probability of an opportunity and to identify potential roadblocks, to evaluate the needs of a customer through questions, to create and deliver a sales presentation, to deal with customer objections, and to provide constructive feedback on selling behavior of others.
  • In regard to general business-relevant procedural knowledge, the 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.
The learning material for this course includes presentation slides, copies of articles, case studies, videos, black board notes, and exercises. These and further course-related information are available on the learning management system myWHUcourses (another name for it is “Moodle”).
Content is conveyed through a mix of lectures, exercises, role-play, case studies, and classroom discussion.
The course grade is assigned as a module grade together with the course Foundations of Marketing. The sales part contains points for cases assignments and online quizzes. In the normal case, students submit case preparation notes and take quizzes for the course sessions in January and February. The module exam in May only encompasses questions on the course Foundations of Marketing.

In case of illness, this exam can be retaken in August.

Students who do not pass the module Marketing & Sales can take a 180-minute examination resit in August. 90 points of the examination resit refer to Foundations of Sales and 90 minutes to Foundations of Marketing. In case of illness in August, students can retake the course together with the next class in January and February.

While enrollment in this course is not limited by pre-experience prerequisites, you should be aware of the following required commitments: Because of a highly interactive learning method, the course requires that you speak German fluently. The course requires your preparation for each session and involves a substantial reading load every week. If you don{\uc1\u8217*}t invest a couple of study hours between sessions, you won{\uc1\u8217*}t be able to follow the discussions in the classroom - and your learning from the course will be very limited. Finally, class attendance is important for interactive courses like this one. If you cannot commit to attending, I cannot recommend that you take this course.
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