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FTMBA2021_I B2B Sales Management

Course code
Course type
FT MBA Course
Weekly Hours
HS 2020
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 three themes:

1) Value‐Based Selling and Pricing

  • Tactics of professional B2B buyers
  • Calculating price‐quantity‐cost compromises
  • Demonstrating economic value‐to‐customer (includes case: Atlantic Computer, HBS)
  • Fundamental techniques of personal selling (includes case: Scheel & Partners, WHU)

2) Managing the B2B Selling Process

  • Selling and negotiating value‐added products (includes role play: Windblades, WHU)
  • Assessing opportunities (includes case: Boise Automation, Ivey)
  • A structured enterprise selling methodology

3) Managing the B2B Sales Force

  • Behavior vs. outcome control (includes case: Cabot Pharmaceuticals, HBS)
  • Sales productivity (includes case: Clef Company, HBS)
  • Pipeline management and forecasting (includes case: PackMach, WHU)
  • Autonomous vs. algorithmic work (includes case Predictive Analytics for Sales Steering, WHU)
Date Time
Monday, 26.10.2020 08:45 - 16:00
Tuesday, 27.10.2020 08:45 - 16:00
Wednesday, 04.11.2020 08:45 - 16:00
Thursday, 26.11.2020 23:50 - 23:55
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), 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 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 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. The learning material for this course includes presentation slides, 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 course uses a hybrid teaching approach: It emphasizes live interactions in the classroom while integrating online participants into the classroom via Zoom. In the unfortunate case of quarantine measures, the classroom sessions will be switched to live sessions on Zoom.

The overall learning method mix across all sessions of this course is:

  • 20% role-play sessions between students with joint debriefings,
  • 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 multiple parties. A video shows the style of case-based sessions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbNNsq1fC0A. This way of learning requires a great amount of energy, both from the student and from the teacher.

The grading policy in this course has two differentiating characteristics:
  • 100% individual performance. No team grades. No peer evaluation.
  • 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:

  • 35% (=7 x 5%): seven class preparation notes (pdf, bullet points are enough, ca. 500‐750 words)
  • 10% (=2 x 5%): two online quizzes
  • 5%: oral class participation, which means fostering mutual learning in the classroom by displaying a positive learning spirit and connecting to classmates’ arguments with constructive, insightful comments
  • 50%: one individual take‐home essay as final exam (pdf, essay, no less than 2500 and no more than 3750 words)
Enrollment in this course is not limited by pre{\uc1\u8208*}experience prerequisites. However, what you should be aware of before enrolling in this course is:
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